Are you sending the right message with your branding on-air, online and on-site or are you confusing and turning away potential listeners with mismatched branding? The terms we use to define our formats mean different things to different people based on their age and life experience. So, we have to rely on everything else, positioning statements, imaging voices and production, on air talent, station logo and website design, to make sure we’re attracting the listeners who are likely to be interested in our stations. All the compelling content in the world won’t lead to ratings success if our branding isn’t ensuring that we’re getting that content in front of the right people. Could most people correctly guess your format without hearing or seeing your positioning statement?
From a sales stand-point why would an advertiser want to hand over their ad dollars to market their brand on a station that doesn’t clearly market it’s own?
Here are a few examples of how a station can stumble into a mismatched branding conundrum.
Updating the music databases without updating everything else. Reprinting banners, rewrapping vans, redesigning logos and changing out the station voice is not only incredibly time consuming, it’s also expensive. But, you’re better off waiting until the budget allows all of those changes to happen at once then piece-parting it and confusing listeners until it’s all done.
Creating a point of difference but then keeping it a secret. If there’s a good reason why a listener should listen to your station as opposed to a format competitor and that’s not defined in your branding, then you’re conceding a lot of cume to that competitor. Tell that story clearly and often with everything you do on air, online and on site.
On air talent that don’t fit. There are many talented on air personalities that can work on multiple formats by tweaking their style and content choices to fit that format. But, some great personalities are more specialized and are best suited to work on one or two specific formats. A talent that fits enhances the listeners experience but one that doesn’t just gets in the way.
Too many messages. There’s nothing wrong with creating a station that appeals to a listener on multiple fronts. But, the more crowded a market it is the more a station needs to choose the few messages they want to market around and run with that.
If you’d like an outside opinion on your station branding email us your links at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll look and listen then give you some feedback.
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