Sunday, June 03, 2007

Brand Management

A nifty blog called "Websnark" had a great discussion of "brand management" recently. Just yesterday I had cause to reflect on this. I was visiting Minneapolis and my rental car happened to have Sirius satellite radio. I was getting my weekly WWDTM fix and during the "commercial" break Sirius ran a promo for the Sirius "Patriot" Channel, which is their conservative talk channel. And this was your typical "We're here to stop liberals from destroying America" promo. Literally, I think the promo guy actually said that once.

Now I'm not going to lie politics skew pretty liberal/progressive. So yeah, I don't like conservative talk - it's typically ultra-right wing. It gets my blood pressure rising quite a bit, but what really got my goat in this case was that I was hearing on the NPR Now channel on Sirius!! This is, by any definition, a massive failure of brand management!

While I, and many others, think the "ultra left wing" label that NPR often gets slapped with is, to put it mildly, rather undeserved. It's far more centrist these days, with perhaps some liberal/leftist leanings. So most of its listeners are probably not going to be conservative talk radio fans, so why the heck was Sirius running "Patriot" promos on the NPR channel?

It's certainly not going to "broaden their listening horizons" best it's going to make them wonder what the heck is going on. At worst they'll shut their radios off. While that might not matter too much to Sirius since subscribers pay whether the radio's on or should matter to NPR. Contract or no contract, it looks bad for NPR to have this exact-opposite programming popping up in the middle of their flagship entertainment program.

To paraphrase Websnark: bad promo manager! No donut!

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