Walk into any supermarket, in fact into just about any shop in the world right now, and you’ll see Star Wars branding on pretty much everything.
We’ve spotted Yoda packaging on grapes, BB-8 oranges, Darth Vader apples, special edition mascaras, children’s toothpaste, Princess Leia toilet roll, Chewbacca soup and even a tea strainer and a vacuum cleaner with Star Wars branding.
But, is it necessarily a good tactic if the Force is with your brand? While there’s no doubt about the excitement which has surrounded the launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, does that mean your business will benefit from the buzz?
The most important consideration when thinking about a brand collaboration of any kind is what your main buyer groups are likely to be attracted to. If Star Wars is up there, then you could be on to a good thing.
A good branding strategy always starts with the buyer, not your products, your services, or Star Wars! So, even if you are the world’s biggest Star Wars fan and have every Star Wars toy ever made gathering dust in your attic, your customer may simply not care about the fate of Hans Solo.
The aim of a collaboration is that you have a win-win scenario for both parties so you need to ask yourself whether Star Wars or anything else you are considering will appeal to your potential buyer and impact positively on your bottom line, footfall or profile, depending on your aim.
While Star Wars branding may appeal to children as they walk around the supermarket with their parents, it may simply lead them to ask whether they can go to see the new movie rather than persuading mum or dad to buy a particular product.
The Force Awakens was already in profit even before the film hit the silver screen as a result of so many collaborations, and well thought through branding using movies or characters can also be a force for good for you.
While existing customers are unlikely to be deterred by special edition branding, it could be that you do attract other buyer types who have not tried your product before.
It may be that the effect does not last any longer than the time the branding is on your packaging. After all, are you likely to continue to choose a particular brand of oranges once they have no distinctive images on the label, or are you simply going to go back to the ones that look the juiciest or are at the best price?
If, however, your goal is for a quick sales boost during the a specific time period or to attract a new audience then aligning your own firm with that of a film which is set to make more than £1bn in profits could be a wise branding decision.
It’s a move which requires a careful weighing up of the pros and cons and a real understanding of your buyers’ interests. In the words of Yoda; “Choose wisely”.