Branding is defined as creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.
Positioning is the act of putting something in a certain place.
For broadcast brand managers and programmers – like their counter-parts in the consumer goods and service industries – these two words equate to the creation of perceptions in the mind of the listener.
For example, if station A wants listeners to think of it for playing a lot of songs in-a-row, it might use a ‘the most music’ slogan. However, this statement would resonate more with listeners if a competing station (B) is adjacently known for its personalities and has a residual perception for aimless banter. In this situation, station A could add ‘with less talk’ to strengthen perceptual linkage to the ‘most music’ positioner.
Four basic most used techniques used to deliver a message:
- Descriptive– a product or service is described and its benefits explained.
- Testimonial – A credible, relatable or well-known person – directly or indirectly – endorses a product. In some cases an untrustworthy spokesperson is effective. For example a thief testifying as to how difficult it is to break into a home protected by a Brinks security system.
- Demonstrative – The product and important features are demonstrated to showcase its effectiveness.
- Tactical– A tactic such as a coupon or contest is used to induce sampling or increased usage. I would also include acute publicity stunts in this category.
These tools are are often used in tandem with one another or coupled with other techniques like the use of humor or drama to create effective messages or a product position.
If you are in a competitive battle or want to ensure that you’re not vulnerable to a product life cycle altering attack, call me. The last thing any product can afford is a marketing message mistake.
In the brand building sections, you’ll find examples of many techniques. Depending on your company or industry, the names used to describe these techniques may vary. Several of the commercials use a combination of tactics to convey their message and therefore, don’t fit neatly into one category.
You will also notice that many of the examples, particularly those for radio stations are older. This is because I don’t make it a practice to comment on battles in which I’m an active participant or have given my word not to discuss.
Not all the spots are for media companies. They’re included because they are exceptional examples of well executed position or brand messaging and it’s often easier to formulate branding messages by reviewing the strategies and tactics used by unrelated products.