Are Cable Rebrands a Smart Idea?

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What makes some rebrands so successful, and others fall flat?

Consider the following:

  • When NBCU’s USA Network rebranded itself, it turned into a $1.7 billion a year powerhouse.
  • ABC Family’s rebrand made for the network’s most-watched year.
  • Oxygen’s rebrand boosted its numbers 52% and 48% respectively in their top two target demographics.
  • AMC brought in above-average ad revenue immediately after its rebrand.
  • TruTV’s rebrand put it in cable’s Top 10.

One of the clearest paths to getting a rebrand right is continuing to appeal to marketers: If marketers are unclear on which target market the network is most likely to appeal to, they’re not going to have a lot of confidence that their ads will reach the right viewers.

Thankfully, rebrands are usually extremely friendly for niche marketing, since a successful rebrand will be as specific as possible in the kinds of viewers the network is hoping to draw.

Network rebrands often include dropping shows that don’t fit with the new image and aggressively pursuing new talent that exemplifies the brand. That said, one of the most powerful things any network can do is stick with a winning pattern. Instead of jumping on a popular new demographic, networks should only rebrand when it will actually strengthen their underlying base, instead of alienating it.

After all, a strong brand means a consistent target market, and that means confident ad buyers.

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