How to broaden a tv audience - why Sci-Fi has become SyFy — Frank derFrankie Neulichedl

How to broaden a tv audience - why Sci-Fi has become SyFy

In various posts around the web you can find opinions on the new identity of the tv channel SyFy - formerly known as Sci-Fi Channel. While I don't want to go into the design details I want to express some thoughts why the probably made this change. At first it seems quite unusual to change a well established brand so radically. It seems even more radical as the new name is also a new term that sounds like the old name but doesn't has the same meaning - it actually has no meaning.

This puzzled at first even me. Science fiction was born over 100 years ago and the abbreviation sci-fi has become wide spread. Everybody knows what sci-fi is and therefore naming a tv channel who broadcasts sci-fi shows should be called sci-fi. But here lies the big problem. The vast majority of people "thinks" the know what sci-fi is all about. Basically science fiction is all about ufo's and space travel. Science fiction is obviously much more than that and actually most of the movies and shows on tv are some sort of science fiction. How can you break this misinformation of the general public?

There are two ways. One way is to educate the people, but this would cost much more that just do it the way SyFy has done it. They changed the name and claimed that SyFy is the tv channel where you could "imagine more". The name sound familiar enough to sci-fi fans to recognize the term and is new enough to new viewers to just be a name.

How far SyFy is more than just space crafts and aliens shows the spot - well done and good luck to the "new channel".

Update: As @Lazarus2000 on Twitter pointed out giving a brand a unique name has another advantage. You can trademark the brand.