I have made my love for Star Wars clear in a previous installment of the Daily Download. There is a part of me wishes I was born in 1971 instead of 1991 so I could have grown up with the classic era of these films.
The Star Wars universe comes with more offerings of storytelling and merchandising than just the seven movies. There are cartoon shows, close to 100 books, dozens of video games, fan fiction sites, cons, cosplay, and toys. In 2016, the sale of Star Wars toys brought in an estimated $760 million, according to npd, a business analytics firm. Star Wars toys outsold all other offerings that year taking the top spot for overall dollar sales.
Are we to believe that Star Wars toys are manufactured better or priced more competitively? I doubt it. The big picture comes into branding. Toys such from this inexpensive Kylo Ren Lightsaber to this massive LEGO Super Star Destroyer are products of the Star Wars brand. These products don’t sell because of marketing campaign blitzes. They sell due to the brand equity that comes with being associated with Star Wars and Disney. Slap the Star Wars name onto anything and it will sell because it says Star Wars.
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What Does This Mean for You?
Your brand is the trust your customers have for you, your company, and your products or services. Every business has the potential to be their own media company and establish their own brand. When your customers buy a product from your company, they are investing into your brand. Their perception of you changes based on their experience. Over time they can expect that if they are buying a product from you it will have some level quality or functionality based on previous experiences.
I Know What to Expect From Disney
For me, I know when there is a new Star Wars movie or book coming out, I have an idea of what to expect in terms of content and quality. Disney, and Lucasfilm before them, built a brand where I associate enjoyment, suspense, and awe in their products whether it’s a comic book or stuffed animal toy.
Establishing a Brand
If you have not established a connection with customers, then start releasing content to build yourself up as a subject matter expert and market leader. This can be in the form of blog posts (ahem), social media networking and campaigns, paid advertisements, and more. Realize the position of where you are and where you want to be. Execute by telling your story. Show people that you are worth their time or money by providing value. Get testimonials from those you have previously served. It is going to take time and effort. Things will not happen on their own. It is up to you to make change for yourself.
The brand versus company versus product discussion is interesting for me. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. As an author and business founder, I’m still wrestling with separating, Ryan A. Ross – sci-fi author and blogger, with Ryan A. Ross – founder and editor at Rae Publishing, with Rae Publishing – a company providing editing services and soon to be indie press. There is an added twist when books are often associated with authors instead of publishers. Rae Publishing is a company, brand, and the platform where I will publish books; I am the author, a brand, and producer.
Ask Yourself the Important Questions
Every author needs to ask her or himself the question: where do I fall into the person, professional, brand, and company debate? As business people we need to start thinking more about the brand equity and trust that our company and products hold in the minds of our customers. Are you the luxury brand or value option and is that the position you want to be in? When you release a product or service do people flock to the product because it is associated with you? Whether it be brand, company or product you should be in a delicate balance and positive light when it comes to the way you do business.
Thank you for reading this installment of Daily Download. Please like, share on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ if you liked it. You can follow me, Ryan A. Ross, on Twitter @ryanthebossross. Don’t forget to check out the Archives, there’s a lot of great stuff including Writer’s Workshop and Friday Fiction Breakdown.
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The question of the day: Do you know the perception people have of your company? Please comment below.