Star Wars Marketing LessonsDear Reader,
Happy Star Wars Day!
May The Fourth Be With You!
It evolved from the phrase: “May the force be with you.” This phrase of hope ranked 8th on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Movie Quotes.
Others, namely the Los Angeles City Council, consider May 25th, the day “Star Wars: A New Hope,” opened in 1977 to be Star Wars Day.
As originally envisioned, George Lucas created Star Wars as a coming of age trilogy combined with a struggle between good versus evil set “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”
In its simplest form, the main plot lines of Star Wars consists of:
- Luke Skywalker goes on a quest to become a Jedi, a noble order;
- Luke struggles with the once heroic Darth Vader who has gone to the dark side; and
- The Rebel Alliance struggles to free the galaxy from the clutches of the Galactic Empire.
The 12 Jungian Archetypes are integrated into the overarching story of Star Wars. They represent the basic human motivations that help us to understand the world psychologically. They include: Ruler, Creator/Artist, Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Rebel, Hero, Wizard, Jester, Everyman, Lover and Caregiver.
Further, Star Wars incorporates The Hero’s Journey. At its core The Hero’s Journey consists of 3 acts: the hero’s departure, his initiation, and his return.
“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder; fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won; the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
By incorporating these classic archetypes and the hero’s journey, Lucas expanded the appeal of Star Wars. In the process, he created what Ryan Holiday dubbed a “Perennial Seller.”
Further, Lucas astutely refused to renegotiate his $150,000 fee as a director and writer. In return, he retained the merchandising rights to the franchise.
During the 35 years following the 1977 debut, the Star Wars franchise generated about $20 billion in merchandising revenue. Having sold Star Wars licensed books and products while at Bertelsmann, I know how desirable this merchandise is to customers.
BTW, here’s what I wrote about May The Fourth Be With You in 2020:
What You Can Learn From Star Wars and Cancelled Events.
Actionable Marketing Lessons From Star Wars
- Use the hero’s journey to give your content marketing narratives broader appeal. Lucas based Star Wars on classic themes.
- Assess the long-term value of your products and services to generate profitable sales. Lucas traded short-term salary for significant long term gain in terms of merchandising rights. And his organization maintains tight control over the use of their characters and narratives.
Why Environmental Sustainability Matters For Marketers
Last week, I discussed the need for businesses to be environmentally sustainable for the good of your community, not for your marketing. Since then, I’ve started to observe how businesses in New York City put environmental sustainability into action.
To put environmental sustainability in perspective, look at Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer:
Despite the 2020 COVID pandemic, climate change remained the second highest personal and societal concern!
7 out of 10 people are concerned about climate change!
Retailers and Sustainability
While visiting midtown Manhattan last week, I stopped into Uniqlo’s New York City Flagship Store. On the second floor, Uniqlo had showcased their Sustainability Report 2021.
In addition to highlighting key data on the firm’s initiatives, they made print copies of the report available for customers to take.
While highlighting their sustainability initiatives makes good marketing sense, providing print copies of the report contradicts the goal. Instead, why not provide a QR code or other way for customers to consume the content?
In addition, Uniqlo highlighted how its different fabrics and clothes supported reducing single use plastics. As you can see in the photo, their Re-Uniqlo campaign uses a museum-like approach to explain the contents of the products.
While this in-store merchandising focused on sustainability seemed impressive, a Google Search on the phrase “Is Uniqlo a fast fashion brand?” yielded results to the contrary.
Specifically, the SERP revealed that Uniqlo, owned by a company named “Fast Retailing”, is working hard to show the public that they’re sustainable and concerned.
But in reality, Uniqlo’s values and actions may not be as good as their marketing!
Using their ethical rating system, Good On You assesses how sustainable and fair fashion businesses are. Specifically, their rating system is based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Founded in Australia, Good On You works to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns globally.
According to Good On You, Uniqlo was rated ‘It’s a Start’ overall”. It ranked as follows across these 3 factors:
- Environment: Uniqlo received a score of ‘It’s a Start’ since it has taken some steps in the right direction.
- Labor: Uniqlo rated ‘Not Good Enough’ since it scored 31-40% in the Fashion Transparency Index.
