The power of big broadcast brands has never been more relevant than in today’s environment of rapidly fragmenting, highly competitive and platform agnostic media consumption. The question remains, how do big broadcast brands (the likes of Nickelodeon, MTV, National Geographic) remain relevant and defy market conditions to continue their growth strategy?
Two significant principles contributing to brand immortality include:
- Brand Identity – defined values and audience focus
- Evolution – of content, communication & delivery
Brand identity can take a number of different forms. Nickelodeon is the number one entertainment brand for kids. Now in its 32nd year globally and 16th year in Australia, the company has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does.
Nick Jr is a dedicated pre-school channel with a committed focus on education. For example Dora the Explorer has its foundations in problem solving, mastery, Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and, of course, language. Each episode and series focuses on a particular vocabulary set while also exploring the different aspects of a child’s early childhood development.
National Geographic Channel invites viewers to “live curious” via premium factual programming based on their core commitment to exploration, conservation and education. These core values, established when the National Geographic Society formed in 1888, underpin all aspects of the brand today.
MTV, renowned for being the voice of youth, reinvented the face of television, music & branding 30 years ago. They are now older than their target demographic, yet still as relevant as ever. Picture the audience as if they were on a conveyer belt: when they hit 16 years, MTV tunes in to them; when they reach 30, MTV allows them to move on. They do not deliberately target a broad audience in order to garner a larger footprint. This would only jeopardise their relevance and integrity. This is not to say MTV is not an aspirational or inspirational brand beyond the youth audience; it does however indicate they have a core focus and clearly defined position.
Evolution of content, communication and delivery is critical to the continued growth of these brands and the partners that associate with them via events, sponsorship, consumer licensing, new technologies & advertising.
The history of MTV, as just one example, epitomises how through continued evolution, a brand can remain relevant to its audience, in this case youth.
- 1981: The first video “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles airs on MTV
- 1984: The first Music Video Music Awards featured Madonna in a wedding gown singing “Like a Virgin”
- 1990’s: Reality TV was born with The Real World & Road Rules
- 2002: The Osbournes debuts and defines the Reality TV genre
- 2003: Punk’d, Newlyweds and Pimp My Ride further extend reality viewing. Followed by “Scripted Reality” Laguna Beach, The Hills and The City……
- 2009: Cue Jersey Shore……
- 2011: The Video Music Awards set social activation records! 8,868 tweets per second were recorded. Over 10million @MTV #VMA related tweets were sent on the day.
Big broadcast brands that continue to focus on their brand identity & consistently evolve will ensure their growth defies market conditions. Brands that associate themselves with these broadcasters have the luxury and ability to leverage the halo effect of their relevance and cut through with their audiences.