May The 4th Be With Your Strategy


Star Wars is a marketer’s paradise, appealing to multiple generations and capturing the attention of consumers to the tune of billions of dollars. It has done such an impressive job of winning the hearts and minds of so many, that it has been awarded its own day – at least in the lexicon of pop culture –  Star Wars Day, May the 4th.

Yet how did a little green alien and hairy Wookie emerge from the obscurity of a script to become part of an overall marketing and media force? Simply put, George Lucas’ execution and strategy.

As I discuss in a recent article with M&M Global, Lucas’ strong creative vision, leadership, and technological wizardry is responsible for cementing Star Wars’ place in movie making history. But more importantly, there are strategic lessons marketers can take in becoming their own master marketing force.

Tell A Story of Vision

Lucas had this crazy vision of a story he called a “space opera,” which he pitched to multiple studios and was turned down by many. He believed in his story, and knew there was place in the market for it, with the unique characters and dynamic galaxy the likes the world had never seen.

Businesses and marketers have their stories, known as vision statements, which can act as the catalyst for overall strategic plans. Surprisingly, 95% of the typical workforce doesn’t understand their organization’s strategy. To be successful, businesses need to develop vision statements that effectively communicate and market their brand’s unique stories – not just to external customers, but internally as well.

Execute Leadership

Star Wars A New Hope required multiple departments to come together and collaborate in entirely new ways. Lucas immersed himself in every aspect of the movie-making process, making sure his overall vision of the Star Wars Galaxy matched the final cut. He understood that leadership at every level of any organization drives execution and ensures overall success.

In a recent study, 77% of organizations indicated their leadership strategy was only somewhat, or not at all, aligned with their business strategy. A strongly committed leader drives execution of business initiatives across all departments. When leadership is absent, collaboration, cooperation, and even creative processes fall by the wayside and an organization’s ability to be successful suffers.

Embrace The Technology of Today

George Lucas believed so much in technology’s ability to help tell any story, he founded Industrial Light and Magic, a motion picture visual effects studio, two years before the release of the first Star Wars movie. Lucas understood to bring a sci-fi world to life he needed technology, and he used the technology available to enhance his storytelling.

Technology can streamline ideas and make life simpler when deployed at the right time and in the right way. Technology should be used to enhance business processes, without replacing creative thinking or the power of people.

George Lucas’ genius lies in his ability to execute a strategic vision and create movie magic. Businesses who employ these same strategies will find success in any market. As Yoda put it, “Difficult to see. Always in motion the future is.” With the right strategy your business success doesn’t have to be uncertain, for May the 4th or any other day.