1 – What is the MTV brand image? How valuable are the MTV brand associations? What should its core values be?
The MTV brand started out with a focus on the music where it helped to launch the visual impact of bands through music videos. MTV is a youth oriented brand, that started as a purely music video station, and has now involved into a pop-culture station with a mix of long-form programming, and videos. They created stars and termed new expressions like VJs and quickly differentiated their product from the competition. As a result of having a first-mover advantage they were the TV channel to go to in order to endorse your music. They managed to build up their brand and be a key channel for promotion where artists where demanding to have their own videos played on MTV. MTV remains a strong brand within the youth segment but needs to constantly evolve in order to maintain their position with new trends and changes emerging.
The brand associations are strong since they are attached to a certain target-group (youths) that is very desirable to reach for many advertisers. The adolescence and early adulthood that MTV reaches are important for establishing enduring preferences for a specific type of brand that might follow a person throughout his life. Viewed as very “hip and now” many teens look to the channel to see what is popular and what the up and coming trends of today are. MTV has very strong brand attributes, with its viewers and even with people that do not view the channel as one they would frequently watch, therefore giving the brand strong brand associations. MTV has core values of staying on top of music and cultural trends, as a result ensuring their continued growth of their audience; MTV needs to stay relevant to stay on top.
2 – Describe the current sources of MTV’s brand equity. How have they changed over time?
MTV creates its brand equity through high level of awareness and brand associations it’s made with its targeted viewers. MTV did this by using VJ’s or video jockeys to bring the viewers “along for the ride”. VJ’s made it’s a much more personal experience as if they were friends with the audience. The use of long-form programming has helped keep viewers interested in the channel by keeping relevant in its programming, by moving away from its roots as a music only channel and giving viewers what they were interested at any point in time. There are multiple genres and cultures represented on MTV and the channel high ratings among its key teen demographic, especially females.
The evolution of the channel has kept the brand equity. In 2010 the MTV logo changed and no longer contained the tag-line “Music Television” to further emphasize their shift away from the pure music. By focusing more on programs that were “culture” shows and not only music they have managed to maintain a strong brand. Throughout their changes of focus MTV has managed to keep its core values intact. They are a channel for the younger generation that constantly provokes and stays on the edge of new concepts. By having a brand aimed at pop culture they constantly have to re-invent themselves to stay current. One of the biggest challenges for MTV is managing growth because usually when things become too popular it is no longer considered to be cool.
3 – What is the role of music within MTV? Do they need to put the “M” back in MTV?
Music still plays a major part in MTV’s image and brand associations. Music and pop culture have always been interconnected, as many view the music that they listen to be how they express who they are as an individual. By having the same segments of people liking the same types of music, you can see the cliques within these segments, and usually these are how social trends begin. Although on a television station, music does not have the power to captivate viewers for prolonged periods of time; MTV found that long-form programming kept viewers tuned in on a regular basis, whereas music created grazing behaviors. Additionally, the channel viewers have changed therefore changing back to an all music channel I do not think would benefit the channel; viewers need to stay tuned in order for MTV to remain profitable and they are doing a good job of keeping their brand equity and associations.
4 – Discuss the role the Internet in programming. How should MTV best integrate the Internet into the brand? How might technology impact MTV’s future?
MTV’s websites serve as an added channel to keep viewers engaged beyond just watching the channel they can now watch TV episodes and have wallpapers etc. However, the internet could pose the problem as sites like YouTube, World Star Hip Hop, and a collection of others give viewers access to video on demand, (what they want to see and when they want to see it), as opposed to watching a channel and waiting to hopefully see a song or wait for a program to air. MTV should continue to use the Internet to its advantage by offering exclusive online clips, interviews, and MTV personalized gear.
They should continue to create apps and use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to connect to viewers. The MTV website already offers a variety of experiences to visitors and its greatest pull is that the brand owns the market as the resource for popular music. Drawing on that, and positioning the interactive aspect as a true storehouse for information is the most complementary stance MTVi (the interactive division of MTV) can take. With trendiness at its core, MTV will thrive as technology continues to change.
5 – How have MTV’s sister networks affected the parent channel’s brand equity? What changes, if any, would you make in positioning of the sister networks in order to create the optimal brand portfolio?
MTV has effectively used its sister networks and parent channels to boost brand equity. By playing more music clips and videos on the MTV2 and VH1 channels, it spreads the core values of the brand. MTV started and made its name by showing music videos, so having its sister channels show more videos it extends the brand image and values. MTV is a global brand and therefore reaches many different people from all around the world. This means that they have an extensive range of viewers that are from different places, cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, etc. MTV’s global channels offer country specific programming to appeal to the many different countries and cultural tastes. MTV is doing a good job of positioning itself and its sister channels for continued success in boosting brand equity.