Welcome to a special Sunday afternoon edition of Marketing Insights.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past week or so, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the movie “Infinity War” and how well it’s been doing at the box office. It is yet another hit for Marvel Studios and it’s MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). But did you know the story of Marvel Studios is one that is inspirational to entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.
Long before the string of successful movies like Infinity War, Captain America, Iron Man, and the Avengers, Marvel Films was not what you would call a successful movie franchise. Movies like The Punisher and Howard the Duck were panned by critics and did not make much at the box office. In the 90’s, Marvel sold the rights to the majority of their characters to 20th Century Fox. They needed the capital to keep their movie division going and in the process the lost the rights to such fan favorites like Spider Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men to name a few. Marvel, like a struggling start-up or entrepreneur, had to partner with another studio and leverage their brand to keep going.
However, Marvel had one thing that every start-up firm and successful entrepreneur has a unique brand image. If you are starting up a consulting firm, the first thing you do is establish your brand identity. That identity has value and it can be leveraged when needed. The fans of Marvel Comics loved the characters and story arcs, just like our customers and followers hopefully love our brand image and the marketing expertise we bring to the table.
Marvel Studios saw a path to reviving their brand and their movie franchises. Starting in 2008 with Iron Man, they laid out a clear plan in phases of how the Cinematic Universe would evolve. Iron Man was followed by the Hulk and then Thor…. and here we are 10 years later at Infinity War. As a start-up business, it’s easy to see the lesson here – you need to plan out in advance where you want to go as a firm. Leverage your brand identity and then create a plan as to how to achieve the end goal.
Marvel knew it’s brand was strong and the way they outlined building the MCU is truly inspirational, even for those who aren’t Comic Book Movie fans. It showed how ideas and dreams can be put into a clear action plan – and how success can be attained through organization. As a person in the early stages of launching my ideas into reality, this is an amazing blueprint for success.
Finally, the success Marvel has attained could not have happened without a brand and identity that people love. Start-ups need to use media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blog posts and all the other channels available today – and they need to create their own brand and unique identity. Bedford Street Marketing is actively following the Marvel idea and we post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook daily – as well as our blog site. All of our posts aren’t about marketing insights, some are just inspirational or humorous quotes. But like Marvel Studios, the idea is to create a brand that consumers connect with and see as a trusted partner.
As I see all the promos and social media posts from friends about “Infinity War”, I can only hope that in 10 years time – I am able to approximate the brand success and loyalty of Marvel Studios. Their story of going from a studio that had to lease out their most successful brands to one that releases hit movie after hit movie is an amazing one. It’s a story that start-up businesses and entrepreneurs should study and follow, to attain success in their chosen fields.