The whole world these days is sucked into the “The Hunger Games” and I am no exception. After hearing so much about it (hats off to their brilliant Marketing), even though it’s not really my “type” of fiction, I thought of giving it a chance. I wanted to read the books to get the full flavor before going in the shortcut route and watch the movie. After the initial hesitation, I started enjoying the “games”. While reading it, I also started thinking about how this book teaches us some important lessons about successful marketing practices. These are some of the lessons one should learn from the exceptional story from Suzanne Collins:
It’s all about packaging: You can package the product well and make a very good impression about the brand. In the unveiling of Katniss and Peeta to the world, Cinna took a negative and turned it into a positive. Given that they were from District 12 (the poor mining district), Katniss wondered if they were to be dressed as miners or stripped naked and covered in coal dust. Instead, he made Katniss “the girl who was on fire,” right down to the synthetic flame of the headdress. And, when you’re competing against 11 other products on the global stage, it helps to be the one that’s on fire.
Flaunt your talents. Within a company, marketing can get lost in the mix if not communicated properly to everyone (Internally and Externally). That’s why it’s good to remember that if you’ve got the skills and your peers are ignoring you, make them notice. Or shoot right at their heads just like Katniss, who unleashed an arrow straight at the Gamemakers’ table, skewering an apple that sat before them in a pig’s mouth and pinned it to the wall. Your message needs to be communicated loud and clear, just like hers.
Make your own rules. Today, marketers have more opportunity than ever to share their brand with the world. This means taking risks, experimenting and making up new rules as they go. Like Katniss and Peeta, who threatened the Gamemakers with their poison berries, marketers need to consider drastic measures as the media mix continues to evolve daily.
Get the sponsors: It’s one thing to be edgy and a challenger brand, but you still need to be likable enough to have “supporters” (sponsors). Otherwise, you might end up trying to explain and coping with lost revenue. Katniss and Peeta received several gifts from their sponsors, which helped them survive.
Build strong partnerships: Having partnerships with other companies can strengthen your brand. Although you may not want to sync up with your competition, working with a complementary brand could help bring you a new audience. Although only one person was supposed to win the game, both Katniss and Peeta worked in harmony and came out victorious. The novel is full of instances where one could not have survived without the other
Connect with consumers: Today more than ever, it’s very important for a brand to emotionally connect with the right target audience. In her debut interview, Katniss was sold on emotions when she was told to talk about her family and her sister Prim, whom she loved dearly.