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“Radio” is not a Brand

When we say things like “let’s whip up a better story for radio to convince folks how important it is in their lives” we are fighting an impossible battle for this reason:

“Radio” is not a brand.

“Radio” is a distribution platform for brands, where the brands can, should, and do live on other platforms, too.

If we have learned anything from this digital age it’s that the most useful brands are those that are device-agnostic, those that view platforms as distribution opportunities for useful manifestations. The most useful brands are not bound to one and only one distribution channel.

Stations can be brands, of course, and they should live in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors on multiple platforms.

So when we talk about “the radio industry” what are we really talking about? Are we talking about the distribution channel that is being squeezed by new options on new platforms? Or are we talking about an industry of brands that live on and off the radio dial?

That’s why there is no “story” for radio, there is only a story for the brands I care about that may live, in part, on the radio.

To be “pro-radio” is like saying we’re “pro-television-set.” Isn’t it much better to be pro-brand – or, in the television metaphor, pro-show?

People fall in love with compelling brands, not with ubiquitous and familiar distribution channels.

Beware what stories you create. You might be trying to advertise the wrong thing.

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