It’s no secret that podcasts are gaining in popularity these days and are one of today’s trending media platforms. But just like magazines, TV shows or companies, podcasts should have a specific branding strategy to differentiate themselves from the competition, create a unique universe, and attract new audiences.
This branding case study is featuring the example of La Poudre, a French feminist podcast by journalist Lauren Bastide, produced by the podcast studio Nouvelles Écoutes. In this case study, we will specifically talk about brand purpose, brand values, naming, audio identity, visual identity, and brand communication strategy.
But first, what is a podcast?
A podcast is a series of episodic audio files that users can listen to via streaming platforms such as iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify and other podcast sites and apps. Podcasts share aspects with traditional radio programs but are different in their distribution model: internet stored files vs. radio diffusion. A podcast episode usually has a length of around 20 minutes. However some podcasts can last between one to two hours.
What is special about creating a brand strategy for a podcast?
What makes podcasts interesting in terms of branding is the fact that they allow brands and independent hosts to deeply connect with a targeted audience via intimate conversations and stories.
However, since they have an audio format, it can be more challenging to create a strong brand identity for a specific podcast. People are indeed more used to work on visual brand identities, forgetting that the audio aspect of brands can be extremely powerful. They can also create deep connections between individuals.
Let’s now have a look at how the team behind La Poudre managed to create a consistent and powerful brand strategy for their podcast!
La Poudre Brand Strategy – Our Analysis:
Brand Purpose and Values:
La Poudre is a feminist podcast where Lauren Bastide receives an inspiring woman, artist, activist, or politician for an intimate and deep conversation.
It was founded in 2016, with the purpose of offering a safe space for women to speak and share their ideas without taboos.
Based on the information available online and on the episodes, we can deduct that the main values of La Poudre are: respect, gender equality, freedom of speech, and education.
Brand Identity Strategy:
The name La Poudre means The Powder in French. On each episode, hostess Lauren Bastide likes to ask her guests what this word means to them. The answers provided are as diverse as they are interesting: make-up powder, the powder related to explosions, magic dust, just to name a few.
Choosing a name that can evoke different concepts is an interesting move. The audience can identify itself with its own vision of the podcast name and of feminism in general.
Audio Brand Identity:
The audio branding strategy is mainly based on a famous jingle composed of music and powerful feminine voices with a vintage twist. It directly makes people dive into La Poudre’s world and allows them to connect with the universe created by the hostess and her guests.
The jingle is also a powerful way to express the brand’s personality. It uses a mix of catchy melodies and recordings of feminine activist voices, evoking courage, strength and a willingness to move forward.
Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear the jingle:
Another important factor of La Poudre‘s credibility is the tone of voice used by the hostess of the podcast. Lauren Bastide’s soft and benevolent voice also helps create a secure and intimate environment for women to share ideas – aligned with the purpose of the podcast.
Brand Visual Identity
To make the podcast brand image attractive to listeners it is important to maintain a coherence between audio and visual communications.
In terms of the visual identity, the font used for the logo fits the style of the illustration that represents the podcast. La Poudre‘s illustration of a woman on a pale pink background also perfectly matches the brand’s values and audio attributes. It is easily identifiable on podcast platforms.
On Instagram, La Poudre uses the same font and pale pink color combined with backstage pictures in black and white, making the visual identity coherent across platforms.
View this post on Instagram
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The visual identity is also 100% aligned with the podcast studio Nouvelles Écoutes’ brand architecture: almost all podcasts from this studio share a similar visual identity (same font + illustrations on a colored background). This is a very smart decision as it allows the audience to easily recognize other podcasts produced by the studio and communicates a professional image to the public.
Brand Communication Strategy
Audio as the main format
As stated above, a podcast allows to deeply connect with targeted audiences via intimate conversations and stories. The audio format allows producers to share emotions in a unique way, by only focusing on voices, sounds but also on silence.
Choosing to communicate via a podcast is also a way of freeing the guests from having a camera pointed at them and therefore provides more comfort and ease during the interviews. The podcast format is therefore fully aligned with the La Poudre‘s purpose of offering a safe place for women to speak freely.
“It’s my desire as a journalist that led me to produce podcasts. I was very quickly seduced by the possibility that this format brings to listen to a speech over a long period of time. It allows the words of the women I interview to unfold in depth and nuance, without being edited or cut. It is a freedom that is not found in any other medium. When you work for a print media, you are obliged to make a selection of what you say. Whereas in a podcast, you have the possibility of providing in-depth, precise testimonies” explains Lauren Bastide in an interview on 50-50 Magazine (extract translated from French to English).
La Poudre podcast focuses on providing informative and authentic content. The interviews of women are long, allowing sufficient time to discuss important topics around women and feminism in a non-judgemental way. The guests are never interrupted and have the freedom to express their feelings and ideas.
This probably contributed to the growing success of La Poudre. The Podcast often appears within the Top 5 French podcasts on iTunes and their Instagram now counts more than 56,000 followers.
La Poudre’s brand strategy is consistent across different communication touch points with the audience. The chosen name, audio and visual elements perfectly reflect the brand’s identity. They have contributed to the creation of a unique experience for the audience, making the community grow and engaged over the years.
This is a clear example of how a well thought-out brand strategy can create a unique and consistent podcast experience. It does not only allow the podcast to attract and retain audiences, but also contributes to the creation of a world that listeners want to be part of.