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Brands and branding, modern and post

Box Opened, Tentacles Appear, Everybody’s Entertained
pandora Brand building is an engaging business. The media world is in that business, for itself and for others. The biggest brands get people talking which, in post-modern terms, has nothing to do with actually talking. Social media has usurped than function. This is fun when the brand message is fun, happiness or shopping, less so for oil spills and bank scandals.

 

 

 

Games Changers And Media Killers
Prada shoe There’s always something behind a brand. Thinkers on the subject say it’s a story. The more potent, the more valuable. Magic has replaced fizz. Maybe things haven’t changed so much.

 

 

 

 

 

You And The Great Adventure
Outer Limits Consumers like to believe it. Businesses want to believe it. Governments try to insist on it. But power and control shifts quickly in the digital age with information flying through the ether. If the picture seems fuzzy, just wait.

In Brands and Branding

Tribute Paid To Voices - February 13, 2013
Nagra Evolution strengthens the being, say the scientists. As science and technology brought about rapid shift from analogue to digital media, the human voice carries information beyond words. It’s really quite natural.

 

 

 

Look! Up In The Sky! It’s Super Brand! - October 18, 2012
These are tough times for brand marketing companies. The plethora of media channels and their fragmented audiences make delivering the message difficult and expensive. One solution, of course, is to spend lots of money and keep absolute control.

Death Of Radio Greatly Exaggerated - October 31, 2011
I’m a radio fan. I’ve always been one. Part of it is the medium’s playfulness and the magic of voices. There have been times, though, when I’ve worried that radio might be doomed.

Being Special Is The Only Strategy - July 5, 2011
The narrowing of content exasperates media experts. From tunnel vision to silo thinking, we have a name for it. Consumers know what they want and want what they know. It’s not just the web that’s “unstoppable”.

Morning Radio Is Prime Time - April 11, 2011
For many radio stations, the most important branding element is the morning show. It’s all about the numbers; more radio listening takes place in the morning. Stations, typically, invest more between six and nine in the morning than any other day-part, sometimes more than the rest of the day. Even stations branded as all-music will add services and a stronger host, so important is the morning slot.

Strong Brands And Big Walls - March 23, 2011
Having a strong brand is good for business. The attributes are nurtured among the wise. Sometimes big brands smack into big walls.

Publishers Want Wheel Reinvented - February 19, 2011
old wagon wheel Newspaper publishers, almost universally, adore the tablet devices as wonderful new content distribution points. Access to the tablets – like Apple’s iPad – has, however, conditions. A crisis meeting is in order.

 

 

Brands In Real Time - September 20, 2010
When it comes to business, success means customers. The media sector is no different. There’s a conversation going on, if broadcasters and publisher choose to listen in.

Synergy, Multi-tasking And Other Divine Concepts - August 24, 2010
People, particularly young people, are spending half their waking hours with one form of media or another. In fact, it looks like they are only spending time with media, often two or more at once. Have we fried their brains?

Can BP Save Its Brand? - June 23, 2010
Believe it or not BP still has supporters. It’s a tier 1 (biggest) sponsor for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and that’s worth some £40 million ($60 million) to the organizers which is why their chairman has publicly stated again that BP is a “trusted partner”. The big question, of course, is what will remain of BP by the time of those Games.

The New Buzz Word For Media Entities: Consumption - May 6, 2010
iPad Nobody can doubt Rupert Murdoch’s enthusiasm for the iPad. He said a week ago he thought it would save newspapers and he marveled this week at how his Wall Street Journal already has 64,000 active users. And as far as he is concerned there had never been such a demand for news and information as there is now, so he sees being a news provider a good business these days.

 

Toyota Must Not Forget The Lessons Of Tylenol And Perrier Nor Warren Buffett’s Credo: “If You Lose Dollars For The Company I Will Be Understanding. If You Lose Reputation For The Firm, I Will Be Ruthless” - February 2, 2010
How fast the mighty can fall. Toyota had become the world’s largest auto maker and the bestselling brand in the US but now it is circling the wagons against the onslaught of competitors looking to steal market share and customers worried their accelerator pedals may stick and cause crashes. Toyota’s only chance now is to learn from previous major recalls -- to be absolutely forthcoming and frank with the full truth to its customers, and pay whatever it takes to set things right. Then, and only then, does it have any chance to save the brand.

Brand Google Burnished, China Bruised, France Buried - January 18, 2010
Enlightenment comes hard to enterprise management struggling day-to-day. Often it’s economic stress that brings on the ‘ah, yes’ moment, usually when that moment is lost. Horizon can make a difference.

Television for those who don’t find anything interesting on television - December 2, 2009
There are really no secrets to building a strong media brand. There need to be a hook, something listeners and viewers can hold on to. Ubiquity helps, too. MTV has it in the bag, quite mixed actually.

