If you’re like a lot of people who enjoy watching movies, then I have a question for you: Why do you love certain movies and don’t love others?

This morning, I was thinking about the Oscars and movies in the context of brands. I realized one thing:

Movies are a lot like brands.

There are some movies we love. Some we hate. Some we like. Some we avoid altogether.

Think about it:

  • Did you cry during Les Miserables?
  • Were you inspired by Life of Pi?
  • Were you entertained by Django Unchained?
  • Did you love Silver Linings Playbook or not?

In either case, what you want to notice is that movies, much like brands, evoke an emotion out of us. To elicit an emotion from us, movies and brands seem to have at least 3 common factors:

  • A storyline. A movie tells a story much like brands. The story is designed with an end-goal in mind whether it’s to inspire, evoke fear, empower, entertain, or something else. So, ask yourself, what is the story you want to tell?
  • People. Most of the time, you can’t have a movie without characters. Similarly, you can’t build a brand without people. People buy from people. Whether you’re a personality brand, a company brand, or a product brand, always remember that people are behind the brand. Think Steve Jobs. Or, Richard Branson. Or, Oprah.
  • Audio and visuals. You obviously have to watch a movie but one thing to mention is that movies incorporate a certain cinematography style to convey a particular look and feel. A futuristic movie has a different style than a period film. A romantic comedy has a distinct look than a horror film. Well, brands are very similar. There’s an art and science that goes into the thinking behind a brand, e.g., color, typography, photography, and imagery style.

So, as you build your brand I encourage you to be inspired by Oscar-winning movies. While it’s nearly impossible to teach you how to be a film director (the same way it’s nearly impossible to teach you EVERYTHING about the mechanics of building a brand), there are three questions you can ask yourself as you build your brand.

  • What’s the story you want to tell?
  • Who are you?
  • What’s your style (look and feel)?

And, finally, what is the emotion you want people to feel when interacting with all that you do?

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