CNBC repositions brand as it aims to broaden its appeal among millennials and marketers

The TV news network CNBC is refreshing its brand on an international scale in early 2016, as it hopes to lure in a younger and more diverse business crowd as well as making a bigger push for senior marketers.

Putting its strategy into action, the media brand announced a partnership with F1 team Sauber earlier this week for the 2016 season. However, the brand will also be making broader changes to its brand strategy in February next year, including a heavier focus on its digital platforms.

According to the brand’s VP of marketing and communications Finola McDonnell, the repositioning of the brand provides an opportunity to “refresh and broaden its appeal”. While the exact details of its upcoming projects won’t be revealed until the new year, the brand will be revamping its content to have a heavier marketing focus.

“We’re organising different projects that will have the marketing community in mind. They will focus on the money that is put behind brands and marketing and how that relates to the core business performance. Marketers will enjoy that, as it will put them on par with other members of the boardroom,” McDonnell said.

While CNBC is well known for its business news, the brand also wants to battle current misconceptions.

“We are still perceived to be very much CEO and CFO focused. If you’re not a core financial professional like a stockbroker or CFO, it may not be obvious why you would come to CNBC for content. That’s something we want to work on,” she told Marketing Week.

CNBC is particularly keen to appeal to the “entire c-suite”, including CEOs, CFOs, as well as CMOs. 

“The brand should resonate with the entire c-suite and CMOs in particular. We want to partner with CMOs so they can get the message out to their audiences,” she explained.

More partnerships in the pipeline

CNBC is also reviewing its current partnerships and identifying gaps where they could expand. While motorsports remains a big area for the brand, it is also hopes to extend its partnerships within other realms and engage with younger audiences through personalisation features.

She concluded: “It shouldn’t just be about financial services and work, we want to build that connection between us and our audience on a much wider level. This is why we’ll be looking into organising partnerships within the realm of arts and culture.”



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