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RAB Research Archive

Broadcast branding -- part II



I've called radio "The branding iron of the imagination." Since radio is an interactive medium, the most important part of that interaction is something we all came in with...our imaginations. Emotion is the heat for your branding iron.

When you excite, interest, feed your audiences' imaginations, they actually become active listeners, participants. They create with you, and your name, your store, your USP, can be imprinted on their DNA forever...if you engage their imaginations and do it with consistency.

Too many advertisers, especially retailers, feel that the only way to get listeners to respond is to offer lower prices, and they use that ploy instead of a consistent branding campaign that reinforces benefits.

For an advertiser to get caught up in the "price-only" cycle is like living on a diet of sugar. You get that immediate high, that feeling of energy, but it's always followed by a letdown. And if you continue this up and down cycle, it will eventually damage the system.

That's what it's like with non-branding sale advertising. The advertiser might see an immediate increase in customers, cash flow and gross revenue, but the surge (which yields much less profit) doesn't last once the sale is over. In the long run, you're conditioning the audience to think of the advertiser only in the discount context. You could damage the advertiser’s reputation, or maybe shorten the life of your client.

So, what am I advocating – a complete switch to complex carbohydrates? For some advertisers, it might be worth a try. You may not see the immediate surge you get with price advertising, but you will build longevity, image, a share of mind, a niche, strength and a continuity of customers that could last into the future. Now this doesn't mean that you can't have a fudge brownie once in a while. Just don't base your diet on them.

When you have a sale, don’t forget to brand at the same time.

Source: Veteran radio creative consultant Jeffrey Hedquist





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