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Monday, 24 March 2014

Rebranding can sometimes work magic for your business

You probably noticed the aggressive media campaign for the newly rebranded radio station, KIIS FM from 106.5 MIX FM, back in the December – January period. Promotional material ranging from posters slapped on bus stops, YouTube videos, TV advertising and media announcements of Kyle and Jackie-O’s poaching from 2DAY FM built up sufficient hype for the newly rebranded station’s launch on the 20 of January 2014.


A few months down the line, how did the rebranding go? Well, the results were in recently as the commercial radio station announced that it's breakfast show featuring the infamous Kyle and Jackie-O was tied in equal place with WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda. That’s not all: the audience share for KIIS has jumped 3.3 per cent since the rebranding from MIX FM, giving it a grand total of 9.3 per cent of audience share and making it the second most popular commercial station behind 2GB, and the most popular FM commercial station with an overall audience share of 8.4 per cent. How is 2DAY FM faring? In overall audience share, 2DAY FM has the lowest audience share of all commercial FM stations with a measly 4 per cent. To make matters worse, its breakfast show, which was shown as being in top position in previous radio ratings, has sunk to the bottom of pack.

What made the rebranding so successful?

Funnily enough it was the pair, Kyle and Jackie-O, who were the driving force behind the success of KIIS. Their fan base, which approximately made up 60% 2DAY FM’s listeners, directly followed them across to KIIS. 242,000 listeners were estimated to have made the switch, showing Sydney that despite the controversy of the hosts regarding Kyle Sandiland's behaviour, they still have a massive loyal audience base.

Another success factor was that MIX 106.5, as a smaller station, shared a greater proportion of listeners with 2DAY FM than 2DAY FM did with it. Once elements that people enjoyed about 2DAY FM moved to the new MIX, there was really no reason for the previously split audience to flick back across to 2DAY FM. MIX was already positioned to the 25 to 54 demographic, and their rebranding was done with the intention of capturing and holding more of this target demographic.

This successful example of rebranding has shown that if you strategically identify what your brand is lacking, and go out with the idea of filling this gap, you can achieve great results. MIX FM knew its current demographic; they knew that Kyle and Jackie-O had an active fan base; and they made a gamble as to whether 2DAY FM’s listeners would make the switch to continue listening to their favourite radio show hosts and it definitely paid off. Their efforts to promote the rebranding and showcase their newly poached radio show hosts also shows a well-executed marketing plan of attack that we all, as aspiring marketers, can learn from to apply to new and existing brands that we encounter.

Kori Bassi
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at The University of Sydney Business School

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