If you haven’t seen Marvel’s The Avengers: Infinity War, you’ve certainly heard about it. The penultimate movie was the culmination of ten years of Marvel films.
Starting with the release of Iron Man in 2008, Marvel Entertainment, LLC has been churning out film after film, dominating the box offices and the market for superhero movies. After years of laying the groundwork, Marvel released Infinity War this last weekend with victorious results: the film has earned the spot of biggest worldwide opening of all time .
We’re not here to talk spoilers, we’re here to talk business; there’s a lot your company can learn from Marvel’s success. Here are 3 lessons to learn from Marvel’s preparation for Infinity War.
Marvel has released about two movies a year for the last decade, which is an incredible feat. There could be concern about oversaturation, but Marvel knew what they were doing. By creating an enormous and loyal fanbase, they guaranteed an audience for each film in the present and in the future.
We didn’t have time to get sick of Marvel movies because they have become so seamlessly integrated into national and global pop culture. It’s a brilliant marketing move on Marvel’s part.
All this success didn’t happen by accident, and Infinity War shattered records for a reason; Marvel has been laying the groundwork for the film over the last few years. All MCU films include easter eggs and secret cut scenes that foreshadow the next wave of movies, which drum up buzz online and lead to hype speculating the future of beloved characters.
How does this all apply to your company? When starting and cultivating a business, you need to have a long-term vision. How do you do this? By setting short and long-term goals.
“Goals are powerful contributors to successful business growth in several ways. To begin with, the process of setting goals forces you to think through what you want from your business and how growth may–or may not–provide that,” says Entrepreneur.com. “This process helps suggest directions for pursuing that growth, which can greatly improve your chances of achieving your goals in the first place.”
Check out this guide from Inc. to start setting goals for your business. Start planning for success and you’ll see an incredible payout. (Maybe not quite the 640 million opening weekend kind of payout, but still a good one.)
Have some tricks up your sleeve
Besides the shocking ending of Infinity War, all fans can talk about is about how misleading the film’s trailers were. Polygon reported that the first trailer for the movie included a clip that (spoiler!) wasn’t even in the final cut. Many fans were baffled by the bold movies that the writers made; from the opening scene, Infinity War shocked audiences and contradicted fan theories.
Take a page out of the Russo Brothers’ book: keep your audience on their toes. While consistency is key in business, you still need to shake things up now and then.
A good way to do this is on social media; by utilizing disappearing content like Instagram stories for marketing, “you can post polls within stories, direct message with customers, and try out different types of posts that you might not commit to on your main feed.”
This will let you experiment with new post formats and surprise your audience. Making bold movies will help your business stand out in the crowd, which is more important than ever: “Being able to differentiate your business by communicating your unique capabilities that your competition does not have is paramount to attracting your ideal client.”
Don’t be afraid to branch out
One of the reasons Marvel has been so successful comes from their willingness to branch out.
The MCU has separated its movie releases into three phases. Phase 1 started out with Iron Man, spanned four years, and wrapped with the first Avengers film. Phase 2 was largely comprised off sequels, but also introduced new characters in Guardians of the Galaxy, which got its own sequel and has a planned 3rd film, and Ant-Man, which has a sequel coming out this summer.
We are currently in Phase 3, which introduced a solo Spiderman movie, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther (which is still breaking records 11 weeks after release) By tying in these new characters to Infinity Wars, the Marvel team has cemented the future of the franchise.
Branching out your business can give you similar, positive results. A great way to start branching out is by attending conferences. “Businesses now develop web presences, but that doesn’t mean they are solely online,” says Switch Fast. “Meeting up with industry professionals and upcoming start-ups can really boost your company’s image while growing your professional network.”
In the same way that a surprise cameo in a Marvel movie can lead to an entire movie series down the line, an appearance at a conference could result in a long-lasting business relationship that really benefits your company.
Move Forward like Marvel
Love them or hate them, superhero movies are here to stay. That’s largely due to Marvel’s long-term planning, ability to surprise, and vast extension of the MCU. If you can do the same for your company, your business will thrive.