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Be the Light in Their Darkness — Like 'Star Wars'
By: Cindy Wendland
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the latest film in the blockbuster series. It broke all records at the box office and has popped on promotional and licensed items across all industries. McDonald’s features them on their Monopoly game. You will see Star Wars characters licensed on pajamas, stationery, and pretty much any other thing you can imagine. With its prevalence, one real estate writer took it upon herself to detail the lessons we can all learn from Star Wars. We’ve slanted the lessons to your brand.

Leigh Brown, RE/MAX Broker in Charlotte, NC at LeighSells.com came up with 8 lessons she applied to real estate, which we can apply to branding. Here are our seven:

1. Music puts you in the mood to kick ass. The Star Wars theme kicks up your adrenaline and gets you pumped. Do you have a theme song for your brand when you prep or have meetings? It’s amazing how music can elevate a mood and heighten energy, enthusiasm, and creativity. Get a song for your brand.
2. Age is irrelevant. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher were amazing in their roles, as were the youngsters who thought the Jedi was a myth. Realize old brands are powerful, as are new brands. It’s what you put behind the brand and your strategy that matters. Focus on your differentiation, your follow through, and your customer experience. Length of the time on the market is less important.
3. Old can teach new. The experienced characters in Star Wars have knowledge and wisdom to teach the young. Learn some lessons from brands that have been in existence for a long time. Watch how they change to the evolving marketplace. Take a look at Caswell-Massey, around since 1752. Using natural, quality ingredients has enabled them to endure through the ages.
4. New can teach old. Rey turns out to be a very helpful asset to Hans Solo. New brands can be helpful models to watch for older companies who may not have the social media strategies incorporated yet. Seeing how fashion companies like Kate Spade use social media can be a good learning tool.
5. We all need someone. Star Wars is full of companions and buddies; it turns out everyone needs someone, even Luke. Your brand can partner with other brands for promotions. Brand managers can partner with other product managers in the companies to share ideas, strategies, and visions. Be a mentor to someone in branding and find a mentor to help you elevate your brand.
6. Screwing up doesn’t mean you’re done. All the characters in Star Wars made mistakes, yet 38 years later they are still around to save the universe. You will make mistakes with your brand. Your brand may have a few missteps, but you can recover and be better and stronger for it. One marketing friend likes to “fail fast.” Don’t be afraid to try new strategies, but also be realistic if the strategy doesn’t work and you need to change course.
7. Light wins. We don’t know what will happen with the next two Star Wars episodes, but it seems that good will prevail. In your business, in your brand, there will be situations where you have to choose the right course and the ethical stance. Choose wisely so you can maintain trust and respect, and let karma do the rest.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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