My almost-adolescent daughter is devoted to a particular local radio station. It doesn’t matter if a song she likes is playing on another station, she doesn’t want to change the channel from her station. When we get in the car, she asks for it specifically. The radio in her room is tuned to it, and she knows all the on-air personalities.
The funny thing is that her favorite station was also my favorite station decades ago. I don’t mean the same kind of station, I mean the very same station–the same frequency, the same call letters, everything. I don’t know about you, but I think that is nothing short of amazing. How has this station remained relevant to local youth through all these years when so many others have come and gone?
I think it has everything to do with commitment and staying true to a mission. Somewhere along the line, the station’s decision-makers determined they would target a specific segment of the market, a particular demographic. They play a fairly mainstream variety of current music which seems to appeal to teens and newly-minted adults. As their listeners age and their tastes change, the station doesn’t change its programming to try to keep them. Rather, it stays true to its commitment to mainstream cultural relevance, cultivating an ever-evolving crop of listeners as individuals pass through the target demographic.
What I’m trying to say is that while change is important to survival, it has to be in the right place. Don’t change your mission; change to accommodate your mission. You just might have to dance to different music.