According to the YouGov Brand Index, the brands whose commercials generate the highest awareness are Geico, McDonald's, Verizon, AT&T, Walmart, Subway, Direct TV, T-Mobile, Progressive, and Walgreens.
If you were one of the 3,543,709 people who tuned-in to a Boston radio station last week, then chances are you heard the ads for these brands. All ten are among the biggest users of radio advertising.
Here's what New England business owners need to know about creating a memorable brand for their own companies using Boston radio stations.
What is Branding
So, what is branding, and why is it necessary for every business owner in New England to be concerned about it?
Seth Godin, was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame for making Yahoo! a household name. He defines banding in these terms: "A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”
For branding to translate into a sale, consumers must be able to recall a brand’s promised benefits at the point of purchase. It makes sense: you don’t buy what you don’t remember.
For decades small business owners have used radio advertising on Boston radio as a potent, yet affordable way, to keep their brands top of mind.
Radio Ads Keep Brands Top Of Mind
Local Ad Recall, a research company that measures the effectiveness of advertising, found that brand recall was five times higher for companies that advertised on radio versus the companies that did not. Consequently, New England small business owners who advertise on Boston radio have a much better chance of being recalled and, therefore, frequented by prospective customers than companies that do not advertise on radio.
Consumer insight company, Nielsen found similar results. Across several different business categories, on average, radio advertising improved recall by 82%. The businesses measured were a health and beauty company; an information technologies company; an auto aftermarket retailer; a motorcycle company; and a mobile app company.
Tips To Create A Memorable Radio Commercial
There is no single formula for creating effective ads for Boston radio stations. What follows, though, are 11 proven guidelines to assist in the creation of an effective radio commercial.
- Start strong… a listener’s attention needs to be engaged within the first 3 or 4 seconds of a commercial.
- Be concise… use only words and sounds that link to the marketing objective. Extraneous words or too many selling points will cause a listener to disengage.
- Be consistent… use the same voices, music, and sounds to establish an audio identity across commercial campaigns. This can trigger instant brand recall.
- Be repetitive… the name of the advertiser should be repeated often to allow for an ebb-and-flow of a listener’s attention.
- Add surprise… a listener’s attention is drawn to the unexpected. This can be achieved by using multiple voices, interesting word choices, avoiding clichés, and changing the speaker’s tones and volume.
- Tell a story… listeners are hardwired to emotionally respond to features and benefits when presented in story-form rather than as a list. The advertiser should be the hero of the story.
- Write for the ear… radio commercials should sound like the way we speak, not the way we write. Humans don’t apply the same set of rules to speech that they do to written communication. When speaking, we often use broken sentences, non-sequiturs, and awkward phrasing. A listener’s attention is more likely to be drawn to this type of natural speech.
- Talk… listeners prefer to be “talked with” not “announced at”. Stereotypical radio voices should be replaced with the same tones and manner used to talk with friends.
- Use humor cautiously… humor is a good way to command attention but can be difficult to execute well. Be certain that the humor in a radio commercial will resonate positively with the target consumer.
- Finish strong… not every listener will engage with a commercial at the same time. So, it is critical to finish by reinforcing the key points presented throughout. This includes restating the advertiser name and the key marketing message.
- Expand… there is no reason an advertising campaign can’t use multiple commercials. In fact, it is encouraged as long as the first ten guidelines on this list are adhered to…especially #3.
Effective Commercials On Boston Radio Stations
"Advertising has been part of our continued growth over the past 25 plus years," says Steven Kaitz. "Boston radio is, by far, the largest part of what we do. It allows us to reach both builders and homeowners."
Mr. Kaitz is the Co-CEO of National Lumber, along with his sister Margie Kaitz Seligman. The company, founded with a single lumber yard in 1934, now has 36 locations throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
"I knew if we invested in our advertising, we could increase our credibility among local home builders," he says. "Our goal was to be perceived as big enough to supply the biggest construction projects while offering competitive pricing."
As a result of the advertising, Mr. Kaitz discovered that the National Lumber sales reps began to have an easier time making appointments with new customers.
"We are now the largest independent lumber business in New England," he says.
Mr. Kaitz believes other small business owners can benefit greatly from advertising, as well.
"If you are going to build a business, you must advertise," he says. "I've seen this with Jordan's Furniture, and I've seen it with GEICO."
National Lumber devotes the bulk of its dollars to advertising on Boston radio.
"Builders listen to the radio, and homeowners listen to the radio. We can create commercials that make our local business sound as big as Home Depot."
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