The Value Of Intangibles
July 1, 2014
Radio has some of the most active and loyal fans of all media, but many times we overlook the deeper impact we can have on their lives, one person at a time.
That's because we get caught up in touching fans in bulk on a superficial level – offering caller 10 type promotional transactions on-air and socially. But the core tenets of brand building have changed. It's more about hacking our way, every day, to try and personalize each fans experience with our brands in order to strengthen its value.
Experiences trump empty transactions, always.
Yet that mindset won't be fulfilled until we stop looking at fans based on what they can do for us but rather what we can do for them.
That is what builds on your reputation (what people remember). And we know, audience perception has a bottom line effect.
But it takes being present – being plugged into the fans who use social to document their lives as well as to reach out and voice their opinions. And in the case below, a fan simply throwing out a request.
What happened this past weekend here in Detroit is a great example of what it looks like to be aware and in the moment.
While it started with the typical tweet/plea most stations and talent get each week, it turns into one of those "holy crap" moments when WYCD/Detroit APD/Midday talent, Jack Shell, responded with those famous three words:
You can guess what happened next, 'by the sausage stand:'
These are the moments that make people come alive.
They give fans the feeling like they matter – that they are being seen and heard. This is what social media allows media brands to do – if DJs, shows, and programmers have the inclination and desire to truly make these moments happen.
This didn't take anything but a little bit of Jack's alertness and time to pull off.
Creating exceptional moments is not about contesting, spending money or giving out gifts. Those are typically "empty transactions."
Brand building today is about offering our time and undivided attention – exactly what Jack had the wherewithal to do. And there's no doubt that he left a lasting imprint on this fan - more so than had she simply been lucky "caller number 10."
It's not always easy. But it starts with a deeper understanding:
We have to believe the effort on social outlets matter, even if it doesn't directly contribute to the bottom line this quarter.
I keep going back to Howard Schultz, Starbucks' President and CEO, great quote from his book Onward:
"Great brands are a culmination of intangibles that do not directly flow to the revenue or profitability of a company, but contribute to its texture. Forsaking them can take a subtle, collective toll."
There's nothing wrong with aiming for mass appeal - just don't dismiss the strength of serving one fan at a time, and the work it takes socially to complement the desired culture of your brand.
The world is drowning in substandard behavior.
How can you help your station stand out and make every moment count?
How can you create those "holy crap" moments?
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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