Go Big on Personality Branding

 In Blog

We received positive feedback on my recent article, Updating Your Station Brand, which included ideas like:

  • Promote your star talent at least as much as your music — if not more.
  • Use more personality voices in promos. Audiences like your station voice, but bond with their favorite hosts.
  • Run best-of show promos at least every hour, 24/7.

Thanks for the compliments. Randy and I thought we might dive even deeper on personality branding ideas.

With half of Americans now subscribing to some kind of audio service like Spotify or SiriusXM, FM stations that brand music programming alone face diminishing returns.

Content and personalities matter more today. Go big or go home when it comes to promoting your stars. Here are some guidelines that we’ve been sharing with clients:

  • Characters over contests. I saw a TV commercial recently for a station here in Portland doing a generic cash giveaway — barely mentioned the music format, personalities not mentioned at all. Instead: put talent on-camera in every TV and social media production. 
  • Characters over concerts. Which will fans react to more: “The SirusXM Summer Concert Series”, or The Howard Stern Summer Concert Series? Rename generic station concerts and artist showcases as a party personally thrown by your hosts.
  • Big faces, small logos.  At a Portland Thorns soccer match recently, I saw a billboard for one of the mega radio corporation apps – a huge company logo and some textAudiences bond with people, not platforms. We prefer the approach by The Tonight Show in this billboard for Jimmy Fallon –large Jimmy, tiny NBC logo.
  • Posts from personalities. The highest social media engagement comes from posts where the audience can watch talent goof around in the hallway like this clip from Griff and Caroline of Jack FM Halifax and see faces of the people they love, like The Men’s Room at KISW Seattle.
  • Promote content within a show. In one campaign, KDWB in Minneapolis chose to focus on Dave Ryan’s quest to get Lindsay Lohan on his show instead of generic music position billboards.
  • Client meet-and-greets. Promote your talent to clients with tours of your studios. Coordinate occasional 10-minute hellos over coffee with your personalities. We often underestimate the powerful effect of face-to-face encounters between advertisers and on-air stars.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.