CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 17: Bottles of Coca-Cola soda are offered for sale at a grocery store on April 17, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Coca-Cola Co. reported an 8 percent increase in net income for the first quarter of 2012 with global volume growth of 5%. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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At Townsquare Media we have five radio stations. Each of those stations has a brand manager. The brand manager’s job is to convert the radio station from, “That station Limbaugh’s on,” to “AM 1450, the station Limbaugh’s on.”

Tide is a brand name. McDonald’s is a brand name. So how exactly do you become the McDonald’s of your industry? Here are some tips to get you started.

A History Lesson

The first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean was … drum roll please — Yes, Charles Lindbergh. The second person was … Bert Hinkler. I am going to take a wild guess that you never heard of Bert.

So if you didn’t know the second person is there any hope you would know the third? Chances are you do — Amelia Earhart.

The reason you know Amelia, and not Bert, is due to something called positioning. You know Amelia, not because she was the third person to fly solo across the Atlantic — you know her because she was the “First Woman.”

Positioning separates you from your competitors into a class by yourself.

Ways To Build Your Brand Name

  1. Be Who You Are All The Time – XL Country plays the best country music in South Central Montana. I know I’m not going to be treated to “Opera Hour” sometime in the middle of the day. Each station has a format and that format builds the brand and builds it consistently.
  2. Concentrate – Strong brands concentrate on the customer. It’s not the features of the products that are important to customers. It’s what the product will do for the customer. I don’t buy a CD to put it on my mantle and show it off. No, I listen to it.
  3. Deliver – There are 16 stations in the Bozeman/Belgrade/Livingston listening area. There are a lot of choices. Radio stations like small business must deliver products and services that keep customers coming back day after day, week after week, and year after year. Every day you have the opportunity to gain or lose a customer.

Brand Objectives

What do you want to achieve in the long run? Most people would say more customers. Can you handle more customers?

In radio we only have a certain amount of commercial time we can sell each day. If we were 24 hours of commercials no one would listen.

So we have to make sure that the time that we do sell not only benefit our advertising customers but also produces enough revenue to keep our stations on the air.

It’s the same with your small business. We have an inventory of time. You have an inventory of products or services. There has to be a balance of service and revenue that works yet still allows for growing the business and building the brand.

Some Final Thoughts

Think of the brands you know. How did you hear about them? Why did you stay with some brands and discard others?

Knowing your customer. Their wants, and needs, and what they expect from you and your business. When you know those things building the brand name is easy. Give ‘em what they crave.

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