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The Midweek Motivator – Wanting to Win Isn’t Enough

Over time our firm has thrived on watching a new client emerge from the middle of the order to claim a number one ranking in their format target. Everyone “wants to win,” if only that was enough.

As often as we hear the terms “tactical” and “strategic” there is a natural order; without strategy, tactics are only a short-term adjustment: manipulating the midday clock, adding a phrase, even changing your lineup. Tactics have a place but only “strategy” can navigate your competitive improvement. Sorely needed in some companies, there can be a lack of the definition of “strategy.” Is it clear-cut in your building? “Building a brand” is a more than a phase.

In various missives we’re stressed a phrase used in marketing discussions: “The Five D’s”. For your consideration:

  1. DEFINITION: defining what you are (and what you aren’t), expressed in listeners’ language. The long-accepted term for it is “Positioning.”
  • DIFFERENTIATION: contrary to traditional thinking, the secret is “different” instead of “better.” Differentiation through strong branding, far beyond liners and jingles, can elevate a new format into high recognition in record time.
  • DISTINCTION: too many among us toss out phrases and assume they’ll stick. But when launching a new format or significantly adjusting one, the best programmers we’ve worked with, know time is not our ally. So the challenge becomes, how can we create a position of “special” in a crowded spectrum of formats and claims?
  • DISCIPLINE: one of the most frequent crimes of branding comes with the failure to stay on message! It takes resolve and internal focus to stay on message. It usually starts well with good intent, until a staff member suggests “freshening.” Suddenly imaging has drifted off target; if not completely lost, the message is obscured. If you hear this happening, call “time-out.”
  • DOMINANCE: no brand was ever built from weakness. Pounding your strategic position and remaining relentless with consistent imaging directly connected with your music or spoken-word position are the cost of admission. If a listener is confused, or with only a vague memory of your format brand, you’re in jeopardy.

Great programmers and accomplished talent will reinforce their intent, but the reality that when boiled down to a simple actionable objective, programmers and their talent should aspire to accomplish one goal every day: “be of service” in a way your competitors can’t.