What can your brand learn from the James Bond franchise?

This week sees the launch of the hotly-anticipated new James Bond movie, No Time to Die.

This is the 25th instalment of the James Bond franchise, and fans have been kept in suspense as its release date was pushed back and back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

You would think that after 25 films, the James Bond franchise would be starting to look a little tired. Far from it. As a brand and a character, James Bond is a lesson in genius marketing. There’s a lot that new eCommerce companies can learn from the success of this franchise to ensure they remain just as relevant to their customers.

Moving with the times

One of the ways Bond has remained relevant is by constant reinvention, refreshing the character and brand for each new generation. The brains behind Bond have never shied away from adapting the character and having him move with the times. Certain things about the franchise — from the nature of the jokes to the evil designs of the bad guys — have changed over the years in response to shifting audiences tastes.

Despite the changes however, the Bond brand has held onto a core set of principles and values which viewers have come to expect, while things around the periphery have changed to stay relevant.

That’s precisely what brand owners must do. Like the Bond brand, you need to have a core that will remain intact in ten, twenty, even fifty years’ time, but be agile and flexible enough to change and keep up with what your customers demand.

Marketing magic

Bond has always been marketed in a certain way, and there are some things that viewers have just come to expect from a Bond film. There has to be a villain with an evil scheme, a glamorous love interest, a shiny new car and some pretty badass weaponry. Throw in some car chases and a handful of explosions and you’re there.

So why don’t viewers get bored of this format?

It’s because it’s familiar, yet constantly tweaked. Businesses must be the same. You want to build a strong brand that your customers develop a familiarity with because familiarity builds trust and trust leads to repeat custom.

If customers know what to expect and like what they get, they’ll keep returning and remain loyal. Remember, toothpaste manufacturers, Colgate, once decided to enter the ready meals market and completely failed because nobody wants to associate their microwave dinner with their minty toothpaste.

When you know what you’re good at, that’s the business core you need to stay with.

Stand out from the crowd

One final lesson marketers can learn from James Bond is that a brand needs to stand out from the crowd. There are a lot of action movies out there, and a lot of films about spies. None has had the staying power Bond has had. The studios behind Bond found their gap in the market and filled it, spotting a niche they could corner and something people were lacking in their lives. eCommerce businesses must do the same. You need to have a USP that makes you stand out from the crowd in the way Bond does.

In other words, if you want to build a brand with sticking power, be more Bond!

I’m Philip J. Keezer, president and founder of management consulting firm Grindstone Capital. Dedicated to hard work, learning, positivity and accountability.