Two weeks ago, over one hundred thousand costumed fans descended onto the San Diego Convention Center for Comic-Con, a hugely successful convention covering everything from comic books and card games to television and movies. With the recent upswing in superhero movies, TV shows, and merchandise, it’s no wonder that Comic-Con has quickly become the largest event of its kind, attracting famous actors, directors, and artists from across the entertainment industry.
From a marketing perspective, its appeal is obvious: Comic books and their entertainment offspring have honed their branding through decades of trial and error into near-perfect, customer-focused brand strategies. Superman and Batman are household names, down to their logos and color schemes. Marvel has found an unprecedented cash-cow in its various movie reproductions of popular comics. To put it simply, comic book publishers (and the marketing teams behind them) know how to create unique, inspiring, and easily identifiable product brands in a market saturated with brand superheroes. Here are four lessons from the comic book industry that you can use to superpower your own brand:
1) Clarify your brand identity early. There’s a reason origin stories are so popular in comic books. Crafting a coherent identity, complete with brand mission and unique positioning, can help clarify your brand’s value to potential consumers and pinpoint its emotional benefits to ensure brand loyalty.
2) Consistency is key. Everyone knows who to expect when they see the Bat-Signal. By ensuring that your brand’s core messaging is consistently present and recognizable, you cultivate overall brand loyalty and recognition so that consumers connect with your brand and its underlying values the moment they see your logo.
3) Adjust to your customer’s needs. No other industry is as rich with diverse products and brands as the comic book industry. Different adaptations of Spiderman have changed his costume, his age, and even his race. There’s even a Spiderwoman. By understanding which aspects of your brand are flexible and which are crucial to your brand identity, you can target new and changing demographics through sub-brands and marketing campaigns without losing core brand consistency. Consider Microsoft, with diverse sub-brands from Windows to Office to Silverlight: by identifying the core aspects of its brand messaging and design, Microsoft was able to develop diverse sub-brands and expand its customer base while maintaining brand consistency across products and services.
4) Understand your role in consumers’ lives. Are you like Superman, positioned as the mainstay brand that consumers can rely on? Or do you fill a more targeted niche, swooping in like Batman to fix problems your consumers didn’t know they had? By defining what your role in the market is, you can more easily differentiate your brand from your competitors and market to the customer segments that need you the most.
While you may not be able to save your customers from supervillains, implementing these tips can help to clarify your brand messaging, expand your reach to key demographics, and grow your brand recognition. To push your brand strength and flexibility even further, TopRight created The Customer BuyWayTM, a unique, customer-focused approach to optimizing Brand activation and management across channels and platforms.
Is your brand a superhero in the market? By understanding your brand’s core messaging and its role in your customers’ lives, you can build the clear, consistent, and flexible brand you need to move your business to the #TopRight.