SyFy? Sigh Fie? Cy Figh? ‘Branding’ Gone Wrong

Ian Lurie

I’m no branding expert but the SciFi Channel’s new brand feels to me like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. After she hit bottom.
When will CMOs understand that branding is not your name, or your logo? If you’re a channel on my television, then your brand is your programming. When you go from FireFly and Battlestar Galactica to Warehouse 13 and Sand Serpents (WTH?), the prettiest logo and the pithiest name in the world isn’t going to save you.

I just looked into ‘Sand Serpents’. The summary (quoted from the SyFy web site) is: “Danger lurks beneath a platoon of American soldiers in the Afghan desert – giant man eating worms!”. That DOES NOT HELP ME IMAGINE GREATER, guys.

Your brand is the sum total of your behavior, your audience’s perception of you, and the quality of your product. That gets wrapped up in a pretty package called marketing, which induces potential fans to tear off the wrapping and take a look.
If your behavior is bad, your audience knows you’re over, and your product is getting worse by the moment, using nicer wrapping paper won’t help.
I had a whole three-page rant thought up about this. But this story tells itself…

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  1. Yeah, the name change is just plain dumb.
    First off sci-fi fans aren’t interested in the latest buzz or some flashy gimmick. Good sci-fi (like Battlestar Galactica) has depth.
    Once this name change was announced and to this day, the SyFy keeps getting blasted over and over and over by science-fiction fans.
    The name shows they don’t get their target audience and are more interested in cosmetic changes rather than adding value to their line-up.

  2. Has it occurred to your nerds that Sci Fi stopped playing exclusively science fiction stuff a long time ago? Has it occurred to you nerds that ECW is one of the highest if not the highest rated shows on Sci Fi/SyFy on a consistent basis? A WRESTLING program?
    The reason behind the named change was to own the network name. You can’t own a genre like “Sci Fi” but you can own “SyFy.”
    End of story.

  3. Sam, Your a idiot.
    The name reflects the intelligence of the market they are trying to acquire while ignoring their fan-base.
    Wrestling on “Sci-fi” was one of the dumbest things they ever did. they got lazy and just showed the worst of sci-fi for most of the time slots and wonder why their network is losing steam.
    Wrestling on sci-fi is dumber that wrestlings fan-base.
    i.e. you.

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