Even if you haven’t read Suzanne Collins’s wildly popular trilogy The Hunger Games or watched the blockbuster film adaptation, it’s almost impossible to escape the frenzy. What started as one book based on the survival story of a teen warrior snowballed into a pop culture phenomenon. While The Hunger Games series focuses on violent battles, an Orwellian government and a love triangle, it also offers unexpected insight for marketers.
Here are five lessons marketers can glean from Katniss and crew.
1.Never underestimate the power of an engaging story. The Hunger Games is built on a simple but arresting premise. Every year, 24 teenagers battle to the death in a government- mandated competition. In one sentence, what is your business story and why do you deserve a captive audience? Figure out your narrative – for press, for customers, for social media – and make sure it’s clear and compelling.
2.Conviction sells. The heroine of The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen, wins over fans and detractors with her unshakeable faith. She believes in herself, her abilities and her purpose. Over the course of the games, she builds herself into a highly recognized and respected brand. Take a lesson from Katniss – be self-assured and self-confident.
3.Choose an inspiring logo. For Katniss, a pin engraved with a mockingjay becomes a national symbol of courage and resilience. For your company, seek out a visual brand identity with resonance. The right image, typeface and color scheme can make your logo into a powerful marketing tool.
4.Partnerships often triumph. While the deadly Hunger Games are only supposed to crown one victor, Katniss and her fellow tribute Peeta banded together and survived as a team. Working with a partner to maximize strengths and offset weaknesses can be a winning strategy, on and off the battlefield.
5.Word-of-mouth is a powerful weapon. From the initial buzz over Suzanne Collins’s dystopian book series to the $155 million opening weekend box office gross, positive word- of-mouth has built The Hunger Games into a formidable brand. Even the marketing strategy for the first film hewed closely to a word-of-mouth approach, letting fans discover content online and share with each other via social media. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/business/media/how-hunger-games-built-up-must-see-fever.html?_r=1&ref=arts&pagewanted=all). Find your fans and encourage them to talk, share and spread the word. Make it as easy as possible for feedback to go viral with a well-moderated Facebook page and Twitter account.