Wanting The Best

Better’s not good enough today.

Tom Asacker’s a really smart branding guy. I’d recommend you read every one of his books. In fact, I have.

Several months ago he blogged about getting beyond “better.”

“Better” is just a notch on a long continuum. There’s not enough separation between your “better” and the other station’s “better.”

And separation — differentiation — is more important now than ever.

Apple has succeeded not because it tried to be “better” than Microsoft, not because it tried to have a “better” MP3 player than Sony, and not because it tried to make a “better” retail store than Best Buy.

Apple succeeded by becoming The Best, by completely separating their products, their brand, from all others.

Everything about Apple was intentionally created to increase that separation, to add value to the experience of using one of their products, to add meaning and value to the lives of those who use their products.

As PPM is making increasingly clear, the difference between your top-rated daypart and #2-#10 isn’t a very big gap, certainly not big enough to command the rate you need to hit your budget numbers.

The only place you’ll be able to do that is “The Best.”

The good news is the number of radio stations working to be “The Best” is at an all-time low, worldwide. That’s an opportunity to be exploited or an excuse to carry on, blinkers and ear plugs in place.

Being “The Best” radio station in your town means providing more and more of what your listeners and clients desire and ruthlessly excising everything else.

Let’s be honest: You’re not going to do that, are you? That’s why Pandora and Spotify are growing.

So, enough with the mission statements and placards and convention speeches. We’re not buying it.

And neither are the listeners and clients.

Oh, they’re still listening, and they’re still buying, but everyone knows what’s coming, everyone sees how wide open we’ve left the door, and Pandora and Spotify will not be the only ones walking through.

’cause while you’re reading this, someone, somewhere is dreaming of The Best “radio” station anyone’s ever heard…