Lessons from Star Wars

By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

It was 1977 and Luke’s life changed forever.  Saddled with the unfortunate handle “Luke the Puke”, the first Star Wars movie hit the big screen and the name Luke suddenly became synonymous with coolness and bravery.

From the raucous barroom scene to the first appearance of Darth, Star Wars kicked off a mega blockbuster franchise with fans like Luke following every episode with cult-like passion for the next 4 decades.  There were misses along the way (ahem, all the prequels).  But fans were quick to forgive.  Now with Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens set for release later this year, fanboys are once again whipped into a frenzy with JJ Abrams as the director and Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford reprising their famous roles.

In a highly fragmented world full of “challengers” successful blockbuster brands like Star Wars are hard to come by. Coke, McDonald’s, Tide, IBM….once big hits are now being passed by. How is it that blockbusters like Nike, Apple, Starbucks and the Rolling Stones stand the test of time? They have mastered the tension of bringing news while respecting what brought them greatness in the first place.

Should you have the good fortune of a having a blockbuster brand in your portfolio, appreciate what you have and don’t mess with it (Jar Jar Binks?  They really should have known better).  Tell your true brand story with freshness and vigor.  And if you hit a blip, handle it with skillful intervention.  By the way, wasn’t there once a brand called “Blockbuster”?