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Wanted: Differentiation in the Dutch Media Brands Landscape

Posted by: Marieke Stoffels on April 19, 2013
Best Dutch Media Brands

For the fourth consecutive year, Interbrand Amsterdam, together with Tijdschrift voor Marketing, has mapped the dynamics of the world of Dutch media brands. We conducted an online quantitative, representative study with 1,000 respondents and evaluated more than 70 media brands.

In addition to producing the ranking of the 25 strongest Dutch media brands, we also extracted key insights outlined here:

Crossing the borders continues

Best Dutch Media Brands 2013In last year's results we learned that the borders of media of media channels have become more and more blurred. We continue to see media convergence happening. 

Traditional channels like newspapers, magazines, radio and television are growing toward each other. This leads to big changes in media consumption. It's not a surprise then that the internet plays a big role in this.

Two of the strongest brands on this year's list, NU.nl and Uitzendinggemist.nl, demonstrate this. Both are digital brands delivering content that once exclusively belonged to traditional media models. NU.nl is a digital news site providing content once solely the domain of newspapers and magazines. Uitzendinggemist.nl, a media portal, can be seen as an online television platform for missed broadcasts.

Freedom is key

Brand Strength FactorsWe found many Dutch media brands have room to grow in terms of the Brand Strength Factors Relevance and Differentiation. Brand Strength Factors are the indicators with which we measure brand value. In total there are ten factors. 

Six of these — Authenticity, Relevance, Differentiation, Consistency, Presence and Understanding — are externally focused. These factors measure to what extent a brand's impact on its target audience's behavior is maximized.

These external factors are used in determining the brand values of brands we work with at Interbrand, in our annual global reports and here in our evaluations for Best Dutch Media Brands 2013. The other four of the ten Brand Strength Factors are internal — Clarity, Commitment, Protection and Responsiveness — and measure to what extent the organization can deliver on its promises.

Overall in the case of the 70+ brands we evaluated for our Best Dutch Media Brands 2013 report, we found the scores on Relevance and Differentiation were the lowest of all the external Brand Strength Factors. Consumers perceive that the evaluated media brands can do better in tailoring their offerings to meet their needs. Consumers are not seeing enough distinction between brands.

Uitzendinggemist.nl is a great exception to this. It's one of few brands to offer clearly unique content: true freedom of choice. There's no other brand in the category that delivers the same content. The user experience, or way that the consumer can interact with content — wherever, whenever — provides freedom.

Consumers want to be in control and choose for themselves what and when they consume and through which channel. Ideally, they also have control over the content itself. Think, for example, about preparing your own playlist on Spotify and YouTube or selecting your favorite news categories based on personal interest. Brands that put consumers at their core and respond to freedom of choice with unique content will win on Relevance and Differentiation.

Clearly focus on consumers

The current landscape of Dutch media brands is asking for differentiating, relevant brands with a clear focus on consumers. Consumers are more and more in the lead in a world of media convergence. They decide what, when and how they consume media. Brands need to act on this and bring products and services that address that need to the marketplace.

It becomes more important to be consistently present with relevant content over a broad palette of media types with a focus on digital. Brands that do this best will be brands that can attract demanding consumers who will be loyal to their brand.

Best Dutch Media Brands 2013

Number in () is ranking from 2012. A "-" indicates the brand was not ranked in the top 25 in the 2012 report.

  1. NU.nl (2)
  2. Uitzending Gemist (14)
  3. Nederland 1 (1)
  4. RTL 4 (5)
  5. Donald Duck (6)
  6. TVGids.nl (-)
  7. BNR Nieuwsradio (24)
  8. Nederland 3 (13)
  9. Sky Radio (17)
  10. Radio 2 (19)
  11. Radio 1 (10)
  12. NOS (3)
  13. Algemeen Dagblad (8)
  14. Quest (-)
  15. 3FM (9)
  16. Nederland 2 (11)
  17. De Telegraaf (4)
  18. RTL XL (-)
  19. Volkskrant (12)
  20. Radio 538 (16)
  21. Libelle (7)
  22. VPRO (-)
  23. Metro (-)
  24. Q-music (20)
  25. NRC Handelsblad (21)

Marieke Stoffels is Strategy Director, Interbrand Amsterdam.

This blog post is an extract of the full article we wrote for Tijdschrift voor Marketing. The full PDF (in Dutch) can be downloaded at www.inderbrand.nl.

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