Panelists to Programmers: Focus


Seattle -- Panelists at the CTAM Summit’s closing session here on rebranding
said programmers can adjust their brands, but they need to make sure they focus
on their markets.

"The No. 1 rule for branding is that you have to stand for something," said
Lenny Stern, a partner with SS+K, which has consulted with Time Warner Cable and
Bright House Networks on its rebranding efforts.

Stern said Time Warner wanted to raise the bar to meet the competitive
environment, and the MSO added the phrase, "Now anything’s possible," to its
logo to cover the new services it began deploying. "One of things their branding
effort was all about was signaling change," he added.

Sterna also helped Bright House to change its name, using the tag line, "Do
you live in a Bright House Network?" in ads. The name, he said, was designed to
show people "how they could get the most out of their entertainment. We wanted
to show that there was a feeling of magic and that something good was

Panelists generally gave good marks to MTV Networks for its rebranding of The
New TNN to Spike TV. "They did a nice job this time," said David Watson,
executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service at Comcast
Cable Communications Inc., "but they have to stick with it."

"Programmers have to pick their moments and go at it really hard," Watson
said. "You just can’t change your name and solve your woes. You have to be
careful how many times you’re going to do this. But I think they have a real
shot. It’s a compelling idea and it depends on what they do after