I recently watched 3 movies in a row (the only way to fill time flying across an ocean), and the best one was Despicable Me 2. It was simple, mindless entertainment that made me laugh out loud (which meant I got some funny looks from other passengers.) I assume it was my memories of the first movie that got me to click on it, and thankfully they didn’t mess with a winning formula. It wasn’t quite as fresh as the original, but still enjoyable. But it was still a sequel – not my usual cup of tea.
So why are there always sequels in the theaters?
First, a sequel has a built-in audience. People who liked the first hit movie are more likely to watch a sequel, and I’m a good example of that.
Second, the audience is already familiar with the characters and their world. So Gru, the Doctor, the girls, and all the minions could pretty much jump right into the story once they found a new villain and a hint of a plot.
Third, it’s safe. Both the studio executives and the audience are more comfortable with sequels because it lessens the odds of wasting money on something new and untried.
Fourth, and perhaps most important, it’s about extending momentum. The first movie was a hit, and a sequel helps to keeps its fans engaged.
So what do sequels have to do with your marketing?
Marketing can be seen as telling your brand’s story to an audience that wants to listen.
But it’s far more than a simple story, and it’s much more than simple repetition — you also reinforce, explain, and expand to build a richer “world” that resonates for your audience. A series of sequels, if you will, all based upon one strong central idea.
Despicable Me 2, for example, featured far more of those cuddly yellow minions and showed us much more of that appealing, candy-colored world. Or, think about the many other movies and books that have created worlds or even whole galaxies we love to visit over and over again — Tolkein’s Middle Earth, the far, far away galaxy of Star Wars, or Batman’s gritty Gotham City. Every time we experience it, we’re left wanting more.
When you’re marketing, keep in mind what kind of world you’re building for your brand.
Is it a world your members will want to live in?
Is it worthy of a sequel?
First posted on cuinsight.com