Getting Listeners to Like Your Brand

Getting Listeners to Like Your Brand
Gary Begin/Sound Advantage Media

How do you change people’s attitude? This is an issue you must address at some point during an ad campaign, a sales pitch, or when you are trying to get people simply to feel better about your radio station.

In the hierarchy of communication effects, achieving a good brand attitude comes after getting a listener’s attention and giving him or her knowledge about your brand. But knowledge isn’t enough, because people must ultimately like your station’s product to listen to it. Getting people to like your product is just a layman’s term for what is called a good attitude.


How to achieve a good brand attitude is, in fact, rather complex. But to make it simple, we can break it down into some basic steps. The first step is to determine whether what you sell is a high involvement or low involvement for your radio station or group.
Think of a high involvement product as one that is risky and important for listeners. If you sell a product that is mission critical to a listener (that is, if it doesn’t work, the customer’s business doesn’t work), then it is clearly a high involvement product. Alternatively, low involvement products are not that important or risky to listeners.

A decision must be made about how you will influence the listener’s attitude. Two broad ways exist for doing this. One is through a rational persuasion approach; the other is through an emotional appeal. In fact, you see these different types of approaches used all the time in television and print advertising.

How you make this decision depends on what you know about your listeners. If you were trying to change an engineer’s attitude, for example, a rational approach would typically (but not always) be best. An artist might be approached more with an emotional appeal. The more you know about your listeners, the easier this decision will be.

With an understanding of the nature of your listener’s involvement and the approach you will take, it is relatively easy to see the different strategies that should be used to achieve a good brand attitude. These are listed in the table below, and they are all based on research in persuasion and marketing.

As an example of what the table says, consider trying to change the attitude of a listener who is very involved in the product and appears susceptible to rational persuasion. You should use multiple facts, expert and credible sources, scientific evidence, etc.

By looking at this table you can easily see how so many stations (especially Internet stations) who try to make fun ads with lots of music are assuming they are selling a low-involvement product to people who want an emotional appeal. But are they? Not always, and this suggests they won’t do a good job persuading customers to like their brand.

Rational Persuasion Emotional
High Involvement • Convey multiple facts that illustrate the basic message
• Use expert/credible sources
• Present scientific evidence
• Use 2 sided appeals
• Present weakest arguments first
• Use comparative advertising • Use dramas
• Use sources similar to your listener’s
• Try to create empathy and a vicarious emotional experience

Low Involvement • Don’t use comparative ads
• Use one-sided appeals
• Use credible/expert source
• Present strongest arguments first
• Use a large number of arguments
• Draw a conclusion • Create a likable ad via the use of music, celebrities, humor, attractive visuals
• Use likable sources


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