Stratford Research worked for quite a few of our consulting clients back then, and I have to say that the quality of their work was exemplary and they invented effective new ways to understand what drove images and usage.
One bit of their wisdom that has stuck with me over all the time since: two of the five major drivers of morning radio success: habit and familiarity.
The remaining things that can give a morning show leverage:
- Format preference
- Entertainment/style preference
- Information needs
It's still true today: you can't beat a deeply-entrenched and successful morning incumbent by doing the same things they are well-known and regularly used for.
Being "better" isn't enough. You also need to be different.