Reigniting The Passion

By Peter Don, BPR

It’s summer and its holiday time in the Southern Hemisphere – radio stations mostly have their backup teams in place as the main presenters, often the ‘face’ of their station take a well-earned break.

But what does this say to consumers who may still be in a more normal work and listening environment? Their favourite radio station is on auto-pilot?

In many cases these front-line personalities are the main focus of the relationship between listeners and the station – you need to be able to answer the question, ‘what does the brand stand for when the ‘A’ team is away?’

Successful radio stations fulfil three essential requirements:

  • They have clear brand attributes – consumers know and understand what they stand for
  • They are acquisitive – they attract listening beyond a narrow music or interest group
  • They ‘bestow status’ – people like it and want to be associated with it.


The new media reality is that radio is now just one of many media choices available for consumers, the choice is often not just about which radio station but it is often about which audio source listeners might choose – music on Spotify, stories on Podcasts etc.

At one level Radio competes with Big Tech as a ‘brand choice’ among many others yet at another it’s an intensely personal choice – radio is the one medium that can establish a personal relationship with its listeners yet it seems to be in danger of giving up the very thing that makes it special.

Radio still needs to provide primary motivation for listeners to continue to listen and to build a strong relationship between brand and listeners. It needs to identify that link and rekindle the passion.

Ask yourself, do your listeners care about your station? Do they care enough to want to be involved in something that your station does?  An event, a fundraiser or other activity?

As brand marketing disappears – has visibility for your brand been replaced by short term contest ‘noise’ or a set of faces on a billboard that no-one recognises?

To survive and thrive radio and individual radio stations need to re-focus on the key elements that make it an essential part of people’s lives, the things that make it special.

Take care of that relationship, once its lost it may be impossible to replace it.


Brand passion: a type of consumer–brand relationship whereby consumers exhibit high levels of enthusiasm and desire and is considered the core of the emotional connection between brands and consumers.



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