Bloomberg TV - What's in a name?
What's in a name? A name hardly makes a difference if you were to think of an answer instantly. But if some are to be believed, a name says it all and it really makes a big difference. More so in the world of business and brands, name is all that matters. A strong name of a strong brand spells success which may last for years to come or maybe even centuries. History has proven that a strong name makes a company go places, be it Coca Cola or Citi. In fact Warren Buffet the world’s richest investor known for picking up multi-bagger stocks says that a strong brand like Coca Cola ensures an endless stream of cash flows for years and years together.
So what happens when a brand which has not worked well in the past in achieving its business objectives adopts a name that reflects its business reality? Will it work wonders in the medium to long-term? It remains to be seen. As for the case in point, Bloomberg UTV becomes Bloomberg TV effective from August 13, 2012.
In a statement to the media , Sriram Kilambi, President, Bloomberg TV India said, "The objective is to position the channel as an organic extension of Bloomberg, the world's largest financial news network and to establish Bloomberg TV India as distinctly different from competitive alternatives. Whilst all business channels subscribe to the Bloomberg terminal for information, the terminal for us is our raison d’être. Bloomberg TV India is therefore about accurate, incisive, quick and actionable knowledge, straight from the source. Hence, the messaging “The Original Source”.
Adds Vivek Law, Editor, Bloomberg TV India, “We will continue to mirror the highest standards of business journalism which the Bloomberg brand has established globally. We are indeed proud to be a part of the news gathering heritage and will bring to our viewers business news the way the world knows it”
Research reveals that the viewer is interested to know how a TV channel is fundamentally different from others, rather than the run of the mill differentiators claimed by the genre. The brand promise is the fundamental difference which will reflect in reportage between Bloomberg TV India and other business channels. In a category synonymous with a high degree of sameness, while being consistent with the global Bloomberg image and identity, Bloomberg TV India will differentiate the brand in the Indian context.
Bloomberg TV India recently unleashed a campaign to communicate the new positioning as “THE ORIGINAL SOURCE” where the creative substantiate the same with a distinct tone and brings it alive with a unique personality. The functional take away revolves around incisive information, useful knowledge and actionable wisdom. The emotional take away is intelligence for the intelligent.
It is also planning new programming to boost viewership. The business channel in association with Sobo Films has recently announced the launch of The Outsider - a mega debate series to be hosted by Tim Sebastian, the founder and host of the world famous “The Doha Debates” and& the first host of BBC’s flagship international interview programme, “ Hardtalk”. The new series will feature debates on some of the major social, political and economic issues faced by India including subjects like Education, Kashmir, relationship between Business and Corruption, Dynastic Politics, to name a few.
While on one hand the attempt to catch up with the competitors is a commendable attempt, the questions in the minds of most advertisers and media planners is will the name change make a positive difference to viewership and eventually in their scheme of planning? Will they give priority to Bloomberg TV?
Adgully spoke to a host of industry bigwigs and the opinions were mixed largely skeptical.
Said Sudha Natrajan- Founder TMC, “At the time of launch there was a big distribution drive and their international equity brought in some evolved audiences. They lost their initial momentum in a while and dwindled on both eyeballs and revenues. And if that happens, there are enough well established channels for them to compete with. Times are tough. It is not going to be easy for them to breakthrough.”
According to Sulina Menon, Executive Director, Starcom India, “The focus is on building traction and pull towards the channel by emphasizing on the fact that its brand Bloomberg which has in its bouquet some great content which the viewer can get to watch. Although given the fact that the genre itself is shrinking it will be a challenge to get eyeballs and build traction. The channel will be able to create enough curiosity around it in the process of re-crafting their brand identity and strategy. Overnight clients may not park their monies, they have to pass the acid test of how many eyeballs they are able to garner and slowly shift will happen. Since the viewer has plethora of option so appointment viewing in this genre is hard to come by. With digitizatioin around the corner it will be a tough market. All in all the name Bloomberg evokes trust and makes the viewer anticipate more. Once the channel is able to get enough eyeballs more brands may show interest.”
Janardan Pandey, Associate Vice President, DDB Mudra , “The mere name change of any TV channel will not have any bearing on the viewer ship hence any enhanced consideration from advertisers unless the content too is realigned to the brand renaming or re-positioning and channel is able to capture fair level of increased eyeballs. As UTV is perceived here as youth entertainment and movie channel broadcaster, that may have been interfering with the brand positioning of the business news channel. I feel that the removal of UTV tag will make it more specifically aligned with globally acclaimed Bloomberg TV brand value and equity. However the same needs to be well established via truly India relevant world class content and audience engagement.”
Even a cross section of marketers that Adgully spoke to were of similar opinion, Said one on condition of anonymity, we will wait and watch the difference in programming, the richness of content that is normally associated with the Bloomberg brand globally and the growth in viewership before we take a positive call”.
So that in effect sums up the hard path that Bloomberg TV has to follow in building a loyal viewership. If it is able to generate viewer’s interest and pull and retain them, then the road is relatively smooth else, “what’s in a name” will stand proven once again.
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