Just for Kicks
While the Dallas Cowboys qualify as the most valuable entertainment brand in the U.S., The Rockettes might be the most inspirational—perhaps more now than ever, thanks to a content re-branding program spearheaded by Chris Moseley. Hired two years ago by Madison Square Garden Entertainment as SVP, product management & brand oversight, Moseley was charged with transitioning the brand from a dance-centric property to one that embraced lifestyle. Today, the Rockettes web site functions as a content destination.
How does a legacy brand re-fashion itself? We asked Chris for her thoughts.
Content: You were hired two years ago. What was the Rockettes brand story then?
Chris: I came in after a multi-year in-depth research study had been conducted, through a research agency called Nucleus Branding, which had delved into what attributes of the Rockettes as a performance brand would be appealing in connection with a lifestyle brand.
Content: Do you fall back on the research to build the content? If so, can you give us an example?
Chris: We use the research insights that informed our overall brand positioning to help craft the editorial architecture for our site. Every piece of content we create is conceptualized through our Brand Lens before we finalize it and post it.
An example is: insights that the Rockettes help motivate everyone to have a healthier lifestyle. The value to a user is that most people are challenged by multitasking and active lifestyles, so maintaining the energy level to tackle that on a daily basis is universal to everyone. This is why the Rockettes approach to maintaining a high-energy lifestyle is universal content. You can find an example here.
Content: Can you tell us a bit about the editorial calendaring?
Chris: We have certain pillar events that we are aware of and plan for in advance. An example of these events are activities connected with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and appearances like this season’s first live show of “America’s Got Talent” at Radio City Music Hall. On an ongoing basis, there are opportunities that come up more quickly that we turn around rapidly, like the MLB Home Run Derby during MLB All Star week at Citi Field.
Content: Are you pegging content to certain events to determine your lineups?
Chris: Yes, but we are not just event-driven. We develop content for all of our pillars—Just Dance; Fitness and Health; and Beauty and Fashion.
Content: Tell us what went into the re-branding.
Chris: We did the brand architecture and then redesigned our creative personality. So we came up with a new logo, and came up with a brand vocabulary—we came up with the word “legendary” to talk about the Rockettes, because it feels not only based on the past but looking forward, and we prefer that to calling them “historic,” because that sounds a little like only in the past. So we took a nuance approach to adjectives that would not only be a nod to the past but also to the future. And we redesigned our digital social platform, with Fantasy Interactive redesigning our site, which wasn’t only redesigning our site, it was getting the tone and personality for all of our digital platforms.
Content: How long did the site redesign take?
Chris: About a year and a half—longer than anticipated. We decided to transition it from a marketing site to an editorial destination, where we put up daily content—whether text or video—that reflected a wider brand personality. So we didn’t just focus on dance, although that’s our core, and we have to keep our core fans happy, but we also added in fitness, beauty and fashion. We have an elaborate timeline that we put together where we digitized thousands of pieces of content to create timeline videos. We’re also expanding into ways where our users can do a lot more posting of their dreams and what they’re trying to accomplish. So it’s a living, breathing, evolving process.
Content: How are you measuring success?
Chris: We’re looking at a couple key metrics. We’re looking at scale and engagement. So, we obviously want to grow in terms of the size of our community, but there’s ways to actually buy that growth, and we didn’t want to go down that road. So we want to have a slow, consistent, steady growth, and we want to keep people who come to us engaged.
Content: What kind of tools are you using?
Chris: We’re licensing a social dashboard from Overdrive, a digital social agency in Boston. We work hand in glove with them. What the dashboard is going to be doing is helping us track KPI: How much are users sharing? Are they watching our video brand stories from beginning to end? We have those same engagement KPIs everyone else has. And we use Radian6 to measure chatter from everywhere. We see them both as important.
Content: Your background is with the History Channel, where you were senior vice president, marketing. Any similarities with the Rockettes?
Chris: They’re actually not that different. We took brands that had been around for a long time at History Channel and we kept our core viewers and then we grew them exponentially. And we have the same goal here—keep our core fans and grow them exponentially.