Of Brands and Marvel-ous Brand Commitment
What do we look for when we head to buy something we need? Functionality? Yes. Versatility? Sure. Price? Of course. But with most of us, the first thing we do is look up the brand we already know and trust. The way we see it here at GLAD WORKS, there are a few different reasons for this.
What can’t be ignored is how attracting familiarity is. As a people, we tend to avoid – or outright fear – change. It’s not comfortable. It’s not what we know. It’s also not the best thing when on the hunt for, say, a tech upgrade or a new mattress. Comfort is one option (especially in the case of that mattress) but there’s also the reality that some brands proved themselves through hard work and consistent quality before being called the best of the bunch.
There are plenty from that bunch that come to mind. Apple is there, naturally, though the competition has been continuing to close the gap on the smartphone, laptop, and tablet fronts. This turns the question away from hardware (let the camera and screen debates begin!) and toward whatever Operating System (OS) you prefer for everyday use. The car market doesn’t have much of a clear-cut frontrunner, putting itself right alongside the likes of coffee, clothing, and pens of the world. There are lessons to be learned from each of these groups, sure, but there’s one brand in particular that we’ll be focusing on today.
I’d like to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative.
Love them or hate them, Marvel Studios is an example that should be followed when it comes to crafting and maintaining a strong brand. We all know Marvel for the behemoth that they are now, but how did they get here? How did they turn their brand – that, fun fact, nearly went into bankruptcy once upon a time – into something that people look at and just know they’re about to have a good time with a well-made flick?
For starters, they had a plan. They were prepared for both success and failure, with opening screenings of 2008’s Iron Man being shown sans Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury tease of the Avengers. Just in case the audience didn’t respond well enough to make that a possibility. Fortunately for us, the test screenings were a hit, the after-credits tease was put in, and a new era was born. One that reached an incredible 10-year, 19 film milestone last year with Avengers: Infinity War, and is set to run right past the broken records of that movie with its upcoming release of Avengers: Endgame coming to theaters this Thursday.
Go Behind the Mask
Keeping every part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in mind, Marvel’s original and continued success is due in no small part from managing every story thread and character and even actor’s contracts. This is the commitment that Kevin Feige – President of Marvel Studios – brought to the table when he took lead of the MCU over a decade ago. The team knows when to stick to the source material and when they can wiggle away from it. There’s no point in retelling stories that have already been told. Not more than two or three times, at any rate. Maybe four if they do a recast. Rules are rules.
These films play with expectations. They create their own continuity along the way. All of it is possible because they do the research and have the drive to know as much as they can about whatever story it is they’re telling.
Know the Whole Story, Cover to Cover
Say what you will about how underwhelming Avengers: Age of Ultron, or whatever your least favorite Marvel movies were – looking at you, Thor: The Dark World – each movie was never anything less than an enjoyable action-blockbuster. They know how to bring together and meld laughter, action set-pieces, and some truly emotional moments into a trip to the theater that you leave smiling. In the case of Black Panther and Captain Marvel, the MCU created worldwide phenomena by speaking to audiences often overlooked in such large-scale movies.
Marvel is also a great teacher when it comes to honing your brand. They’ve turned their name into something more than a word. Hearing MCU immediately conjures dozens of images and set-pieces from their past work that stick with all of us for reasons entirely our own. The word comes with worldwide recognition. At the company’s core is a commitment to creating quality content. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying they’ve quickly become a go-to standard for blockbusters.