Radio Lessons #75 – Ducati

Ducati wasn’t always a motorcycle company.

Hard to believe given they are now one of the world’s most elite and ubiquitous brands in the go-fast-on-two-wheels business.

It was 1926 when Mr. Ducati and he three songs founded Societa Scientifica Radio Bevetti Ducati in Bologna – a family business that made condensers, vacuum tubes and other parts for radios. Yes radios! The Ducati family were friends with another guy named Marconi and believed his invention would transform the world. (Lucky for us it did!)

Italy, siding with Hitler at the start of World War 2, made the Ducati Radio factory a target for the Allies and it was turned to rubble in 1944. As the family rebuilt, they looked for other opportunities and teamed with the Farinelli family who were busily developing engines for bicycles. By 1950, the ‘Cucciolo’ had rolled off the factory floor 200,000 times and the Ducati motorcycle brand was born.

You don’t have to be what you’ve always been.

Audience needs change, trends come and go, formats come in and out of favour and personalities ebb and flow in their appeal. Change is the only constant in today’s fast paced media world and we have to pivot, evolve, freshen constantly to remain relevant to our audience.

It’s easy to say – harder to do. Change is scary. You risk the status quo, you gamble the bird in the hand; but you cannot truly grow without it. It has to be decisive and measured and it has to be audience focused but it has to be done.

Ducati would not be the brand they are today if they still made radio vacuum tubes. Find the opportunity to grow your show or your station; put your helmet on, and go!

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