In the past several years, Marvel - the company responsible for some of the world's most well-known superhero comics, movies and games - has become increasingly popular. The interest in this company can be attributed to a number of factors, ranging from the spawn of a new era of superhero films sparked by 2008's "Iron Man" to elevated interest in comic books among preteens and young adults.
No matter the reason, Marvel's newfound popularity has allowed the company to express a great deal of creative freedom in its operations. Not only has Marvel Studios developed one of the most successful movie franchises of all time - with the highly anticipated "Guardians of the Galaxy" release date approaching - but Marvel Comics has also made significant alterations to its superhero canon that will greatly affect the future of its heroes.
As Marvel continues to explore ways it can become a leader in the entertainment realm, there are several tips small business owners can take from their operations, specifically as they pertain to customer service.
In the past several weeks, Marvel Comics announced two substantial changes to some of its most popular characters: Thor will be a woman, and Captain America will be black. Both announcements have received positive reactions from the public, but they illustrate major changes in the lives of these superheroes. When you're developing strategies for communicating with consumers, don't be afraid to think outside of the box by offering them perks or products that may take an unconventional spin on those to which they are accustomed. The company will not significantly alter storylines or superhero characteristics, but it will begin to explore the unknown with new characters - a risk small business owners should similarly consider.
Small businesses recognize the importance of social media strategy, but few find tangible examples of successful brands on networking sites. Marvel has one of the most popular entertainment profiles on Twitter, with more than 1.6 million active followers. On the brand's account, it not only shares inside knowledge about superheroes and happenings with the latest storylines, but it offers a variety of recurring opportunities for consumers to talk back to the brand. For instance, Marvel highlights a "Fan of the Week," responds to the "Question of the Day" posed by followers and features content titled "This Week in Marvel." Small businesses should thoroughly examine Marvel's successful Twitter strategy, as the company is a pioneer when it comes to consumer interaction on the site.
Offer perks to the loyal
It goes without saying that those who proclaim to be avid Marvel fans generally have a great deal of knowledge about the brand. However, unlike other companies, Marvel takes great advantage of this fact by providing perks to loyal fans every chance it gets. Generally, contests and promotions from the company are first released on its Facebook and Twitter profiles, ensuring its loyal followers are the first to take advantage of them. Additionally, the brand frequently offers special deals to their most avid fans. Small businesses should follow in the company's footsteps by similarly rewarding consumers, whether by developing a loyalty program or promoting deals on social media.