What if?: Branding Science Fiction

August 6, 2008

As companies and brands grow in size, market share, and audience, the following question is always a possibility: Is our brand image still relevant, or have we evolved to the point of needing a brand revision? The Catch-22 of evolving a brand image out of the interest of the company and its investors can threaten the consumer loyalty. For example, would changing the Sci-Fi Channel brand better embody its “What if?” theme, or would it merely dilute the Sci-Fi Channel brand and result in audience defection?

This global television network is best known for showing original science fiction television series and movies as well as cancelled science fiction shows from other broadcast networks. To attract a wider audience base, Sci-Fi adopted the “What if?” concept that not only fits perfectly with science fiction but also conforms to all other fiction genre. Consequently, this allows for fantasy movies and TV series to find places on the Sci-Fi Channel.

There is no need, however, to change the Sci-Fi Channel brand into the equivalent of “’What if?’ TV”. This type of alteration in the brand name would result in considerable confusion among die-hard audience members and open doors for a competitor with a more focused brand image to absorb the disenfranchised viewers.

There are times when it may be best to accept the concept of “What if our brand still works?” Suggestion - Maintain the present Sci-Fi brand image, and continue to capitalize on the ample interested audience base.

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