Claiming the Category

Failing fast and learning from it is not the common attitude most marketers can display. The pacing is slow and everything has to be perfect in one single go. The stakes are high, from budgets even to jobs. I do not believe we can change this in the short term. So there is still room to learn from other marketers mistakes. From mine for example and trust me, I made some. For a start of this series, here is an easy one.

Not too long ago we decided to join two media brand extentions, one for TV and one for Radio, in a ‘one brand strategy’. No longer could TV or Radio be prominent next to the brand, consumers should conclude who was the sender from the context of the ads. The mother brand was far more important – justly, also considering planned extentions to new platforms.

For Radio we did a TV / OOH campaign for the Top 1000 to attract more listeners in November when the mother of all listst was broadcasted. Great campaign, really impressive art work, very distinctive even triggering Gene Simons to respond to it from the US in a most friendly and supportive tweet.


‘Make your brand a verb’


Media was deployed very strategicly and extensively. Competition was not fiercer than years before. The popularity of the Top 1000 was at an all time high. Still the number of additional listeners in November turned out to be disapointing. So what went wrong?

The only difference was that we upgraded to the ‘one brand strategy’ and – as planned – mentioned ‘listen now’ in the call to action as a contextual clue to Radio.

Doing exactly that turned out to be a crucial short coming of the campaign. The ‘one brand’ became TV dominated by nature, it was known predominantly for it’s TV channel (far larger audience) and we simply forgot to claim the Radio category more explicitly. Claiming the category, we think, would have helped us to attract the same large audience as in years before while now in all confusion people probably were wondering when the program would be aired on TV.

We – and nor should you – will never underestimate the power of claiming the category again. You may try even harder and make your brand a verb. I am Netflixing tonight and hope to see you soon.