The film industry is a billion dollar business. Each year major these major studios piece together projects and fight to be the number one seller at box office. Some studios are consistently number one and consistently have record-breaking opening weekend numbers. What is their secret? The truth is that these big wins are extremely calculated. The studio executives look at more than just the messaging and marketing materials when they begin making a new movie. They also do not wait until they are near launch to start thinking about the films identity and how it fits into the overall brand. No, these are things that are thought of before the picture is put into production.
Here are some of the best tips you can learn about branding from the film industry:
Hire Great Talent with Their Own Brand
It is no secret that movies with great actors get bigger budgets, higher ticket sales and better ratings. Part of a script review by the studio is to determine if they have access to the right talent. They spend a lot of time finding the key people to fill the lead role and they do this before they decide on script. Most companies could benefit from this model. Instead of deciding on projects or business ideas, think about whom you will need to fill key roles. Who are they? What have they done? Who do they know?
Hollywood does a great job of bringing on talent that will fill seats, show up for press junkets, and deliver a quality product. Your company can do the same. Look for talent that is affiliated with organizations that you want your brand aligned with. Remember that the people are important. An idea is just an idea unless you can bring it to life and in the right way.
Timing Is Everything
The film business is all about timing. You would never see a Marvel movie launch the same weekend as a DC film, and for good reason. The studios are not only looking at the potential competition and their release dates, but they are also trying to be aware of their audience. You wouldn’t release a Christmas movie in January, just like you shouldn’t use Santa Clause in your advertising in February. Being aware of what else is happening in the world and allowing that to impact your timing is imperative. Again, this is something that successful studios have been doing for years.
Know Your Audience
Another reason Marvel and DC won’t release movies on the same weekend is because they don’t want to cause “superhero fatigue.” As in, they want their audience to be excited for a new superhero movie, not burned out by it. This is a lesson that many brands could take into consideration. Instead of piggy backing off of the success of another brand’s win, work to create a new win that helps prevent exhausting your audience.
Remember the Budweiser super bowl ad with the puppy? After that ad aired, brands jumped on the puppy train very aggressively. Before you knew it, there were puppies in all of our ads. This is an example of causing fatigue in our audience. There were so many puppy ads that it made other types of advertising standout more, which made those ads more effective.
Appreciate Your People
At the end of every movie they roll credits. These credits allow for the audience to see the names of each and every person who worked on a film. This is a great way to use the personal networks and brand identity of your employees to help market your brand. People want others to know their work and having a place where they can display the work they have accomplished is a great way to show appreciate for their work. Remember this lesson and find ways to expose the people that work on branding projects at your company. This will be invaluable to them, even if they part ways at some point.
Network and Celebrate People In Your Industry
The entertainment industry is full of award shows. Everyone in the industry gets some sort of voting right and they vote outside of their companies. These industry awards are given to the best, not the most popular. It is an industry that values working together, appreciating one another and networking. These are things that any industry could obtain. Think about the people in your industry that have done well. How can you celebrate them or let them know that everyone is watching and thinks that they are great. These are the relationships that brilliant careers are built on. So instead of competing, start looking for ways to work together and share your talents.