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Fit versus Stretch

In Radio we’re obsessed by “fit.”

But in life, listeners are more interested in “stretch.”

“Fit” means less is more. “Stretch” means MORE is more.

I’m not talking about music here, although a too-tight list might be as problematic as a too-loose one.

I’m talking more about the natural tendency we have towards things which are complex. Video games are increasingly complex – and popular. Movies are visually more complex than ever. In our lives we wear more “hats” and fill more “roles” than ever before.

There’s a difference between standing for one thing and DOING only one thing.

If listeners affiliate with your brand, then that means they affiliate with all aspects of your brand, not simply its music position. So what ELSE can you do to STRETCH your proposition for your audience? What else can you do to build out dimensionality in your programming and marketing?

You want examples? Here are some examples:

The Soft AC that harps relentlessly on “Lite Rock, Less Talk.” Has it ever struck you as nuts that a station promises not to talk, but then talks about the fact that it doesn’t talk? This is downright psychotic. Worse, this is like the person you meet who has one and only one interest. How interesting to you is this person? How much do you want to be his or her friend?

Compare that to a Rock station, the kind with the morning show and the focus on beer, babes, and tunes. The Rock station “stretches” to fill the interests of its target audience. The Soft AC “shrinks” to “fit” a narrow slice of what listeners are interested in.

The lesson for today, if the shoe “fits,” stretch it.

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