- Animal Welfare: Uniqlo has made a start in terms of animal welfare but still has room for improvement.
BTW, Good On You has 183k followers on Instagram.
Meanwhile, in their store window on Sixth Avenue, Staples created an ode to New York City skyscrapers made out of packing materials. As a marketer, I loved how this store window not only sold shipping and packing products for Staples, but also it sent a message that businesses should reuse products where possible.
Here’s what Staples says being sustainable on its website:
Our customers want products that are: 1) made with more sustainable raw materials, 2) sourced and manufactured responsibly, and 3) sustainably packaged. To meet these needs, we have worked with our vendors to sell a wide range of sustainable products, including Staples® Brand Products.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Follow higher social goals like environmental sustainability and fair labor practices. BUT don’t do it for the marketing value. Do it because it’s good for your business to treat your employees and the environment well. And, as a result, customers want to buy from you and support your business.
Voice Marketing: What You Need To Know Now!
Are you wondering what the heck voice marketing is?
Then join me for VoiceLunch: Marketing. It starts this Friday, May 7th at 12:00pm ET and 9:00am PT. (VoiceLunch: Marketing is scheduled every other Friday in case you miss us this week!)
I’m hosting the latest addition to the VoiceLunch Zoom focused on marketing. Each meeting starts with a short presentation of less than 15 minutes and then provides a forum for open conversation.
To prepare for this week’s conversation, read:
Voice Marketing: The How To Guide You Need To Be Competitive
What is #VoiceLunch?
It’s the virtual place where members of the global voice community gather to discuss key topics related to voice.
Using Zoom technology, the #VoiceLunch conversation takes place via video and chat concurrently. To participate in the real time, global conversation, all you have to do is virtually raise your hand! Further, you choose whether you want to turn your device’s video camera on.
So don’t just sit there!
Join me to get your voice heard and your voice marketing questions answered.
Sign up for your Zoom invitation here:
As background, the 3 fundamental rules of #VoiceLunch are:
- Everyone is welcome.
- Everyone has a voice.
- #VoiceLunch has no commercial flavor (Translation: No promotion allowed!)
Welcome new subscribers: Anthony, Alyssa, Carolina, Nelli, Adedeji, Ann, Howie, Emily, Gareth, Karl, Gerard, Gerard and Bilal.
Please stay healthy and safe.
If you enjoy reading the AMG Newsletter, I would appreciate it if you forwarded it to your friends and colleagues.
P.S.: Want Heidi Cohen to contribute a quote or other commentary to your next article, presentation, video, research and/or book? Then hit reply to this email and ask.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Social Media Lessons From Mom: How To Improve Your Marketing
Moms are our first teachers.
And, whether or not, they ever used social media or not, they taught us a lot about how to use these ever-evolving social media digital platforms.
So, in honor of Mother’s Day, check out what 10+ social media smarties learned from their mothers that helps them improve their social media marketing. Includes insights from Jay Baer, Andy Crestodina, Gini Dietrich, Christine Gritmon, Zontee Hou, Amy Landino, Lorraine Lee, Susan C. Moeller, Brooke Sellas, Dennis Yu and more.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Cinco De Mayo: Should Your Business Be Celebrating?
While Mexico’s Cinco De Mayo takes place this week, the marketing question you should be asking is:
Is this holiday relevant to my business, products and/or customers?
Because, while it’s important for your business to be inclusive, you don’t want it to be tone-deaf!
To help you determine which holidays make sense to add to your marketing content, communications and/or promotions, we’ve got you covered with this 5 Step Holiday Marketing Framework.
Want your customers to form a line to your door, either IRL or online?
Then study this article because it gives you the history of how to make your offering craveworthy.
Includes data, tactics and case studies.
12 Jungian Archetypes chart via https://conorneill.com/2018/04/21/understanding-personality-the-12-jungian-archetypes/
Hero’s Journey via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero%27s_journey (Note: In the public domain.)
Welcome Mat Photo via Mabel Amber – https://www.pexels.com/photo/jetty-feet-sign-wooden-128299/ cc zero
The fine print
Unless noted otherwise, all photos are ©2021 by Heidi Cohen
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