Branding ... It Worked For Apple
January 26, 2016
I am huge believer in branding. Regardless of what an air personality thinks, branding is the #1 difference between being a faceless voice and an up and coming entrepreneurial personality.
No, I am not advocating selflessness, but an awareness of what is necessary to take your skills as far as you can. Being on the air gives you a distinct advantage over those who don't get to communicate to thousands and thousands of radio listeners.
Let Me Tell You A Story...
I was doing evenings and the jock doing afternoons was average, in my opinion. However he was sought after by advertisers and he even convinced a local Anheuser-Busch distributor into backing him for a TV dance show. Honestly, most of my fellow jocks wondered how he pulled off some of the things he did.
But then one day I started to realize his secret: He branded himself. This was before social media. He was would show up at all of the latest hot spots in town and make appearances at public-service events without a memo. It was almost like he was running for office. Once I figured out what he was doing, it was a life-altering radio experience. That became my mantra as an air personality and later as a PD.
How I Used What I Learned
At my next station, I attempted to brand myself by endearing the audience in every way possible. I figured out how to get a guest spot with the ghoulish Friday night host of a the local TV show, sent news releases of my non-station public appearances, I learned how to become a celebrity auctioneer, attended kids birthday parties, and I would search the papers for public service situations to attend. By the way, I paid extra for embroidering so my full name would appear on the front and back of my station jacket. I even listed my weekday and weekend shifts on the coat. It did start to pay dividends and I would later pass on the information as a PD. I shared the branding thought with the personalities and incorporated the techniques to program a station.
Live Long Enough
Keep reading every piece of radio and non-radio related information you can; it's how you stay relevant and move forward. I once ran across some information a consumer loyalty expert named Mark Levine shared. These words stuck with me: "Loyalty is not a short-term phenomenon; it is essentially a relationship." Personalities have to brand themselves to create closeness with the listener.
Opportunity of a Lifetime
Use everything at your disposal to always offer the one item of information which might bring you closer to the audience. If it's behind the mic, do it within the programming guidelines. You have a lot of off-air branding weapons:
- Your website
- Look for new social platforms
People love information. Whatever one thing you share with the audience, make it useful and make it consistent along all platforms. For example, you might share a piece of lifestyle info on the air, follow up and share the same on the various social platforms I just mentioned. You'll start to feel the love from listeners when organizations begin requesting you for appearances. The money will begin to flow and will come from sources outside the sales department. It's a process which could take up to a year or so once you start the self-branding process.
I have given you enough information to get started; send me an e-mail and let me know how things are working out.