The topic hot on everyone’s lips at the moment is the release of the new Star Wars film – The Force Awakens. That got us thinking, what are they doing small businesses aren’t? Apart from the ridiculously huge budget ($175 million to $200 million) and Disney as brand partner of course.
Their marketing for this film was on top form, so what lessons can we learn from this?
Star Wars has really set the benchmark for every other brand when it comes to creating anticipation. September 4th was branded Force Friday by the film, and announced the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise, gadgets and goodies.
This was followed three months later by the official release of the film, giving fans a pretty long time to wait.
The takeaway from this is that there is never too much anticipation. While you don’t want to give away too much too soon, you need to leave a breadcrumb trail that will leave customers in a frenzy for your product. Go full throttle when you’re trying to drum up interest and use the internet to your advantage.
Lesson: “In my experience there is no such thing as luck.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
You might think we’re stretching it a bit by comparing small businesses to the whopping Star Wars franchise, which has had millions of dollars thrown at it. The vital thing to remember is that you need to think big.
Promote your company within your means, but with the same pazazz as a huge film. This way you’re staying within your means but using all of your energy to get the word out there about your big promotion.
Lesson: “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?”—Yoda
Star Wars thought about their audience when they planned the Force Friday opening at 12:01 am, as people would have been more likely to take the day off. Rather than plopping it on a Wednesday when their customers have the rest of the week to go, Star Wars considered their fans.
Think about your customers when you’re planning your events, and consider when they’ll be likely to attend or be free. Don’t get over excited and do it just when you want to.
Lesson: “Patience you must have, my young Padawan.” —Yoda
In 2012 Disney famously bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas, for £2.5bn. The reason for the swap was that Mr. Lucas felt it was time for a new generation for filmmakers to give the Star Wars franchise a go.
The takeaway here is to know when you need to pass the baton, or when you need to get a partner. It can be easy to want your business to remain yours, as you created it and passing it to someone else can seem absurd. In reality it can often be the best decision to grow your brand.
Lesson: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”—Darth Vader
Let the Force be With You
Takeaway from the film, when faced with any challenges be true to what you know and the answer will usually appear. You know what’s best for your company, so trust your instinct and be patient!
Lesson: “Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn
Have you got more life lessons from Star Wars? Leave us a comment in the section below!
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