Three Things Online Marketers Can Learn From… Superhero Comics

powWhether Marvel or DC, tragic past or strange radiation, changing in phone booths or just plain mutating, superhero comics and their stars have left their mark on American society and culture. They rather efficiently embody our values, our desires, and in some cases even our vices and vulnerabilities, and yet they still manage to save the day every time.

You don’t need X-ray vision to see three things we can learn from our favorite superhero comics.

A GOOD ORIGIN STORY GOES A LONG WAY

The best superhero franchises give their heroes backstories that aren’t vital to enjoying the movie or comic, but make the experience much more engaging… and relatable. People want to know more about the things in which they’re interested.

When it comes to representing your company or product, consider how your own origin story comes into play. Does your company have a fascinating history? Perhaps your founder was the drummer for a popular band, or decided to start the company after a life-changing experience. Maybe your product is the result of a happy accident or was successful with a surprising demographic. Including these anecdotes gives your customers ways to relate with you and your products, and even turns a few from customers to fans. Speaking of which…

GEEKS ROCK

Die-hards, geeks, lifers — whatever you may call them, they are undyingly devoted to the characters and worlds of their favorite comics, and will frequently spend large sums of money to express it. Comic creators and publishers happily attend conventions, put on exclusive movie airings or early comic releases, and otherwise do whatever they can to keep these super-fans informed, entertained, and ready to buy more.

Remember to take care of your own long-time, die-hard fans and customers. New customers are always welcome, but you can’t forget to reward those who already trust your company with their investments or purchases. It could be as simple as a 5% discount for those already on your mailing list, or as grand in scale as a full-blown fan conference with giveaways and lots of glitz. However you choose to do it, take care of your true fans and return customers, and they will gladly take care of you while spreading the word to others.

REBOOTS, REMAKES, AND RE-IMAGININGS: THE SAME HERO FOR NEW GENERATIONS OF FANS

There are many versions of the same heroes and heroines, depending on who’s watching. There’s a Saturday morning cartoon version for kids, a darker version in the comic books for teens and young adults, and gritty versions for the movies. If one version doesn’t interest you, there’s another one that you might like better.

Even if your existing campaign is excelling, there could be another way to reach new customers with the same product. A cordless vacuum that’s already popular for home use may have untapped potential with car owners and RV travelers, for example. That’s a whole new campaign for a whole new audience. Think about how you can re-frame your image or your products to reach new kinds of fans!

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Is there more we can learn from our favorite superheroes? Has a campaign of yours leapt tall buildings recently, or was it less than super? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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