Craig Bruce

Anyone for tennis?

 We’re at the business end of the Australian tennis open, I spent most of yesterday on the court with my beloved Donnay wooden racquet, my Dunlop volleys and matching Yonnex shorts and shirt. Someone told me I Iooked like a bald version of Vitas Gerulaitis,(google him kids), I took it as a back handed compliment, with top spin.
One of key messages for young kids learning how to play the game is for them to “come back to the T”- the T being the centre of the court which is where they are most likely to
be in control of the ball.
Mia Freedman talks about this as a metaphor for keeping her Mama Mia brand on track and true to it’s origins.
“When you’re working on a brand – especially an established one – it’s easy to drift away from your “T”, the essence of your brand. And every so often, you need to do a bit of an audit and say, “do we need to come back to the T?”. It’s a more visceral and less sterile way of asking yourself ‘is this on brand?”
When it comes to building brands and developing your unique expression, there’s nothing quite as powerful as the freedom of a tight brief.
I think about the continued success of Kyle and Jackie on Sydney breakfast and the show has at the core of it’s offering a single, focused idea.
“Breakfast with the stars.”
When the the show started we used Kyle and Jack’s love of pop culture as their entry point into the market, remembering that when we launched in 2005 Merrick and Rosso were the dominant FM breakfast show for Sydney’s under 40 audience and was recognised as the funniest show in the market. Kyle and Jackie needed to find their own territory to build from and very quickly became famous for being the show that was focused on talking to, and talking about, celebrities. Every morning we would have 2-3 A grade stars on the show, we had 3 O news updates every morning, our cash benchmark at 7a was the pop quiz. We effectively built a show where the audience was never more than 10 minutes away from hearing us deliver on our core promise of “breakfast with the stars.”
The planning for the show, particularly when it was under competitive attack and we needed to protect our leadership position, always came back to it’s core promise-we would ask these questions, “what are we famous for, what does the audience expect from us, what do we do better than any other show on Sydney radio?”
We always returned to our T.
Sure, we served plenty of double faults, we smashed a few racquets, we abused a few ball boys and Kyle had his moments where he made John McEnroe look like an altar boy, but in a competitive market where winning was about being absolutely clear on the territory you can own, there has been no better example of a consistent brand offering than Kyle and Jackie O.
About Craig Buce:

Craig is the former Head of Content at Southern Cross Austereo. Responsible for getting some of Australia’s best talent on radio, his true passion has always been the development and mentoring of young talent. He now works as a talent coach and radio consultant. Find out more at craigbrucecoaching.com

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