Continuing Threats – Beyond Supervillains
While superheroes in comic books seem to spend most of their time fighting supervillains, it is often the inside looks in the hero’s private life that make fans connect to them. Sometimes the hero’s friends turn against the hero, their pride causes problems, or their fears are used against them. These same problems are true in business branding as well.
Looking Behind the Curtain
Every Superhero has a personal life. The costume is one side. Their secret identity is another. Part of the appeal to comic books is that we get a glimpse at the ordinary life of the hero. Part of the appeal of most TV dramas is that we see the characters beyond just their careers. We see their personal struggles. We IDENTIFY with those struggles. We connect to the characters to the point that when those characters die or suffer loss, we mourn. RIP Glenn (Walking Dead), RIP Lance (Bones), fill in your own most traumatic character death… You have a life outside of your business. (Hard to believe sometimes, but you do.) Giving people a glimpse into your life, helps them connect. Sharing your favorite hot drink, tv series to binge watch, or just your Monday traffic frustration shows your humanity and gives others a reason to share an emotional response with you.
At several points in a superhero’s career, the friends and family of their secret identity either hate or distrust the superhero. Peter Parker’s Aunt May often expressed a distrust of Spider Man. Maybe your employees are showing distrust or disengagement toward your business. Five out of ten common causes of disengagement are due to manager/employee relations (1) . If you are having problems in this area, find out the root causes. If you can repair those relations, share how you fixed the issue. This shows you care about how your employees feel about you and it may help someone else.
Superheroes often face problems with their own pride. Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and even Spider Man have all faced problems caused by their own pride or hubris. The entire story arc of Ultron’s creation is awarning of hubris.
We have all probably heard the quote, “Pride goeth before a fall…” The problem is this is a misquote. It comes from a Bible verse, Proverbs 16:18 which says, “Pride goeth before destruction,” That is a bit more severe. When the leadership, from CEO on down to the manager, grows too proud or arrogant to listen to employees or customer feedback that business is headed for disaster. Either the business will grow stagnant (Disney Animation pre-Pixar), will ignore market changes (passenger railroads), or will fall to scandal (Enron.) Just like a superhero needs to be confronted with their own fallibility, a business needs to be able to see and recognize flaws and errors. We all need to fail. Make mistakes. Fall. To err truly is human. Which brings us to our next point.
In many businesses there is a fear of failure. While no one wants their businesses to fail, that does not mean that we cannot make mistakes or have minor failures along the way. Remember this scene?
Since we all fail sometimes, we need to accept that mistakes happen. We need to make our businesses so that they are not “mistake proof” but rather “problem solving.” By empowering employees to fix mistakes and solve problems you can develop your own sidekicks.
Superhero No More?
These are just a few problems you may face over the life of your business. However, don’t throw in the cape. With Novae Design group, you have a team of branding experts who can help you build your superhero brand. With our help you can avoid the influence of Bad Branding, connect with customers, and save the day for those customers that only you can help. So Up! Up! and Away from that chair. Schedule your consultation today!
1. What Causes Employee Disengagement. custominsight.com. [Online] January 9, 2013. [Cited: March 25, 2019.] https://www.custominsight.com/employee-engagement-survey/research-employee- disengagement.asp.