Behind The Curve - July 29, 2009
product life cycle Impulse is both the great builder and killer of media brands. It has its moment in the brand life cycle. But strong brands are not static brands; the impulse and ego that drive one level of creativity must evolve.

 

 

 

Do Subscribers Notice When Their Newspaper Cuts Back On Editorial Content? You Bet They Do! - May 28, 2009
Two recent surveys indicate that newspaper readers, and newspaper editors, are not very happy with cutbacks endured over the past few years and while management can claim it is only doing what it has to do, the wool is not being pulled over anyone’s eyes. Readers know exactly what is happening and they don’t like it.

Music, news and the greater good - May 4, 2009
Music has been called the universal language. News is considered a universal right. In the cold light of this century’s media reality, both are merely content to be consumed.

Radio promotion goes very wrong - April 11, 2009
Drawing crowds appeals to a media persons inner marketing brain. Radio stations are the long standing champions at calling people to action, social media a recent challenger. Crowds, though, are unpredictable.

Brand vitality in times of stress - January 8, 2009
In the convergence of economics and consumer behavior conventional wisdom holds that strong brands drive out weak ones as stressed consumers choose the known over the unknown. Comfort food is in. Peruvian-Thai fusion cuisine is out. Media brand managers need to adjust.

The Brand’s The Thing - September 8, 2008
NRJ heart You Promotion, marketing and branding is not just something NRJ does, it’s what NRJ is. It is not simply the company’s strong point, it’s the whole point.

 

 

 

 

Big Ideas…Damn the Budget - September 1, 2008
Promotion ideas are easy. Everybody has them. Turning an idea into a major promotion is not the realm of the faint-hearted. And that’s one reason many broadcasters have given them up. The accountants never liked all that expense anyway.

Radio calls to action - September 1, 2008
hands Radio succeeds as a call to action medium. When radio broadcasters set their minds to moving people the result gets results. Radio promotions succeed, more often than not, because the nature of the medium is participation.

 

 

Brand BBC’s Billion Pound Bonus - July 24, 2008
Timidity was long ago erased from the BBC stylebook. No universal brand reaches that pinnacle without occasionally reminding lesser mortals of the scale of things. Competitors scoff at their peril.

Disney’s ultimate product placement test - July 6, 2008
Nobody – ever – said the folks at the Walt Disney Company aren’t smart. When broadcasters are ditching children’s programming because of ad restrictions, the Disney Channel is moving from pay-TV to free-to-air. Why not? The money is in the Disney products.

 

On Dreams and Memories - July 4, 2008
dream In many lands of this media world, memories are bigger than dreams. Old media stumbles under the weight of all that has gone before. Dreamers stumble, too, but they soldier on, eyes front, forward into the fog.

 

 

 

 

The Secret Sound’s fine secret - June 27, 2008
radio cash The games and contests radio stations play with listeners are meant to add to the entertainment. One UK broadcaster played a bit too much and the regulator imposed the biggest fine ever charged. Are contests and competitions good promotion or sleazy tricks? Or are radio ‘fun and games’ easy targets for poor losers and regulators?

 

 

Brand China is taking a beating. 'Welcome to the NFL' - April 14, 2008
olympic

Without doubt within the Middle Kingdom whispers are whirling. Chinese leaders have misjudged the force of images and symbols. It’s odd, and yet not, for a culture whose language is built on both.

 

 

 

 

 

Apple inspires. How’s YOUR brand? - April 3, 2008
inspire

 

Brand logic is back in fashion. Whether your market is buoyant or bombing a powerful brand attracts and holds audience with the right mix of content, message and interaction. Perhaps you should also think about inspiring

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Hansine JohnstonThank you, Hansine. It’s all clear now. - December 21, 2007
Physics teaches us that it takes three points to make a space. Furniture teaches us a chair needs three legs to keep from falling over. I’ve been thinking for weeks how to connect ‘engage or die’ and ‘circular entertainment.’ It became clear one day as I was listening to Hansine on the radio.

 

 

 

What Rupert Wants, Rupert Gets - December 7, 2007
According to The Wall Street Journal web site, Rupert Murdoch is moving in his closest allies to run Dow Jones and out goes CEO Richard Zannino who announced his resignation Thursday to be replaced by Les Hinton who runs New International in the UK (Times of London, Times, News of the World, Sun), and The Journal also says Publisher Gordon Crovitz goes (but no resignation announcement as this is written) to be replaced by Robert Thomson, editor of the Times of London.

How To Protect 'Made In China' – If Done Right It Could Be A Classic PR Lesson; If Done Wrong … - August 30, 2007
The stakes have never been higher – billions and billions of dollars of Chinese exports are sold around the world, usually on price more than anything else, but now quality enters the picture and China has a big problem. How it chooses to resolve that in the world’s eyes could become a classic PR lesson, but right now they seem divided on what to do, taking a stick against those who complain too much and a carrot promising reforms.

