If you are reading this and you haven’t heard about NRG Radio then you should consider yourself officially uncool and not with it. In just one year Kevin Mulei and the team over at NRG Radio have re-invented the radio experience by introducing Africa’s first high-octane music, on-ground, audio-visual and digital entertainment brand; and they have the results to show that they have cracked the future of digital entertainment for it with a recent research study by TIFA placing them as the Number One Radio station in Nairobi with a brand affinity of 666% with the 18-24 youth audience.
Your business can also build such a loyal fanbase by tapping into some of the tried and tested brand-building strategies that have the likes Kiss 100 copying from the NRG playbook. Here are a few lessons we picked and curated just for you.
1. Know Who You Are and Be Unapologetic About It
It’s difficult to establish a brand identity if you’re unsure what yours should be. Start by asking yourself, “What is My Business Here To Do?” NRG Radio was quick to establish its brand identity through events. From the NRG Wave parties in Mombasa, The NRG TurnUp parties across the country, to the Rick Ross Concert; they set the bar on the emotional connection they wanted with their audience.
Their approach to brand-identity reminds me of a quote from one of the African entrepreneurs I admire Zorodzo Chuma Tanyantiwa who says “In building a business we must Be Bold, Be Quick, Be Unapologetic”. This can be seen in their latest brand campaign dubbed “Guilty as Fudge” that Kiss 100 didn’t hesitate to borrow with pride. Define your story and use the relevant marketing tools to share your story with consumers. NRG Radio used Top-of-the-range German cars, Influencer Presenters and Social Media.
2. Be Consistent and Always On In Your Communication
NRG Radio went from zero listeners to number one in Nairobi thanks to their full-frontal assault with Social Media, TurnUp Parties, Concerts, and innovative youth-marketing tactics that kept their brand top of mind.
Tell your story on your Network of Friends, Social Media, TV, Magazines and Newspapers. If you’re consistent with your communication then your business will gain traction each and every day.
3. Differentiate your Product, Find Your Niche and Milk It
Based on the latest UN estimates, Kenya’s youth population is made up of over 9.5 million people; That’s more than 20 percent of all Kenyans. Youth unemployment has created room for the gaming companies to engage young people through grassroots sponsorships of sporting activities but there was a gap. NRG created a platform that the youth could not only identify with but also express themselves.
From the feel of the brand to the studios, the music, and even the presenters, you can tell that NRG Radio was designed to excite the youth segment. Who would have thought foul-mouthed Andrew Kibe would ever get a radio job? His on-air chemistry with Kamene Goro was so powerful that Radio Africa could not resist poaching them to re-energize the Kiss 100 Breakfast show.
Instead of poaching top talent, NRG Radio chooses to discover and nurture talent through their NRGetic MVPs talent search competition. This platform led to the discovery of the likes of Ibu Ikenene, DJ Niche, Xtian Dela and Charlie Karumi just to mention a few of the start fast becoming the radio kings and queens of tomorrow.
4. Innovate or Die
One can argue that innovation is one of the big wins for brand NRG. They were entering a saturated market with over 200 radio stations and with one stroke of innovative genius, managed to outsmart their competitors to become number one in Nairobi. The audio-visual streaming radio broadcast was a game-changer. Listeners can tune in from their regular radio, through the mobile app or the website. This alone created a new experience that Africa can take pride in on the global stage. Your first reaction when you walk into that studio is WHOA!!!
To validate their success in innovative thinking, Radio Africa’s KISS 100 recently refurbished their studios in an effort to compete and when you have your competition following your every move, it tells you that you’re a step ahead. As the saying goes,
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”
so try as much as you can to innovate your way to the top of the food chain.
5. Use Technology as a low-hanging fruit
The largest share of NRG Radio’s audience is digital. As a result, they leverage digital and mobile as a core marketing tool for their brand in a way that makes you wonder whether NRG is a radio station or a youth movement that just happens to have a radio frequency. Your brands also need to consider digital marketing as a strategic pillar in your integrated brand marketing campaigns. Not only can we use digital platforms to disseminate content and brand information cost-effectively, but to engage and interact and co-create content with your consumers unlocking bigger business opportunities along the way.
In conclusion, as you see the radio wars play out on the airwaves, take note of and learn from the brand that is always innovating, and avoid being the copycat who is always following.