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Your brand on the Hero’s Journey

Yoda and Luke

Yesterday, The Walt Disney Company bought the Star Wars franchise for $4 billion.  How is it that a simple story could be worth so much?

As many have pointed out, the Star Wars story is ultimately the universal and timeless tale of the “Hero’s Journey” coined by Joseph Campbell: An ordinary person is called to overcome a seemingly impossible challenge, but with help from trusted allies he or she ultimately overcomes and returns changed forever.

It’s a story that appears in countless myths, legends, movies, books from the beginning of civilization.  It’s a story that everyone can relate to, regardless of demographics, psychographics, or buying habits.

The Hero’s Journey is an excellent model for your marketing efforts.  Most companies would like to think of their brand as the hero.  But that’s the wrong way to think of it.  The hero is your customer.  Your product or service is the ally that helps them to achieve their quest.

The reason why people are drawn to the story is because they can place themselves in the hero’s role.  We all face challenges we feel we can’t overcome.   So when we see someone “slay their personal dragon,” we feel we can too.  Your brand’s role in this whole story is to be that loyal friend, trusty sword, or magic wizard that helps them to reach their goal.

If your marketing can make people feel like a “hero,” you can overcome any of your personal business challenges.