Months before the Disney-Lucas film Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hit the cinemas, the Internet exploded with enough drama to last until the next Star Wars movie. Sure, we are talking about an iconic film franchise with throngs of fans that spanned generations. But what marketing lessons can small and medium-sized businesses learn here?
If you currently have a business in Singapore, here are some tips on how to improve your marketing initiatives. Take a page from the Star Wars marketing machine and awaken the force that could drive consumers to your new business venture.
First of all, generate anticipation and buzz.
Months before the movie premiered in cinemas, official Star Wars merchandise debuted in major malls around the world. On Nov. 12, 2015, Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 and 3 Departure Halls housed a life-sized TIE fighter and an X-wing fighter, respectively.
At the X-wing fighter setup, visitors got to wear costumes from the film and sit inside the cockpit for a photo-op of a lifetime. Imperial Stormtroopers and X-wing fighters also made an appearance every Saturday while the setup was in place. Months before the scheduled debut of the Star Wars movie, fans and non-fans alike felt just how strong the force was in Singapore.
Key Takeaway: The key is to create a strong sense of anticipation. Create noise by offering tidbits of what you plan to launch. Creating a single post about it online or sending out flyers in one location won’t be enough if you wish to build up the excitement of your target market.
Exhaust all the ways you can get the word out: television, radio, Internet, old-school print advertisements, flyers and even word-of-mouth. The important thing is that you send out your announcements strategically.
Create a timeline and start announcing at least one to two weeks in advance. This will give your customers enough time to know about it and spread the word.
Add a time element.
Adding a time element to your promotions will create a sense of urgency. When Star Wars announced that “Force Friday” will start at exactly 12:01 A.M., fans sort of created an internal countdown. Choosing to launch the official Star Wars merchandise on a Friday also caused people to find ways to get their hands on the merchandise before the frenzied shopping weekend. And it worked.
“This Force Awakens movement is something entirely new and exciting. Even the title make complete sense…The Force has awakened the world over. People are talking about it every day. And with this brilliant marketing move by the powers that be (you have to admit, it worked), Star Wars fever has taken hold,” wrote Geek Nation’s Mark Reilly.
Key takeaway: Plan your events wisely. Are you promoting a brand new pastry? Time your promotions in the morning to catch your target market in their natural habitat.
Why not pair a free sample of your new pastry with a small cup of joe? People who got to try it will most likely drop by the next few mornings and soon, it will become a part of their morning routine.
Use the force of wit.
Two months before the Dec. 18, 2015 Singapore premiere, a vast range of Star Wars toys and merchandise was released on Sep. 4, 2015 in major toy stores. The clever promotion was called “Force Friday.”
Almost every film franchise has its own line of toys and merchandise. But the clever use of labels and alliteration made it easier for people to remember and even come up with witty ways on how to use it. Labels work well in today’s #hashtag culture.
Key Takeaway: Instead of just announcing that you have a new product or service, use the full force of marketing wit and social media buzz to make the announcement sound bigger than it actually is. Now, we are not suggesting you to lie about the grandness of your product or service. What you want to achieve is to cleverly make the announcement in such a way that people will talk about it.
Take a look at what Star Wars did. They could have easily said “hey folks, the official Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens toys will be released on Dec. 4.” Done.
Honestly, that would have been enough to send throngs of people out into the streets and stage a vigil in front of the establishments selling the goodies. But no, they went further and cloaked their announcement in a thoroughly planned marketing scheme that fueled the anticipation even further because the label made it sound bigger.
Key takeaway: Don’t just say “Sale!” Give your announcements a theme, a name and a label that will make it easier for people to know what the fuzz is all about. Give it some flair! Hire a professional writer to craft your marketing materials and be consistent in all your promotions.
Give insider scoop.
Given the force surrounding the Disney-Lucas film and its corresponding official merchandise, we can simply assume that the latter has been kept secret for so long prior to their release. But, as luck would have it, someone “leaked” some of the photos of the much-awaited film’s merchandise, which added all the more to the force surrounding it.
Whenever something is “leaked” in the marketing world, everyone can simply assume that it was simply “planted.” Giving consumers an insider look of an upcoming product, service or event means successfully taping into the human psychology. Whenever you see something you really like in advance, the desire to buy the item becomes much more palpable.
Key takeaway: Dish up some properly timed insider scoops. If you’re selling beauty products, collaborate with a fashion or beauty blogger to post a “leaked” photo of the product on Instagram. If you’re running a restaurant and preparing to launch a whole new range of dessert items, give a batch of food bloggers to write reviews in advance.
Provide customers with a great experience.
During the first week of the film’s release, Facebook exploded. But not with spoilers or disappointments. The latest Star Wars film delivered very big plot twists that left fans all over the world crying their eyes and coming up with several theories.
But it seemed that the general public respected the film so much that they didn’t post anything that would ruin the viewing experience of those who have yet to see the film.
Of course, there were critics but in general, it seemed the film didn’t disappoint the fans who religiously followed the characters and the younger generation who is quickly learning what the fandom is all about. The film delivered a great customer experience.
Key takeaway: Living up to your marketing schemes and continuously delivering quality products will speak volumes about a great customer experience.
Is the force awakened?
Setting up a business in Singapore is fast and easy! Let’s talk and we can help you kick start the force towards entrepreneurship.