Why are Bond films so successful? First, you start with an incredible hero brand. Enter the dynamic James Bond — a man with a hypnotic and cheeky personality loved by both men and women. He owns the coolest gadgets and cars on the planet and saves the world from destruction and terror. What more is there to love?
Throw in a far-fetched espionage script with exotic cinematography set in stellar locations coupled with electrifying stunts. And finally, no Bond film is ever complete without a creepy assassin and an uptight British supporting cast. Energy, suspense and sheer entertainment — therein lies the secret sauce. (No, not the martini.)
For more than 50 years, this recipe of success has not changed. And why should it? The Bond brand has kept its core audience and gained new fans along the way. Producer Albert R. Broccoli figured out how to make a ton of gold bullion and keep people coming back 50 years later, despite repackaging the lead a number of times.
Here are five things Agent 007 can teach us about branding:
- Know your audience. Cater to them and give them everything they expect and love from your brand. Don’t mess with your brand. Think Coca-Cola — don’t mess with a good thing.
- Keep the message simple. Don’t convolute your product message. You can’t be everything to everyone, so keep it simple. Brands like Dove, Apple, KFC and Tiffany & Co. all stay closely aligned with their brand purpose and so should you.
- Stick to your core product design. We like the tux, we want a catchy theme song, and we relish the villains. Like Bond, stay with what works for you.
- Deliver an indelible brand experience. Make your customers feel and appreciate what you do at every touch point. Make them ambassadors of your brand. (Me writing this blog post is an excellent example!)
- Keep the brand fresh. Although you have to know what works, you also must ensure your brand is relevant for current audiences. You may be 50 years old, but you’ve got to keep it fresh. This is what we mean by a “transformative” brand. (Thank you Adele for singing Skyfall.)
With the recent release of Spectre, the James Bond franchise remains as strong as ever.
Read more: James Bond and the Transformative Brand