Zonemedia looking at better unification of properties through rebranding excercise

MUMBAI: Last month entertainment firm Zone Vision announced a new global brand for the company's corporate identity and its channels.

The company introduced an umbrella brand, Zonemedia. New logos and names for the company's six thematic channels will also be rolled out.

So Reality TV is now known as Zone Reality. Romantica is Zone Romantica, Club is Zone Club, The Horror Channel becomes Zone Horror and Europa Europa becomes Zone Europa.

Talking to about the logic behind the rebranding excercise Zonemedia chairman Chris Wronski says, "With ever more channels on the TV market it was important to strengthen our brands. Zone Vision had built a strong business to business name but was relatively unknown by consumers. By changing the name to Zonemedia and pre-fixing the channels with the word Zone, we are able to unify the different parts of our business. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

"By adding the word Media, we are better able to position ourselves as content providers across emerging media as well as the more traditional forms of broadcast."

Wronski notes that with stronger programming line-ups it was also important to modernise the existing channel brands. "We believe the new branding is contemporary, strong, clean and memorable. By creating the Zone Marble logo, we have a logo which we believe will stand the test of time. The new look also gives us potential to add new territories and audiences."

He points out that with the system that has been created Zonemedia can easily assimilate additional business without having to re-invent the wheel each time. New channels or new departments are assigned a suitable colour.

Wronski is also hopeful that the rebranding excercise will enable Zonemedia to cross promote more effectively between the different channels. The aim is that as brand equity in one channel is built viewers will be more likely to sample an offering from another channel in the same 'group'.

"With production taking place in different countries, introducing new guidelines for the branding of each channel gives us greater control over each brand and allows us to operate similar systems of presentation around the world, constantly reinforcing the brand values. There are also cost savings by having more unified systems which we can plough back into the programming."

Zonemedia worked with Kemistry on the rebranding excercise. Kemistry Wronski notes came up with the eye design and the branding system. The detail from idents through to promo end pages was developed in conjunction with Zonemedia's in-house creative team. The process took approximately six months from initial design stage to launch last month.

Asked about the challenges involved Wronski says that the main challenges were those usually associated with production - devising clever, original creative which enhanced each brand; finding creative solutions which appeal to a potentially global audience; unifying different departments to support the design, whether sales and marketing in local offices, channel managers or presentation departments; and delivering to a tight deadline within the budget.

When asked for his views on the state of English general entertainment in India and Asia Wronski says, "We constantly face strong competition from the English speaking market, and are up against many popular titles. However, Zone Reality is the only 24 hour reality TV channel which features unstaged reality programmes, which tell the stories of real people caught up in dramatic situations, showing events as they actually happen."

Asked about the steps being taken to improve upon the content on the channel Wronski says that the etam is always evaluating and striving to improve the programming line up. "We have a research department dedicated to finding out what our viewers want to watch and this is constantly fed back to the channel managers and people in acquisitions. Of course, we hope that the Rebrand will help with viewer perceptions of the channels as well as assisting navigation to better enable viewers to find the shows they want."

Cheaters he goes on to note is the channel's top show in Asia. "Our target audience is male and female viewers aged 16-34, with a secondary audience of 25-54." As far as india is concerned Wronski adds that the channel is looking to have India themed fillers in the near future.

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