Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Made in Birmingham

Lots of people are very proud of the city they were either born in or live in. Cities have heritage... they have an identity... and have a story to tell. People are quite tribal by nature, and like to associate themselves with a particular clan or group, and are rightly proud of their roots. Cities also tend to have things that they are famous for. For Liverpool, the city I was born in and grew up in, it’s ‘football’ and The Beatles. Not bad.

Becoming part of the ‘fabric of a city’ is something which can only be built up over time. With any luck, a local radio station can also be a part of that fabric... that DNA of a place that makes it so unique, and hopefully a great location to live and work in.

Trading on the heritage of a city and what makes it special, is a theme that Birmingham station ‘BRMB’ in the UK has done with its “Made in Birmingham” positioning and campaign. BRMB launched in February 1974, so I think it’s qualifies as old enough to trade off being a part of the fabric of Birmingham!

They’ve just produced a nice piece of marketing which places the station alongside other famous Birmingham ‘products’ and places the city as ‘the place where great things begin’.

It’s fun, very local, and at a time when much of the UK’s local radio is in an undergoing major heart surgery and slowly being dismantled piece by piece, it’s good to see a station and brand that’s proud to be local.

In a media world where global mega-brands are born, grow up in a matter of years, and sometimes disappear as quickly, it’s reassuringly comforting when a familiar name is around for a little while, hopefully giving the same quality as it did all those years ago. It’s hard for radio brand to trade off its heritage yet convince new listeners “it’s not the old fashioned station your mum used to listen to, but a modern version of it!”

But I think BRMB are managing it. ‘Made in Birmingham’ connects with local listeners, and surely that’s what it’s all about.

1 comment:

Michel @thewirelessblog.com said...

Hi Nik,

It's hard to see where the remaining ILR stations can make a dent in the Heart behemoth tank. If BRMB's recent RAJAR results show, they are on a very slippery slope down.

A suggestion (ill-informed one, granted) could very well lie within an aggressive hot hits/dance format, coupled with its existing sports coverage. Its talk segments in the morning and evening don't work.

Brands today have to be highly-targeted, uniformed and consistent. I cannot see that with BRMB at the moment. As shown with Capital 2008 the local card doesn't work.