Disney released “The Mandalorian” directly to streaming last fall. Since then, even non-Star Wars fans have heard about the mighty bounty hunter — and, of course, “Baby Yoda.” It’s an entertaining story, but beyond that, it’s full of solid marketing lessons that can help us with our earthbound businesses.
1. Cultivate Your Brand
The Mandalorian culture is famous across the outer rim of the galaxy and beyond. This is largely due to their shiny Beskar armor and their unique helmets. Even life forms who have never met a Mandalorian immediately recognize them by their distinctive look: The residents of the remote planet Sorgan recognize Mando immediately when he arrives on their planet for the first time.
You want this type of widespread recognition for your brand, so position yourself as a thought leader and an industry (or product) expert. Set up an attractive and user-friendly website, create an awesome logo, and establish a strong social media presence on platforms where your target audience hangs out. You can also blog about informative, interesting, or helpful information. Use a variety of strategies to build recognition for your brand, so everyone knows who you are.
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2. Protect Your Brand
Mandalorians are very protective of their own. Not to mention, if one of their clan is in trouble, any Mandalorian will come to help without hesitation.
Mando is similarly committed to safeguarding The Child (aka Baby Yoda) and considers himself the adorable little green guy’s sole protector. When the Stormtroopers chase them, the Mandalorians come out of hiding to protect them. This exposure comes at great risk, since they’d remained in hiding since the fall of the Empire.
It’s a great lesson: Use whatever means you can to protect your brand.Here’s what that means in our galaxy:
Maintain good credit and establish your company as one that’s ethical and full of goodwill.
The more you can do to create a protective barrier for your brand, the stronger it will be over the long term.
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3. Prepare for the Unexpected
On the outer rim, one never knows what dangers might pop up at any given time. Mando always preps his weapons ahead of time and thoroughly checks them again before he heads into a risky situation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that businesses of all sizes must be prepared for significant disruptions that are outside the norm. Take careful inventory of your business, understand what disruptions it can withstand and for how long, then devise a backup plan so you can continue to operate or remain financially solvent during a crisis.
In addition to financial concerns, be aware of physical contingencies. First responders and medical professionals are stretched thin right now, so we all need to look out for one another. Consider getting some online training in CPR and first aid. Then you’ll be better equipped to check all possible scenarios and know what action you can take if an emergency occurs.
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4. Put Substance Before Appearance
Mandalorians never remove their helmets and don’t carry a lot of baggage. They only take what they think they’ll need. This is a good strategy because they ignore things that distract them from what they need to accomplish. Their minds are not cluttered.
As a business, you also don’t want to be weighed down with clutter. There will come a point when you’ll need to clean out the office, tidy up the storefront, or even go all the way: Check dumpster-rental prices, tear out old furnishings, and do a total remodel to modernize your space.
You’ll be glad you did, because, in the end, your workplace will be cleaner, more streamlined, more welcoming, and more efficient. As a result, you’ll be able to increase your productivity and focus even more sharply on your core mission.
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5. Know the Importance of Character
Character matters, and the Mandalorians know it. They follow a strict mantra: “This is the Way” — a code of honor that governs every aspect of what they do and how they live. In business, character matters just as much. You don’t have to be as rigid as a Mandalorian, but you should operate your business ethically and with a larger purpose.
Maybe your company can engage in some sort of giving initiative. Consider offering a service or event to benefit local community organizations, Or you might contribute toward a global social and corporate responsibility enterprise, focusing on how you source items or how your actions affect the environment.
Positive, conscious undertakings like these will not only boost your marketing efforts but also help create a positive view of your brand.
6. Keep Evolving
Mando has spent his adult years as a bounty hunter, meaning he gets paid, often handsomely, to capture and/or kill the targets assigned to him by the Bounty Hunters’ Guild. Yet a time eventually arrives when he has to make a decision — one that is life-changing.
As a child, his parents were brutally killed by the Empire, and he was taken in by the fearless Mandalorians. He grew up following their ways and, while his occupation might be questionable, it’s clear he has a conscience. When The Child comes into his life, he knows he can’t let The Client keep the poor little guy; he senses something bad will happen to “it” (as if you could imagine calling Baby Yoda an “it”), and he changes course.
Once you get comfortable with your business, it’s hard to make changes. However, if you want to stay relevant, you’ll need to adapt as markets change. Track customer needs and wants, keep up on technology changes, and watch what your competitors are doing. Change is hard, but other businesses will be adapting as needed, and you should, too. By evolving strategically, you can make your business even better and more profitable.
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7. Recognize You Can’t Please Everyone
Mando made choices that angered people, including Greef Karga, the Bounty Hunters’ Guild, Stormtroopers, former imperial leaders, and even other Mandalorians. Yet, he rescued Baby Yoda even though he knew it wouldn’t go over well with others. His decision no doubt came with some reflection on his own experiences when he was saved from the Empire as a child.
There is no way your products or services will be everyone’s cup of tea, so don’t market to everyone you think you can reach. Learn who you appeal to, narrow your market, carve out a niche for your company, and focus on potential clients who will likely become loyal customers. It’s OK to cast a wide net from time to time, but for the most part, if you market toward your core audience, you’ll find it’s a better investment of your dollars.
“Star Wars: The Mandalorian” has a straightforward plot. Yet, if you look beyond the dialogue and imagery of each episode, you can see it’s far more complex than the stereotypical “bad guy does a good deed” storyline. This new twist on an old “Star Wars” theme contains snippets of wisdom we can apply right here on Earth to our own marketing and business initiatives.