Are You Ruining Your Brand?

A brand is a delicate thing. Mistreat it and you risk losing everything.

As a radio consultant who does websites for radio stations, I often find a severe disconnect between what goes on during the broadcast day and what happens on the website.

Take a promotion, for example. It’s not uncommon for the on-air promos to say something like, “For details, visit” And then when you go to the website to get further details, you can’t find them. They are either not there at all, or buried so deeply that you might as well be looking for buried treasure.

Even if a station is conscientious about prominently posting promotional details, what goes on the website is often different from what goes on the radio. Which is why, if I am charged with the responsibility of porting a promotion to a station’s website, I want to see the scripts used for the on-air promos, so that the words and phrases used in those promos will be echoed on the website. That way, the message is strongly reinforced, rather than weakened by what appears to be an entirely different contest.

But what really baffles me is the diffidence I encounter about making sure that the station branding is the same across all platforms—meaning what goes on the radio, what appears on the website, and what appears in advertising, signage, presentation materials, and so forth.

Let’s start with the visual: Presumably the station has a graphic logo which is used on stationery, advertising, banners, building signs, and so on. That graphic logo should be identical no matter where it is used – the same colors, the same proportions, the same wording, the same typeface.

And then there’s the aural: If the station is known as “Rock 109” on the air, then it should be known as “Rock 109” on the website—not “WXXX,” “WXXX The Rock,” or any other variant.

If you are consistent in your branding—using exactly the same words, phrases, logo, colors, shapes, etc. on all platforms—everything you do contributes to building a consistent brand, and that brand becomes more solid and definable over time. Think of every connection to every platform as a big plus sign.

On the other hand, if you are not consistent, you should think of every use in every platform as a big minus sign, subtracting and detracting from your brand-building efforts.

This is one of those cases where doing it right doesn’t take any more time and effort than doing it wrong. You just have to pay attention to the details.