All marketers can learn important lessons from GM's Saturn experiment — such as the power of a differentiating branding idea and breakthrough innovation guided by consumers. Such as the need for a unifying internal brand culture and truly living a genuine tagline through all the brand touch points. Like the need to stay a product generation of ahead of your customers, and the idea that brands need constant feeding and the realization that brand portfolios can quickly get too big to adequately support.
In tough times it's only natural to retrench. But the rules of branding apply whether times are lean or overflowing with abundance.
The advantage will shift toward those broadcasters who, even in these times, ignite the passions of their audiences, innovate to develop their brands, and position them smartly to succeed rather than throw them at winning stations as spoilers designed to fail.
The advantage will shift toward those broadcasters who exploit the unique opportunities of these times, even in a down economy.
This has to do more with will than with dollars.
For some broadcasters, survival will be good enough. But consumers don't care about survivors unless they themselves have a stake in the odds.
So are you differentiated? Are you innovating? Are you leading your audience? Are you feeding your brand? Is your portfolio too big for your team to support?