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The Truth about Rebranding….

My tirade earlier this week on the unsatisfactory (to say the least) rebranding efforts for Radio recently introduced at the NAB masks the truth of the matter.

And that truth is this:

There is no such thing as rebranding from the outside in.

That’s because a brand is the sum of its component parts. “A brand is alive,” as former Nike and Starbucks marketing head Scott Bedbury said recently. And Radio is not just the industry we refer to by that name. It’s the sum total experience every listener has with every station over time. It is what we actually do and keep doing and how that plays in the audience. One station brand at a time – every day.

Just as you can’t slap a ketchup label on a bottle of mustard and call it “ketchup,” you can’t rebrand Radio by wrapping it with a new bow.

Rebranding comes from the inside out.

That means, among other things, that you, fellow broadcaster, can do more to “rebrand” radio than the NAB ever can.

It means all the successes of Radio are stories waiting to be told. If there’s anyone out there telling them.

It means all the digital strategies that so engage our audiences with our stations are opportunities to spread a new, fresh message – and one which our audiences will believe.

What do people not believe? Inauthentic and crass advertising campaigns manufactured under the assumption that what Radio really does is irrelevant – it’s what listeners “think we do” that matters.

The other day I was discussing this new rebranding effort with a well known marketing and branding consultant and author whose clients range across many industries. He agreed with my premise that rebranding is about what you actually do, not about changing the package label.

Then he added, “But their branding company isn’t going to tell the NAB that.”

Indeed they will not.

Because I suspect the NAB, along with the rest of us, already know it.

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