In any entertainment segment, trends can change. When they do, brands that are committed to a certain product or style can be left behind. If consumers no longer want what you have to offer, trying to give them more of the same and insisting it’s “great,” won’t get you very far. You have to step back, assess the market and make some shifts. Otherwise, you run the risk of being left behind.
Network television can be a harsh and forgetful mistress. Networks that have a run of hit shows can suddenly find themselves coming up dry. They keep pumping out programs, but viewers just don’t seem to care anymore. CBS is a prime example of this prime-time shuffle. This is the network that brought classic and fan favorite programs such as All in the Family, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Beverly Hillbillies, Andy Griffith, and Get Smart. But, by the mid-90s, with the emergence of FOX as a new player in the game, and a shift toward a new kind of TV, CBS was hurting. Sure, they had a hit with Family Matters, but the network was also saddled with programs of limited appeal like Murder, She Wrote.
That kind of stuff was completely missing a young and vibrant market, so CBS went out and hired Leslie Moonves. Led by Moonves, the network took a long, hard look at the market, made some creative changes, and in time, CBS became a hit machine once again, ushering in the era of Friends, CSI, Survivor, and The Big Bang Theory. CBS, thanks to a renewed understanding of consumer tastes, has become the nation’s most-watched network.
Disney is the epitome of children’s entertainment, the standard against which all feature-length cartoons are measured. The titles are too numerous to list, but you know their names. So, it was shocking to many what happened to Disney at the turn of the 21st century, when the company seemed to lose its magic touch.
Dud after dud forced major layoffs at Disney Animation, and it opened the door for competing companies to enter the market, including a “little” company called Pixar. Disney and Pixar collaborated on a few films, which became instant classics. Fast-forward to 2006. Disney, in a brand-saving move, bought Pixar and put that animation team in charge, leading to some of the most popular and beloved animated movies of all time
For both of these brands, the solution was not to craft a message and try to force it on their audience. The solution was to see what the audience was looking for, earn their trust, and continue to deliver. Which entertainment brand do you think has made the biggest comeback? Is it one of these, or did another name come to mind?