New logo + new identity = more viewers for channels?

Quite a few channels have undergone rebranding in the last few months. The makeovers range from more zany looking logos to a total content revamp. While all chase a wider and younger set of audience, to what extent do these rebranding exercises work out for channels? exchange4media finds out.

e4m by Khushboo Tanna
Updated: May 25, 2010 8:20 AM
New logo + new identity = more viewers for channels?

A channel’s identity is shaped by many things – the shows, the overall content and the way the channel positions itself. Recently, quite a few channels have undergone rebranding of sorts.

Late last year, MTV dropped ‘Music Television’ from its name, which led to the channel upping its non-music content.

Similarly, Channel [v] changed its tagline to’ Bloody Cool’, reinforcing the channel’s plans to offer much more than music. This was followed by the launch of a spate of youth-related shows.

This rebranding/ repositioning is not limited to music and entertainment channels alone. Sahara Samay, the Hindi news channel from Sahara India Pariwar, also went in for a more youthful makeover early this year. While no official confirmation could be obtained from the authorities, sources close to the development said that the Star Group was undergoing a makeover and its channels would soon sport a new look and feel.

Which leads us to the question whether rebranding actually helps a channel connect with its target audience. Prem Kamath, General Manager, Channel [v] India, noted, “Unless the rebranding is clubbed with new programming or new content, it will not make a lot of difference. Channel [v] has seen a rise in viewership numbers after the rebranding exercise.” This view is echoed by almost everyone. Agreeing with this, Sanjoy Chakrabarty, CEO, Last Minute Inventory, said that along with a channel’s new look, it was essential to have some sort of content change as well.

Shyam Rajagopalan, Core Management Group, Samay Mumbai, said that while just a visual identity change in the channel might draw initial viewer interest, the interest would fade away as the content would be the same. Citing the example of his own channel’s rebranding, Rajagopalan said, “Since it is a news channel, the rebranding exercise was a bit more difficult. The channel decided to have soft features programmes and introduced some new shows that were Mumbai centric. From a news channel we have become an infotainment channel.”

T Gangadhar, Managing Director, Mediaedge:cia India, noted, “While only a logo change might not get the channel more viewers, hardcore viewers might take notice of the changed look of the channel.”

Another question that crops up is how these channels measure whether there has been any change in the viewership numbers after the rebranding. According to Rajagopalan, “While the numbers from TAM do matter, Samay Mumbai did a dipstick research before and after the rebranding as well and this research gave them an instant audience feedback.”

Agreeing with him, Kamath said, “The measure of success is how well those shows do after the rebranding. Channel [v] had done qualitative research as they wanted to see how it was perceived by the viewers before and after the rebranding.”

However, there is no trend to point out which genres of channels will do better with rebranding. However, planners say that the rebranding scope of GECs is a little limited as eventually they will have the same set of content on their channel, which will include a mix of daily soaps, movies and reality shows.

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