The new Star Wars movie is a lesson in brand equity

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

1 May 2014

Genuine excitement with the return of Luke, Leia and Han

This has never been the space for movie casting news, but the announcement that much of the original cast of Star Wars is coming back for the seventh iteration is a franchise finally recovering its brand.

As any Star Wars fan knows, the franchise felt ruined when creator George Lucas decided to film prequels to the original three movies – and they were terrible. Not only where they flat and bland, but Lucas seemed to take the tone set by the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi by making the prequels childlike but without the wonder.

“The lesson here is that understanding your brand equity – if you have some – is important in moving forward.”

 

Star WarsNow, the announcement shows the franchise recovering its brand equity. In any successful brand, there is equity. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be successful – as a brand. The key here is that, such as the case of the three prequels, you may be successful in business (the prequels were financial smashes) but that doesn’t mean your brand is.

Now, some of you may be saying, “Hey, if we’re financially successful, isn’t that the point?” Absolutely. But if your brand isn’t important than your business has diminishing returns. Pretty soon, you’re just fighting on price or vulnerable to the competition’s innovations.

Sears, Kodak and BlackBerry were all once wildly successful, but their brands weren’t. Now, those three once-powerful companies are basically irrelevant. If, for example, the upcoming Star Wars movie went back even further into an older set of prequels, you’d see those diminishing returns. The brand equity is in Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia.

The lesson here is that understanding your brand equity – if you have some – is important in moving forward. We’ve worked with many companies that do have equity, but find that it needs an update of sorts to be more meaningful in the market. There should always be a thorough exploration of your brand – whether you make changes or not.

So, here endeth the lesson. Oops, wrong movie. (That was The Untouchables.)

May the force be with you.

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