Marketing Lessons from The Wizard

I have always been a big fan of The Wizard of Oz. This 1939 classic celebrates its 75th birthday this year. Hard to believe it didn't win best picture but, it lost to Gone With The Wind. Most people don't know Victor Flemming directed both films! Talk about an overachiever. 
A brand needs 3 things: Brains, Heart and Courage

Marketing Needs: 
A brand has needs like Dorothy’s traveling friends. A brand needs brains, heart and courage. If you are managing a brand, how are you exploring these requirements?

Brains:  Seems obvious but some brands don’t appear to be thinking clearly. They operate without a smart approach to the customer often thinking of them as a necessary evil. An intelligent brand is one that keeps examining what it sells and is wise in how it uses cues from customers to readjust their mission based on market needs. At the same time, they also are intellectually curious to ask if customers really understand what they want. Are you guiding your brand wisely? How often do you stop and think before you act?  

I’m very impressed with how smart Amazon is in supporting new authors. Their service and follow up are impressive and although huge in size, they are working to act nimbly. They really do have some incredible brains and as a brand, they take a long view. I wish more U.S. businesses could operate with this perspective. You can sense the Bezos wizard behind this brand leading his teams forward.

Heart:  While many brands profess to have a heart, how do they really treat stakeholders like employees or partner suppliers? Are they adversaries or allies in their work together. Do they run their business with a heart-centered approach trying to do what blends the needs of all their constituents? Are they allowing their employees to do non-profit work as a means of motivation? How do they act toward one another in creating civil work environments? A brand without a heart is not a place I want to work.

Michael Hyatt - Podcaster and Leadership Mentor 
I recently started to listen to Michael Hyatt’s podcasts on Intentional Leadership. You can download them at iTunes. He is an incredibly smart business man but leads with his heart and focuses on human and personal engagement. I keep learning lessons about marketing and life from his wisdom and experience. He is genuine in how he talks to his listener. You know there is a human being behind his brand. 

Courage:  The cowardly lion in the movie is in search of his nerve. He seeks to find the fearlessness of the wild beast as he acknowledges his inner scaredy cat. A brand needs a backbone. It must understand what it does and doesn’t represent. It shouldn’t try and be all things to all people. It must find the courage to make a decision and not sit on a fence. A brand with courage is something I fear. I strive to be fierce and to instill within the brand, the courage of conviction. 

Swim, Diana Swim
I can’t imagine a more courageous brand from the past few months than Diana Nyad. Diana succeeded at age 64, swimming 110 miles from Cuba to Key West.  This is a feat she failed at repeated times over the last ten years. Yet, she persisted and never quit. She said she would keep failing until she eventually succeeded or died. Diana Nyad is conviction and brands could learn a thing or two about her unstoppable attitude that she lives in every stroke. 

Down the Yellow Brick Road
Is your brand strolling down the yellow brick road in search of a brain, a heart or some courage? Marketing leaders need all three traits to be successful. Like Dorothy (and Diana) you have everything you need inside you to succeed. You just have to click your heels together and repeat, there is no place like home.

I think you can lose the ruby red slippers. 

Notes:  You can often find me watching movies from 1939. At other times, you can read my thoughts and ideas about marketing on this blog. If you haven't already gotten a copy, please check out my new book on Amazon called Unraveling the Mysteries of Marketing. Click here to go to the page to download a copy or check out my book trailer to tell you a few more details here. Some of the proceeds go to a non-profit called Charity: Water. Auntie Em would be so proud. 

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