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Posts Tagged ‘DJ Virgin’

djvirgin

I am excited, I got the answer I am looking for.

I wrote about the impending flip of a Vancouver radio station from Crave to the British mega brand Virgin.  And I wondered, “why?”

John  answered the call in the comment section and made many good points about how no one cares about Crave but how they might care about Virgin because it is such a dynamic brand.  He recommended the book “The Power of Cult Branding: How 9 Magnetic Brands Turned Customers into Cult Followers.”

Um, well according to the book’s synopsis it says nothing about painting another corporations brand on your product.  It seems to me the book will tell me 9 ways to:

1) Create a good product that people want or need
2) Passionately grind away for many years delivering on the promise

My favourite part of John’s comment was this:

“Comparing Telus and Virgin are like comparing White Spot and McDonalds. One has only local recognition; the other has an international brand with recognition in just about any country in the world.”

Right.  Now, lets pretend I live 60 km to the west.  And there are two restaurants side-by-side.  One is McDonalds and one is White Spot.  Where do I eat?

John is right, Virgin is the McDonalds.  I do eat there sometimes, but I am not passionate about it.  I don’t follow it like a cult.

But I do have some homework.  My next book after Seth Godin’s “Tribes” will be the book that will sell me on the mega brand.  And who knows, maybe when I am done reading it, I will be DJ Virgin, the mega DJ!

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“And in an age of leverage, in an age where smarts and style were beating machines every time, doing what your boss said wasn’t so enticing.” – from Seth Godin’s “Tribes.”

I am hammering through ultra blogger Seth Godin’s Tribes right now.  At first I didn’t like the book too much.  Seth has a spastic style (like a blog) which is rad on the internet, not so good in a book.  But I am getting into the style now and the book has lots of great ideas.  It has a real RAGE against the machine vibe.

Basically Seth says what many of us believe to be true, we all long for the human touch.  I think it is funny that Seth writes all his blog posts for free, his book(s) is not very expensive and the man has an impressive resume of success, yet I look around my own industry and can’t understand some decisions made by the powers that be.

I am not sure when I realized I am not a very good broadcaster, but I have come to terms with the reality that I will not be a top-tier entertainer.  I am fine with that (sorta), I can deal.  I have a good job and have achieved about as much as I could have hoped for as a traditional broadcaster.  I look at my resume and go, “well, its alright.”

But then I see things go down in my industry and I scratch my head and then think, “why not me?  Why can’t I be the CEO of a multi-million dollar broadcasting company?”

I have been following the excitement of a new re-branded radio station in Vancouver that will be called inVirgin.  I am not sure about you, but when I hear the word “Virgin” I think of me, circa… pretty much most my life.  Not “cool.”  I read a lot, like a LOT marketing, broadcasting and social non-fiction and none of it would point towards the value in this re-brand.  Maybe that is what separates the powers that be from me… they have access to insight that I do not.

The crux is this.  Zed 95 was a powerful pop station in the 90s.  They abdicated their authority as a taste maker in Vancouver because they got lazy.  They tried to regain that traction by changing the station to Crave and despite some gains, have decided to abandon that branding for a generic British mega-brand that is used in Canada to sell cell phones.  Its like Telus buying a radio station and calling it Telus, actually it is more like Telus charging the Zone money to change the name of the Zone to Telus.  Kinda dumb.

Then to further erode any connection to the community of Vancouver, Ryan Seacrest is brought in to host his American Idolesque pablum and on the weekends a British Top 40 countdown program.  Why would anyone choose this station over the Beat?

Maybe because you don’t like talk in the morning?  Nope, Virgin will still have a man/woman gab and fake laugh festival every morning.

Because you are tired of the repetitive top 40 music?  Nope, Virgin will be hammering away at today’s top hits (except out of the UK).

Seth says it in his book… when you try to lead everyone, you lead no one.  That axiom has been around a long time.  This isn’t  a new thought process, so my question is: what is the benefit to 95.3 and the community?

I would think, at the very least… copy the Beat playbook.  Pull an end-around on the Beat and start talking to that base of passionate music fans that truely love dance and pop music culture.  Just like the Beat when they signed on.  Love them, super serve them, be unique.  And when the time is right, and you’ve put the Beat in the box (like the Beat to Zed) you can flip and take a run at top 40 success (knowing that the cycle will repeat).

I must be missing the knowledge, or the point.

There must be a marketing guru that I have yet to discover that says, “generic mega branding sets your product apart.”  There must be research that supports, “Vancouverites demand blander music from commercial radio!”

People tend to gravitate to ideas that reflect their own world view.  Perhaps I read marketing literature from commentators that value my values?  I would love to read the book or the blog that advocates Virgin style branding for not only radio stations in Canada and around the world, but for cola, cell phones, airlines.  I want to expand my knowledge and learn.  I want to be a GREAT broadcaster.  Maybe that is the x-factor that I am missing… maybe I need a new brand in 2009… maybe I need to be DJ Virgin @ 91-3.

djvirgin

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