This past weekend the movie industry sales records were taken over by one movie; “Black Panther”. The movie is another hit for the Marvel collection that features a newer super hero T’Challa, who becomes the king of a fictional African kingdom called Wakanda. As of 2/19/18 Black Panther is sitting at $260M in box office sales which is the fourth highest grossing opening weekend movie sales in the last four years according to Box Office Mojo (Star Wars Last Jedi ($270M-2017), Star Wars The Force Awakens ($305M-2015) and Jurassic World ($267M-2015)). Based on the ticket sales you would say this movie is very successful, and if you’re a business owner you should be asking yourself “what did they do and how can I do it in my business?”
Marvel Studios did an excellent job using the spin off technique, where they introduced Black Panther in Captain America Civil War. Using the spin off approach works great because you leverage the momentum of an already beloved series which increases your chances of success. As a business owner, this would be an opportunity where you can gradually introduce your customers to a new product or service alongside a product that is already performing well.
Marvel Studios gave us a movie that connects a wide array of audiences. The story line of Black Panther is one that so many people can enjoy, admire and connect with. A story of a young man who becomes King and must learn how to lead his people after the death of his father; the previous king. On so many levels (family life, career, business, politics, etc.) people can relate to stepping into a role or position to take over the responsibilities of their predecessor and learning how to do a great job. In your business it’s always wise to release a product or service that allows your audience to connect with the story behind it all. A very bad example of this is “The Santa Dreidel” a wooden game top that did a horrible job of connecting with any audience at all.
The movie filled in a gap. When you look at current mainstream superheroes many of the characters are from the USA or outer space and very often they are Caucasian. Some may see this as a controversial position, but the box office sales and fandom sent us a very important message; “this is something that paying audiences wanted.” Black Panther features a predominately global black cast (American, African, European, etc.) based out of a fictional African Nation, which is a story line that has not be explored in mainstream superhero films. Marketing expert Al Ries calls this “finding the Creneau” (French word for niche, opportunity gap), which is what you have to do with your products and services. Find the niche/opportunity gap that your product can fill and market to that opportunity better than your competition.
Marvel Studios hit a home run with the timing of the release date. The month of February was a great choice for multiple reasons; 1) its black history month (a time when the heritage of black people from all walks of life are widely celebrated and studied), 2) fewer new movies to compete with, 3) two months prior to the big release date of the next massive Marvel movie. In business it is very wise to leverage as many complimentary outside factors to help give your product or service the best opportunity to achieve maximum success. Consider a jewelry store and the way they usually go big on marketing and new product releases around key times of the year like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas, leveraging excellent timing.
So, if you’re a business these are just a few lessons you can learn from the “Black Panther” of the mighty Wakanda. For more business tips and ideas check out the 60secondmoney blogs, 60secondmoney podcast, visit the TLTurnerGroup Facebook fan page or follow us @60secondmoney on Instagram.
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