Your Station’s Look & Sound: The Need for Fresh Eyes & Ears

It used to be that radio station logos weren’t really very important. Owners and managers would worry about the costs of new stationery and business cards and getting the van repainted compared to the relatively few visual impressions stations made with listeners. So, lots of logos got stuck in the color schemes and preferred fonts of prior eras. We recall a focus group participant a just few years back remarking about an antiquated station logo, “Tell them the 80’s called – they want their logo back!”

Considering all the online exposure they get now, the look of station logos has become very important. Between Social Media and elsewhere online, station logos are vital expressions of branding. Do your logos convey the right look and feel for target listeners in 2019 or are they stuck in a prior era? Compare them to other consumer brands your listeners use as a starting point.

Years ago we talked a large group owner into letting us get reactions to station logos from target listeners. It’s very easy to do with our online interviewing platform at NuVoodoo. In that research we found lots of color schemes and fonts that had grown apart from the tastes of the target audience. Some of the logos the owner thought were okay (they were believed to be “retro”) turned out to be seen as nothing but antiquated; worst of all, they positioned the stations as old and tired.

Along a similar line, when was the last time you got listener reaction to your promos and positioning pieces? The caricatures of station promos that show up in TV shows and movies can be too close to home in many cases. Do your pieces convey the feel that will resonate with your listeners, make them smile and deepen their connection with your brand?

Listeners probably will forget the content of most of your positioning and promo messages. The number of songs in a row or mix of eras or variety width will be flushed away … as they’re trying to remember to pick up a roll of paper towels on the way home or whether they paid the electric bill. What’s most likely to stay with listeners is how they feel about your messages. Do those messages relate to them? Do they connect with their lives? Do they make them happy or hopeful or inspired – even if only for a moment?

With fewer people wearing more hats at most stations, it’s easy to allow promos and positioning to fall into ruts. Sequences and styles become predictable. The more they sound the same as they did last year, the easier it is for listeners to ignore them. It’s critical to take stock of what’s become audio wallpaper on your station – and across your competitors. When everyone is airing multi-track production, an unproduced voice stands out by contrast.

At NuVoodoo, we believe that data-driven decisions are better decisions. We’re always glad to work to find ways to get actionable listener feedback on issues – including logos and audio production.