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  • Writer's pictureGlenda Beagle

Did you hear the roar of the Lion?

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

How tuned into pop culture are you? Have you heard of a little movie called the Lion King?

For myself, I’m usually so focussed on the tasks at hand that it quite often escapes my thoughts. Heck, I rarely even see movies unless it’s on the seatback tv of a plane to an amazing destination. Now that I’m not in the travel industry, I’m completely out of touch with what is coming up. Not because we aren’t traveling, but rather because it doesn’t have as much of an impact on my current business. While I was in the travel industry it became part of my routine to stay up to date on the latest reality TV shows, the latest movies, etc. Without fail within a couple of days of amazing race hitting an exciting destination or the bachelor going somewhere exotic and romantic, my phones and emails would light right up. People would be wanting to check out those amazing destinations for themselves. A number of years ago the movie Couples retreat came out and I was flooded with requests for the overwater bungalows like they showed in the movie. I could also tell when it had just aired on tv over the weekend, because Monday morning, I was once again flooded with new requests. The key to this is to harness it. To continue to let people dream and think of what if possible. I will fully admit, once I knew what destinations these shows were going to feature, that took center stage on my marketing. Why not? They are already dreaming of it anyways.

Yesterday I posted in our MainStreet Academy about this topic and while there are some travel professionals in the group, there was also a lot of other businesses represented as well. We talked about the popularity of the current Lion King Movie, and ways that we could hop on the bandwagon of excitement surrounding it. While you can’t directly use things that will infringe on the copy writes that Disney owns (trust me, no one wants to go up against them) there are many ways to capture the attention. Perhaps you have items in your store or product line that would overlap? Maybe you have a clothing store, with some animal print fabrics, or you carry great safari hats. If you sell products for kids, perhaps changing up the name of a product to be more connected to their world, perhaps a “limited edition” of a product run. If you run a bakery, it could be something as simple as creating lion cupcakes, or even a whole cast of animals. There are so many possibilities. Travel professionals have it pretty easy on this one, this movie screams all things African Safaris, and if you are a family travel professional, my marketing would focus on children or teens on Safari.

The first question that did come up in our group, however, was - how do I do it without being ‘salesly’? This was a very important question that has two answers. The first is that when you have built up a relationship with your clients it’s okay to be salesy from time to time. In fact your customers will be looking for it. The second is to ensure you have built that relationship already. When you have invested time, energy and effort into building a relationship with your clients, just as you would your neighbor, they appreciate you putting an offer in front of them. A great way to think of it is if you ran into someone at the grocery store. When you first run into them are the first words out of your mouth every time going to be “I have something to sell you so you need to buy it”. Instead, you’re going to get to know them, build up a rapport so that when you do have something amazing to offer they want in. (More on this in the next issue.)

I challenge you to check out the upcoming listings, see what movies are coming out, new tv shows, etc that are going to be hitting the small screens and see how you may be able to take advantage of tying that excitement into your upcoming promotions. There is a reason why certain shows and movies are shot on location. Local tourism boards often add big bucks to the production budget or tax incentives to get in on the action. If you’ve ever watched Hawaii 5-0, they do more Chevy product shots than any other tv show I’ve seen, it’s crazy. Earlier today while I was getting ready, Live with Kelly and Ryan was on in the other room (not normal, so I felt like that was a sign I really needed to share this content). On the episode was Geena Davis who was talking about the movie Brave. Following that movie, she said girls were leaving in droves to go get a bow and arrow, to the point that following the release of that movie more girls than boys were signing up for archery classes. When you are watching pop culture and the world around you, you’re going to see opportunities that often others are not willing to take the time to uncover. Clearly, there will be random blockbusters that are unexpected. At the time of 50 shades of grey books being released, no one saw the ‘cult like following’ that came with it coming. Same goes for the Girl Wash your Face book by Rachel Hollis. These just seem to appear out of nowhere, so we can’t always prepare for them, but ensure you taking hold of any opportunities that follow. With the Girl Wash your Face following, empowering posts on social suddenly got more of a following. Empowering wall hangings were suddenly popping up in my friends' homes, so if you had some of those tucked away in the store, that was a great time to pull them upfront and center.

I’d love to hear what ideas you have for capturing the attention of an audience who has just been shown something shiny. Feel free to drop me a DM on Instagram or Facebook.

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