Recently I watched the movie “The Princess Bride” for the 20th time.
This amusing romp always brightens my mood. While not to everyone’s taste, it’s an excellent distraction from the day’s headlines.
Deep within it, I accidentally uncovered the value of branding.
I expected to find fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love and miracles, but not lessons about marketing.
My epiphany came when Westley (the hero) describes how he acquired the title “Dread Pirate Roberts” from a line of charlatans, each of whom benefits from a reputation he hasn’t earned.
“The man I inherited it from is not the real Dread Pirate Roberts either,” Westley explains. “The real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.”
Westley then clarifies to the heroine that Dread Pirate Roberts is a title, more than a person. “Pirates and sailors need to fear their captain, and nothing strikes fear into the hearts of men like the name of the Dread Pirate Roberts!”
His conclusion: “Nobody would ever surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley.”
There it was — the power of branding, all boiled down to a few words, but I hadn’t previously paid attention.
Over the past 30-plus years I’ve met countless business owners who wonder why they’re devoting so much effort to their marketing. An attitude of “I sell quality, and people will flock to me,” isn’t uncommon.
These entrepreneurs see marketing communications as something to be tolerated, not nurtured. And they’re shocked when rapid success eludes them.
Every company’s brand includes its name, logo, reputation, products, services, people, pricing and a dozen little things bringing the business to life.
But your business’ success doesn’t just happen. There’s no magic drawer containing an effective communications strategy. No magic fairy will deliver to you an award-winning website, first position on Google or a video that goes viral.
Furthermore, there are few accidents in marketing, and most of them aren’t good.
Like Westley, we all must strategize and invest in our business vision, finding ways around challenges until finally achieving victory.
True, there will be setbacks along the way, and success isn’t guaranteed. But hard work, dedication, good quality, fair pricing, a solid communications strategy, and intelligent messaging can be combined to help you live happily ever after.
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
Find Dread Pirate Rob at askmrmarketing.com.