The radio jockey (RJ) is the face of a radio station. How important is an RJ when it comes to building the brand itself?
Ramanujam Sridhar, CEO, Integrated Brand-Comm
The RJ is promoting her personal brand, even as she performs and is building a relationship with listeners. While this works for the station, it can easily turn negative when the RJ leaves, taking her brand and her listeners with her.
Radio stations can learn from hospitals. While some of them have high-profile doctors, it does not make sense to promote one or two. The trick is to focus on the total following and management bandwidth. Radio stations must constantly promote alternates and not put all their eggs in one RJ's basket.
Nisha Narayanan, Sr VP, Projects and Programming, Red FM
RJs initiate conversations between the brand and listeners, knitting them together in a tight bond.
Multiple elements contribute to building a strong radio brand, but programming lies at the heart of it. Without a differentiated on-air product, chances are that a radio station will be nothing more than a jukebox.
At Red, campaigns have been spearheaded by RJs, be it Malishka in Mumbai, Nitin in Delhi or Vineet in Kolkata.
Prashant Panday, CEO, Radio Mirchi
However, there are other things that determine a brand's image. Positioning is one. For instance, Mirchi is a sunshine channel. It cheers you up even when you are feeling low. In a blind test, a listener is able to identify Mirchi from the sound of its packaging. The positioning and packaging also help define a brand's image.
There must a fit between the RJ and the brand. If the fit isn't there, the brand will tank. This is the reason why almost all successful Mirchi RJs who have been poached by others have failed in their new channels. This is also why Mirchi does not ever hire from competition.
Harrish M Bhatia, CEO, MY FM
Secondly, the differentiated content that is appealing and engaging. MY FM's content offering is well differentiated with exclusive and dedicated shows. Thirdly, the unique initiatives taken by the brand that keeps it ahead of competition. The most recent initiative of MY FM is the launch of Ramayana across all its stations.
The emotional connect and imagery that is built between the station and its stakeholders is an outcome of these factors. It is the brand that makes the RJ famous and not vice versa. It is the concept that sells and not who puts forth the concept.