The TV landscape is changing, no longer defined and differentiated by its broadcast platform, as other content providers crossover into multi-platform models forcing TV to reposition itself in this crowded context. The Berries interviewed Sally Rawlings, Head of Production – Design & Brand Identity at Red Bee Creative, a 20+ years TV professional with special focus on branding and on-air promotions.
BB: TV is no longer defined and differentiated by its broadcast platforms as the global TV broadcasting landscape is changing. Does it differ in looking at the TV networks as a brand rather than channels?
SR: Yes and no. It is always fundamental to create, establish and rigorously maintain a network brand to build credibility and eventually trust with your audience. This, then, becomes the foundation for your channel ethos.however, whether it is a network or a standalone channel, building and maintaining brand credibility is the same principle.
BB: How does rebranding help TV networks reposition themselves, cut through the viewership clutter and create audience engagement?
SR: Always rebrand for a reason not just because you want to.The importance of strategic position over just eye candy design cannot be stressed enough. Evaluate your strategic position – does it still represent who you are and what you represent? Then use this as your creative spring board.You can still have ‘eye candy’ but at least, it has a purpose and represents your ethos.
BB: With the rise of digital TV platforms such as Netflix, how can rebranding for TV networks help in preserving the audience base ?
SR: In today’s market, TV brands need to live and communicate effectively across multiple screens, from traditional viewing and onto phones and tablets.Getting the brand working correctly across all these entities is extremely challenging, but when done correctly is a powerful tool for TV brands.It requires logical design planning combined with innovative thinking and a thorough understanding of audience/user experience within a digital viewing world.
BB: Adopting a “Glocal” approach, How can local channels develop a brand strategy that resonates with the local audience yet have the look and feel of international TV networks?
SR: Brand consistency – as much about how those employed within the channel use the brand as the brand itself. Ensuring ‘tweaking’ of the brand doesn’t happen or having creative employees trying to put their own ‘mark’ on the brand. If a brand is weak, this is easier to do so ensuring a robust brand solution is a must. Again this links back to sound identity strategic thinking, a thorough understanding of the usage of the elements created and a strong design solution.
BB: As an expert in rebranding a long list of TV channels, what are the latest trends and techniques in designing TV network identities?
SR: I’m not a fan of trends in TV brands as you find many channels end up looking the same. The current trend of using large colored type and animations which favor digital applications (the swiping animation) is starting to be seen more and more. Really knowing what your brand stands for and stay true to that is what will make you stand out.