You may love DC, you may love Marvel, or you may be someone who isn’t interested in either. But you can’t deny knowing who Stan Lee is ( Not unless you lived under a rock ). The feisty writer, editor, publisher and producer who gave life to some of the most iconic superheroes of all time passed away yesterday at the age of 95 leaving marvel fans all over the world heartbroken with the realisation that they are never going to see him in a Marvel movie cameo.
Marvel, a Failed enterprise at one point in the brink of bankruptcy now boasts billion dollars in revenue and a loyal bunch of fans spread across seas thanks mostly to the characters Stan Lee created over the years. As hard as it is to imagine, he made superheroes relatable, not in terms of superhuman stamina or the ability to fly ( if only that was a possibility!), but in terms of how they face their own battles despite who they are and what they can do.
Evidently, there’s a lot of things one can learn through the characters Stan’s imagination gifted us with – friendship, loyalty, honesty and courage to name a few. However, there’s more we can learn through how Marvel came out on top winning the hearts of many kids and adults alike in an industry that was dying. Creating and managing fans who are loyal to the end is not as easy as it seems. Especially with their loyalty centered around fictional characters.
Creating a production to appeal to a mass audience – biggest at that if I may add since they are for the whole world to see and enjoy – is bound to have both positive and negative feedbacks. It’s impossible for 7 billion people to have the same taste when it comes to movies and comic books. But somehow Marvel has comparatively received less backlash with their stories and characters thanks to how they have portrayed their characters!
Marvel has a character for everybody!
From characters ranging from Gods to Highschool kids bitten by spiders to female warriors with mad combat skills, Marvel has covered pretty much every gender, age and ethnic group in their productions creating a platform for them to reach out to different segments of fans based in various parts of the world. Shuri, genius princes of Wakanda, Scarlet witch with her unmatched powers, Natalia Romanova AKA black widow and Okaye who can put men to shame when it comes to bravery have made the empowered female presence in a hugely male-dominated superhero movie industry, attracting a lot of woman to the fan base.
Similarly, the movie ‘Black Panther’ was a phenomenal success in the African region while ‘Spider-Man’ attracted a lot of attention from kids in the same age group as did ‘Peter Parker’. And ‘Avengers’ brought all of those segments together.
Brand building through segmentation.
How Marvel built their whole brand around segmenting their characters to include every one of their fans was one of the major reasons why they now have a massive base of loyal fans. (Also because they cast handsome men! I mean have you seen Chris Hemsworth?) Fans/customers love the feeling of being included that gives them the impression that the organization has them in their mind. Planting that thought in a customer’s mind is what keeps them coming back for more causing the revenues to spike.
The strategy of segmenting your potential customer base and delivering something specific to each group has been long practised by many organizations but without a doubt, Marvel has taken it into a whole other level resulting in them now operating a billion-dollar franchise. Even though their main target was to produce characters with different abilities teaching different virtues of life to its fans, unintentionally they have taught us the value of understanding different customer segments and how catering to them accordingly will take you a long way.
Marvel will now go forward without Stan Lee and his extraordinary imagination and his hilarious cameos. They will, however, remain as the best in the industry, just like Stan Lee would remain forever in his loyal fans hearts.