Another Nike Endorsement Disaster - August 28, 2007
This just doesn’t seem to be Nike’s year for sports endorsements. In the UK it has problems because soccer star Wayne Rooney got injured wearing Nike soccer boots and it has opened a debate whether the new light boots offer the necessary protection when someone steps on a foot, and now in the US it has the Michael Vicks debacle.

Trust in the Age of Diversity and Spin - August 27, 2007
screams

Media organizations are shocked – shocked – when survey after survey reveals how little public trust exists in their brands…and how far that trust falls each year. Blame rests completely at the doors to the big media houses, not necessarily for their blunders – though these are not helpful – but rather for their failure to notice the paradigm shift in their power position. They’ve lost it. The people have it.

 

 

 

Nike Learns The Hard Way That Spending Millions On A Soccer Star Endorsement Can Be A Pain You-Know-Where When That Player Keeps Getting Foot Injuries Wearing Your Boot - August 16, 2007
Celebrity endorsements have always been somewhat dodgy, usually because of the morals clause or similar, but Nike has another bigger problem on its hands – a star British football player has been hurt for the third time wearing Nike’s star soccer shoes and all the denials of “It’s not our fault” still has doctors and players endorsing bringing back the old heavy football shoes. Not exactly the type of publicity Nike craves, the stars certainly wouldn’t be as agile, but would they be safer?

It’s Not Just The Financial Times, New York Times and CNBC That Rupert Murdoch Will Target, But With US Newspapers Drastically Reducing Their Business News Pages He’ll Also Try To Make The Wall Street Journal Brand The Choice For The Common Man - August 2, 2007
Contrary to all the nonsense the Bancrofts and the New York Times put out, Rupert Murdoch is not about to destroy the Dow Jones editorial reputation for which he has paid so much – indeed look for Murdoch’s global plan to make the Wall Street Journal THE US newspaper of record, not just for more of the world’s major business and political decision makers, but also for the common man. If he pulls all of that off then $5 billion will look like chicken feed.

So, Just How Successful Was That Original Prince CD Giveaway? - July 24, 2007
The figures are in from last week’s UK Mail on Sunday giveaway of Prince’s new CD, Planet Earth, and circulation on that day was up a whopping 600,000, a huge financial and promotional success for Prince, but also for the newspaper? All depends how advertisers will look at the circulation numbers and how many of those extra 600,000 sales stick.

The music biz is goin’ through them changes - July 19, 2007
There’s no genius in saying the music business today is far and away different from what it was a generation ago, a decade ago and even 20 minutes ago. What Napster brought, simplistically, the iPod wrought asunder. When a UK newspaper slips a CD inside and its one-day circulation explodes little doubt remains.

A Shrewd Marketing Ploy By Prince, The Artist Who Formerly Sold His CDs In Stores But Now Has Given Away His Latest With A UK Sunday Newspaper, Has Music Retailers Raging Purple - July 17, 2007
For Prince, the pop musician from Minneapolis, it was marketing bordering on the genius that has UK CD retailers furious but got the singer untold millions of $€£ in free promotion for his European concert tour. For The Mail on Sunday newspaper it was a marketing gem that probably cost around £500,000 ($1 million) and boosted its circulation by some 500,000 on the day. So, was it a win-win to give away Prince’s new Plant Earth CD and not sell it in the shops? For Prince, absolutely, For the Mail on Sunday the jury is still out.

Geneva’s Open-Air July 4 Celebrations, The Largest Outside The US, Are Cancelled This Year And That Tells The Story of How American Sponsorship Abroad, Indeed American Companies Abroad, Have Changed - June 13, 2007
Come rain or shine, usually rain, July 4 is celebrated in Geneva, Switzerland with more than 30,000 people turning out for the US Independence Day celebrations. Most times there is a US. high school marching band, the military sends over a band from Germany, there are American football games, cheerleaders, dancing, hot-air balloon rides, great food and fantastic fireworks. But not this year. The sponsors haven’t turned up.

Powerful Radio – “I’d love to turn you on” - June 8, 2007
It was worth hearing, again, that the Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” passed a milestone. It was forty years ago this week that radio stations daringly played a song starting “It was twenty years ago today…”. Things change.

Avtoradio – the First Car Radio Station - June 1, 2007
To be big in a market a radio station needs that special lure – a hook, raison d’etre. To be big in a big market, it is essential. Russia’s AvtoRadio has it, a solid radio brand.

All Audi, All the Time – Brand TV on the Internet - May 16, 2007
Understanding post-modern TV means accepting ever shrinking niche markets. A decade ago viewers complained of “500 channels and nothing on TV.” Today there are a million channels and everything’s on TV. For brand marketing, it’s a wonderful world.

