Background / Challenge:
In the 1990s various partners and investors joined together to launch a Satellite CD Radio company. After successfully lobbying the FCC, three satellites were deployed into elliptical orbit to enable digital audio broadcasting. With the consumer launch imminent, the marketing team sought to create a stronger, more unique name (than CD Radio).
Working with the marketing team, we generated hundreds of name ideas. The marketing team rallied around the name ‘Orbital’ but despite lengthy trademark searches and due diligence, the name was deemed too risky and alternate ideas were sought. We explored a wide variety of ideas inspired by stars and space and eventually ‘Sirius’ was selected.
As the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius became a powerful embodiment of the brand – not only as a unique astronomical term but also through its association to the ‘stars’ (on-air talent like Howard Stern) and musical artists whose songs would be played across all channels. Further, the nickname for Sirius is the ‘dog star’ and this helped to inspire the brand’s initial identity with a dog and its tail evoking an antenna.
The brand was merged with XM in 2008 and today boasts over 31 million paid subscribers.