Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Selling a renewed EastEnders brand Less Albert Square more Canada Square

Dominic Treadwell-Collins, BBC TV  EastEnders' executive producer, wants Albert Square to look like a real-life east London neighbourhood in 2014. ( I am not sure it ever was that!)

"It should feel more like London. It's been frozen in aspic for too long," Treadwell-Collins told the  Radio Times.

(As an EastEnders  fan, I am not sure one does freeze something in aspic , I think you ‘set’ something in aspic but maybe there has been a new product placement deal from the likes of Dr Oetker or Knorr  with a new frozen aspic product that I have missed.)
Will there be a City trader 'gentrifying' Albert Square ? 

Sadly the BBC no longer sets out to educate ( using conventional use of metaphor ) or inform so much nowadays but  just concentrates on entertaining.

 "Sharon said recently that she's looking to be a landlady and as a result you'll see the edges of Shoreditch creeping into EastEnders. It's got to reflect the modern world."

EastEnders fans are still getting used to the arrival of hard guy Danny Dyer as the Queen Vic's landlord, cast against stereotype as a modern dad at ease with his son's homosexuality, had better prepare for some more upheaval.

The BBC plans to refresh the long-running soap out of its 1980s feel to reflect more closely the 21st-century reality of 'gentrified' east London, even promising to introduce "the edges of Shoreditch" to the show.

Research in refreshing the brand

Last week the EastEnders writing team visited the Hackney square used as the inspiration for the show's location when it began in 1985, at the start of a four-day story conference to thrash out plots for the next three months.

The Beeb do know a thing about branding  and re-branding  remember how they refreshed Dr. Who. 

A brand is a name or symbol which is used to identify the products of a specific firm.  Brands give products or services an identity or "personality". 

One of the challenges  for EastEnders will be to update the soap but not lose its personality.

Strong Brand names can also enhance the image of the parent company and enhance the image of the parent company and enhance consumer acceptance of new products introduced under the same name.

The brand name provides implicit assurance that the quality will remain unchanged over time.  Brands make buying decisions easier for customers and viewing public (TV  licence payers). 

They ensure that buyers can repeat orders of products they prefer - evidence of BRAND LOYALTY or fan base..
Will anyone  from  'sarf' of the river  or  Canary Wharf visit Albert Square ? ( Photo taken from Greenwich Canary Wharf in centre background)

Brand images also help to differentiate competitors.  Consequently, price comparisons become less critical in consumers decisions and other differences enter into the evaluation process. Eastenders constantly has to compete with 'the Street', Emmerdale  etc.

Consumers also feel more secure and confident with a familiar brand.  Distinctive brands can provide the centrepiece around which marketing strategies are developed.

What makes a good Brand name?  East Enders like Ronsil does what it says on the tin.

In general the characteristics are the following:

·         It should suggest something about the products/services benefits.

·         It should be short and simple.

·         It should be easy to spell, read and pronounce.

·         Pleasant sounding.( Maybe not for gritty EastEnders)

·         Distinctive and memorable.

·         Suitable for new product versions or enhancements which may be added to the product range later.

·         Legally available (copyright and patents).

Five Levels of Brand Familiarity

·         Brand Insistence - consumers are absolutely loyal and will accept no substitutes.

·         Brand Preference - target customers will usually choose one specific brand over others.

·         Brand Recognition - exists when consumers remember the Brand name.

·         Brand Non-Recognition - consumers do not recall the Brand name.

·         Brand Rejection - consumers recognise, but refuse to buy specific brand.

·         Some Types of Brand are classified  according to Origin
  •          Manufacturers/National Brands.
  •         Dealer/Private Brands usually created by Intermediaries such as retailers.
  •       Family Brand - same brand used for different products e.g.:  Distribution labels - or own label.
  •      Individual Brand - usually assigned to each product when there exists significant variation in product type and quality.
  •         Licensed Brand - a well established brand name which other sellers pay to use.  This allows the seller the advantage of existing brand recognition and preferences.

I hope they pull off the re-branding of EastEnders and not make it too  WestEnders ! 
 ( Other "soaps" are available)

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