“I’ve Got To Be Me.” Disintermediation. Eh? - April 16, 2007
An editors’ life is full of worry. Safety and security is top of mind. With gigabytes of digitally inspired user-generated content filling the in-boxes media managers see less need for journalists and, in due course, less need for editors. When all content is equal, then opportunities for cost savings are wide and open.

Marketing Promotion: Media’s Blackhole - March 13, 2007
Tired of hearing about newspapers giving away DVDs and still losing circulation? Of course; their marketing people are about a generation behind the times. There are radio lessons.

“Ok, You Dirty Rats” – No, That’s Not James Cagney But PR Damage Control, Never More Needed Than When Rodents Invade Your Restaurant Or When Loaded Airplanes Sit For Hours On The Tarmac - March 6, 2007
What’s the worst thing that can happen to a restaurant chain? How about video shown around the world of big fat rats prancing all over one of your New York restaurants? Perhaps worse could be if a significant number of guests a couple of months before throughout the East Coast got e-coli poisoning from tainted lettuce and that had customers staying away in droves. Both happened to Taco Bell and yet the shares for its parent Yum Brands are still flying high on Wall Street.

A Colorado Newspaper Stole Stories From Its Competition For Years And Credited Them To The AP And Everyone Gets Real Indignant. What’s The Big Deal – As If When It Comes To Credits The Media Is Holier Than Thou - February 28, 2007
As editorial scams go, this one was right up there. The Greeley Tribune in Colorado for years had been stealing, uh, picking up, stories from other Colorado newspapers and crediting them to the Associated Press. Apparently it had been going on for several years before a competitor noticed and complained. The Tribune has apologized and said it won’t happen again.

No US Radio Person of the Year - January 16, 2007
Brought to our attention, quite late it seems, was that the turn of the new year did not produce an American radio person of the year. At least this was the judgment of a tip sheet for US radio broadcasters.

Jack’s a Joke - October 26, 2006
Yet another radio format sails across the Atlantic brimming with promise. It’s called Jack FM. The first stop will be Oxford in the UK in March. Liverpool and Manchester might be next if OFCOM is persuaded. Think of it as bird flu on a hard disc.

The Art of Public Relations Is In Full View As Michelin Tries to Right Its Wrong at Indianapolis - July 4, 2005
Bum Tires May End Up Costing the French Company $50 Million. But If It Does Things Right Its Brand Could End Up With a Perrier Outcome.

Interbrand Survey: Europe in Fashion - July 24, 2005

Happy 25th Birthday, CNN!! - May 30, 2005
A Personal Remembrance of The Lengths Salesman Ted Turner Had To Resort To Flog His Fledgling News Network To A Cable Industry That Did Not Want It

Newspapers Should Take a Leaf From Gillette's Promotional Book When It Comes to Getting the Young to Buy the Product - May 5, 2005
Today’s quiz: What does a body spray product and a daily newspaper have in common? Answer: Both want to attract teenagers. Then how is it the body spray does and the newspaper doesn’t? Answer: Because the body spray knows how to turn the kids on, whereas a mainstream newspaper is expert at turning them off.

Brandchannel’s Reader Choice Awards : We’re All Media Brands Now - February 3, 2005
If you thought all brands would be media brands in the future, brace yourself. We’re there!

Brand BBC and Brand Fragility - April 27, 2004
The volumes written and hours spoken about the BBC in the last two years could fill a 40 GB hard-drive. When Lord Hutton blew super-heated air into a pyre of smoldering quarrels, every critic and defender circled round, wailing and throwing either oil or sand. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

Kiss fm RomaniaGlobal Kiss of Success - April 2003

Found in more than 25 countries, the Kiss radio brand is everywhere. Station names may vary – Kiss Radio, Kiss FM, Kiss Kiss, just Kiss – but the name is ubiquitous, perhaps the most frequently used radio brand name in the world.

 

The Six Radio Brands
Radio broadcasters have offered a personal medium for information and entertainment nearly a generation before branding became the most important term in marketing and advertising.

ftm Knowledge

The Curtain Falls - Media Rises – new

This updated set of essays focuses on the dramatic changes in Europe's media that began with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain thereafter; Germany in 1989, new media rules,transition of State broadcasting to public broadcasting, refocus for international broadcasting, the rise of commercial broadcasting and the importance of youth culture. PDF (December 2014)

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Media in the Baltics - New World Order

By the time Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the European Union they were known as the Baltic Tigers. The media sector grew spectacularly with big multi-nationals investing. Times have changed. This ftm Knowledge file reports the changes, new opportunities and lingering ghosts. 63 pages PDF (October 2014)

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The Privacy Issue

The privacy issue touches every aspect of media. From consumer protection and the rights of individuals to news coverage privacy is hotly debated. New media and old media stumble and the courts decide. ftm offers views from every side of the Privacy Issue. 68 pages. PDF (July 2014)

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