3 Lessons Small Business Owners Should Learn From Comic-Con
by Josh Amidon
So, I'm a giant comic book nerd and I'm pretty ok with that. I haven't reached the level of dressing up as the comic book characters yet (it's called "cosplay"), but I do dress up my dogs as superheroes (it's called "sad with no life").
Anyway, going to Comic-Con in San Diego has always been a bucket list item for me - sandwiched somewhere between "learn the correct pronunciation for the opening of The Lion King song" and "buy a star from one of those star registry places" (although, I doubt the paperwork would hold up in intergalactic court).
Comic-Con used to be a nerdy little event that only dorks like me went to. But over time it grew into a pop-culture giant and today, many movie studios, TV networks and celebrities debut their trailers, cast announcements and other news worthy gems about up-coming projects at the convention because they know it will spread worldwide within minutes.
How can you harness the marketing superpowers of Comic-Con?
Loyalty is paramount
Customers are drowning in choices. So brand loyalty is insanely, but it comes at a steep premium. Consumers demand more than ever before. You need to fulfill their need for content, entertainment and exclusivity.
How Comic-Con Used It: Comic book fans are among some of the most loyal fans in the world. And the marketers at Comic-Con took that "be loud, be proud" loyalty and used it to their advantage. Loyalty = Free Word Of Mouth. Comic Con used its own existing tiny customer base to build it into what it is now, well that and time........
Rome wasn't built in a day
Nothing happens overnight. It takes time to build a customer base, a professional network and/or repeat business. You have to be steadfast and consistent with your method, but also adapt to changes and trends at the same time.
How Comic-Con Used It: Do you think the 1st Comic-Con was wildly successful with over 180,000 people attending? Nope, not even close. The first Comic-Con was in 1970 and only 143 people showed up! Over time, Comic-Con built on it's base year-over-year into the powerhouse it is today.
Appeal to your customer's other interests
Close your eyes and think about your perfect customer - what do they care about outside of your brand? You have to know, even if it's for something else to talk about on social media (talking about nothing but yourself on social media is such a turn off). Best case scenario? You'll be able to monetize on your clients' other interests.
How Comic-Con Used It: Over the 47 years of Comic-Con, marketers began to realize that there were some other opportunities for it's attractions - not just comic books, but TV shows, cult classic movies, pop-culture icons, anime (which I'll never understand) and video games. All of which, Comic-Con's current base already loved, but these new attractions began bringing in new visitors to Comic-Con and creating a whole new generation of comic book reader.
This weekend, my fiancé and I are going to watch the new Spiderman movie and yes, I will be that annoying person leaning over to talk about the differences between the comic and the movie. Yes, my fiancé will be annoyed and no, I won't care because.....why the hell is Aunt Mae being played by Melissa Tomei?!?! Sorry, I can't talk about this now, I have to go.