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Radio Bahrain. Branding

All you need is radio ba-ba.

Posted by Liam Farrell

We’re delighted with the new corporate identity
Khalid Mohammed Mattar, Chairman, Radio Bahrain.

Radio Bahrain is the oldest English language station in the GCC. While it’s got a lot more competition from stations in Dubai these days, it’s not lost any of its island charm. The home to some of the nation’s most loved on-air personalities, the station was in need of change and that begins now.   


Rebranding Radio Bahrain is part of a process, a shift into a new phase, a new mix of old and new. A new front man (CEO), a new sonic vision, a brand new energy. While a lot has changed in the mix, the brand needed a new ‘rhythm section’ and a new ‘philosophy’; we picked up the gig. We kept the joyful heart of the brand and remixed the rest, giving the station a look on par with contemporary music brands like Spotify or Mixcloud. So don’t touch that dial; we’re working it… 965. 


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We love music and we love clients who love music. This was a match made in heaven and we are super delighted with the results; its a banger.
Liam Farrell. Partner.

Challenges we faced rebranding Radio Bahrain

Radio Bahrain is an island institution, a legend, an auditory sound track to life here. Wherever you go, the sound of the station can be heard, in shops, cars, cafes… you name it, it’s playing it. Our challenge was how to make sure the brand stayed relevant to today’s media-soaked population and not become regulated to the background, to become the radio equivalent of elevator music.

Our key challenge was how to create a brand that was as relevant to today’s listeners as Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple Music have become. Luckily the new front man at Radio Bahrain was feeling the need for an unreasonable level of change and transformation. We knew rebranding Radio Bahrain was going to push a lot of buttons and that having stakeholders in charge, who had a vision and a feeling for today’s audience’s needs, was going to be critical to make the leap from yesterday’s old school to a leader of the new.  

Rebranding Radio Bahrain, our strategic response

Our role was to champion the discovery of the right strategic framework and to express this through the right visual and literal mix, a mix which could create belief and foster participation with Radio Bahrain’s audience. From our sessions with key stakeholders at the station, the brand’s anthem started to emerge. 

Radio Bahrain has always been about the love of the music but to compete with music brands it needs to ensure the listeners understand its key difference – personality. Radio Bahrain is like listening to the hits with a quirky, chatty friend. The brand creates and shares joyful, quirky moments all day. Ultimately this became the vision for the brand – To share Joyful Connections. To build a brand that fostered a sympathetic culture, we agreed on three core values: Passion, Friendliness and Collaboration. One element of the personality which has remained is the quirkiness – everyone on the team agreed it was an aspect of their personalty they wanted to retain. This has come through the brand’s tone of voice. 

With a strategy agreed, we began working to create a literal and graphic language that could express the passion, friendliness and collaborative qualities of the brand. From our candidate approaches, their was a lot of deliberation as each one had so many merits the new front man Omar, had trouble deciding. Aside from some colour adjustments, the final form emerged with very little external remixing. 

The tone of voice is playful, musical and brimming with quirky, rhythmic energy. The brand’s slogan – Alive with Music – pushes the notion that Radio Bahrain is fundamentally about “wrapping music in personality”. 

The final logo form is clearly an abstract ‘R’ with the feeling of a radio transmitter and a rising sun blended into the mix. Coupled with the wave energy form, a vibrant and electrifying brand identity began to take shape.

Supporting the graphics are a typographic palette comprising René Bieder’s Faktum Typeface and Indian Type Foundry’s Associate Sans and Associate Mono. The photographic theme is warmth and cool. Warm, vintage-style analogue images capture the heart of the brand while cool cats and funky persona’s express the brand’s charming quirks.  Finally, the colour palette is a highly contrasting and attention grabbing black and yellow, a striking and energetic combination that punches through in every instance. 

The results of our work rebranding Radio Bahrain

The brand has launched internally and has earned a great response so far from the Chairman and CEO to the studio talent and back office staff, the unsung heroes who keep the show on the road. The agency’s work was so appreciated we also picked up the web design brief which we will share in another post. We now look to see how the brand comes alive externally over the coming years! 

To see our other branding projects, click here.

Services delivered:

Audit, Research, Strategy, Brand Identity Design, Slogan, Signage & Graphic Design.

Want to work with us on your strategic brand development project?

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