Universal Studios’ winning brand

Universal Studios Networks is to launch a new contemporary library-type movie channel in a joint venture with digital service provider NTL. Called The Studio, the service is expected to launch within the next six months.

No branding consultancy has yet been appointed to the project. However, a company spokeswoman says, “We already have a core brand and we will tailor the channel culturally to a local audience.”

Michael Barry, creative director of Universal Studios Networks, has been speaking this week at the BCE 2000 conference in London, on the importance of tailoring brands to particular markets. He told delegates that branding is, “not just a logo and a pretty design package”.

Barry says that brand entertainment using distinct positioning and local adaptation is what makes Universal Studios Networks’ global brands successful. He suggests that, at a time when viewers have a mass choice of channels to select from but little time in which to watch them, viewers will make decisions based on a balance of which channels they most identify with and which provides the most entertainment.

He stresses the importance of making brands relevant at a local level “to create a distinct positioning in consumers’ minds”.

“We work hard to communicate emotions, ideas and brand concepts of our channels – Studio Universal, 13th Street and Sci-Fi – both on- and off-air. All of this, however, would not work if we were not able to adapt the brands to their local audiences,” he told delegates.

“Branding should always be local… [if the audience] come to understand your personality at an emotional level then success beckons,” he concluded.

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