Today is one of those days when Star Wars fans get to geek out and celebrate their love of the galaxy far far away. May the 4th is growing in popularity each year as it’s embraced by fans and brands, I love the Star Wars films and yes I do question the films 1,2,3 but for me, I am amazed that a franchise that began in 1977 is still growing and holds such relevance and joy to so many consumers.
There are clearly many lessons brands and businesses can learn from this, how do you cultivate such a deep connection, passion, and even love?
For me, there are a few valuable insights and learnings:
- Great content – the films are spectacular with great storytelling, and they are easy to share.
- Consistency – fans know and love the brand, even post Disney the universe has remained intact bar a couple of explosions on Mandalore.
- Adaption – creating the tv series around the Mandolrian, Andor, Bad Batch, and Boba Fett has followed the trend of an increase in home entertainment consumption.
- Merch – Star Wars merch back in the 80s was cool, it still carries kudos, it’s more than just lunch boxes, lego, and t-shirts it’s part of the culture around the brand.
- Brand immersion – Disney has created the most amazing Galaxy Edge within the theme parks to give guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars Universe.
Brand immersion when done well gives consumers the opportunity to faller deeper in love or even worship a brand. Having been on tours of the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg Tennessee and Hershey World it was fascinating seeing how so many visitors were there to get even closer to brands that clearly mean so much to them.
Brand immersion and worship went to new levels at The Walt Disney Company. Last summer I visited Galaxy Edge in the Disneyland park in California, I was completely blown away by the experience. The look and feel, the rides, the shops, the landscaping, the shops, the characters, the team working there, the detail – wow just wow.
The Coca-Cola Company bottle is the perfect example of the detail, you felt like you were in a different place – you felt you were in the Star Wars Universe. They also created the unique blue milk or Bantha as it’s known on Tatooine – very sweet.
The experience got even more real when after using the code word “scrap metal” as you didn’t want the empire to find out, I made my way to a hidden area to make my own lightsaber. This was not a cheap thing to do, as we all know Kyber Crystals are in short supply. Led by a team we ventured into a cave for the one-off experience of building our own lightsabers, this was with storytelling, music, dramatic lighting, and a sense that you were part of the Star Wars world. Brand immersion has been taken to new levels – you don’t need to go to a Jedi temple to worship you can visit Disneyland.
So on May 4th be with you, let’s celebrate Star Wars and embrace the learnings from this incredible franchise for our brands and businesses. May the force be with you – always.