Disney’s popular new series, “The Mandalorian,” has captured the hearts of longtime Star Wars fans and probably attracted some new ones. Who can deny the appeal of a story in which a tough bounty hunter like Din Djarin (the titular Mandalorian) saves the life of an adorable little one like Baby Yoda?
“The Mandalorian” represents a lot more than a heartwarming adventure, though. Small businesses can find a lot of useful takeaways from Disney’s popular new series.
In addition to the cool visual effects, classic adventures, and some nostalgic nods to the original trilogy, this series contains nuggets of wisdom that can resonate throughout the galaxy — even here on Earth.
Here are 10 small business marketing tips that can be gleaned from “Star Wars: The Mandalorian.”
1. Develop a Memorable Brand, and You’ll Always Be Recognized
The Mandalorians rep a distinctive “brand.” Their signature helmets and beskar armour are recognized throughout the galaxy — humans and alien life forms instantly know when they’ve encountered a Mandalorian, even if they’ve never seen one before.
Speaking of “brand,” while Baby Yoda’s origins have not yet been shared with audiences (nor was the original Yoda’s), the species’ distinctive ears and mannerisms are recognizable at once.
As a small-business owner, this is the kind of visibility you should seek.
Be sure your company’s logo and assets are memorable — then assertively market them to gain familiarity in your markets and, ultimately, instant recognition. Doing so will help your company stand out against its competitors.
One good way you can achieve recognition is to order some cool swag to boost your visibility. You don’t need a Disney-sized budget to do it, either; there are many affordable and budget-friendly promo items small businesses can invest in.
2. Partnerships Can Help You Reach Your Goals
Mandalorians appear to be loners by nature unless they are congregating with their clan.
However, during his quest to protect and safeguard The Child, Mando, the mighty bounty hunter, learns that he cannot do it alone. For support, he recruits the help of Kuill, Cara Dune, and Peli Motto. As he continues to face different challenges in his journey with Baby Yoda, Mando even teams up with Greef Karga, head of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild, whom he had previously double-crossed (for a good cause).
The lesson for small businesses is that help can come from unexpected places. You never know who can step in to provide you with good advice or lend a helping hand when needed. (Baby Yoda even uses the force to save Mando from the deadly and angry mudhorn.)
So always be on the lookout for opportunities to network and connect with other small business owners like yourself. And remember, you can always offer others your help, as well. These relationships will be golden in the long run.
3. Guard Your Reputation
Kuill, a member of the Ugnaught species, spent almost his entire life in servitude to the Galactic Empire — but not by choice. When he was much younger, he was sold against his will. He then spent years trying to earn his freedom, which he ultimately obtained through determination and hard work. Kuill was rich in “good credit” and sincerity, which ultimately brought him the freedom, peace, and satisfaction he sought.
After he helped Mando recover the parts of his ship from the thieving Jawas, the bounty hunter offered the Ugnaught employment.
But Kuill declined, preferring to protect his reputation for integrity and choosing to pay his way without feeling as if he “owed” anyone.
Operating an ethical business and establishing a premier reputation is vital to a small company’s success in much the same way. Customers need to know you’re reliable and true to your word.
Deliver on time and remain true to your return policies, so you can earn your customers’ trust as a reliable businessperson. You also want to be timely with your accounts and establish good credit with vendors and suppliers. Be sure to monitor and take steps to boost your credit score, especially if it’s a little on the low side.
In keeping with their warrior ways, Mandalorians operate on a strict code of honour. Their reputation holds prestige. Do the same and your reputation will become one of your business’s greatest assets.
4. Protect What’s Important at All Costs
Even though Din Djarin initially wasn’t sure why he was rescuing The Child from the Empire loyalists, he instinctively knew this was the right thing to do. Later in the series, the bounty hunter shares his backstory, revealing he was a “foundling” after his parents were killed during an attack on his planet by Separatist battle droids. It was other Mandalorians who saved him.
As a young boy, Din Djarin adopted Mandalorian customs and learned the value of protecting what’s important at all costs. By the end of the season, he becomes a father figure to Baby Yoda. Even Kuil, who worked so hard for his freedom, sacrifices his life attempting to save The Child from the Stormtroopers chasing him.
While your company’s goal may not be to protect a powerful and adorable green baby with psychokinetic abilities, you do have a lot at stake. You’ve seeded your business, nurtured it, and watched it grow.
After going through all this time and effort, you want to keep it thriving. By staying true to your core beliefs in your business practices and maintaining your integrity, you’ll be able to safeguard your brand and keep it viable.
5. Stay Calm in Times of Crisis
Anyone who has followed the “Star Wars” saga knows the main characters face numerous crises in their daily lives.
To date, Mando has faced the mudhorn, endured Jawas stripping his ship and stealing its parts, battled with IG-11 over “the asset” (eventually revealed as The Child), and tried to escape from the fiery wrath of Moff Gideon and his Stormtrooper minions. Through all these trials, Mando had to remain calm and work proactively if he wanted to survive.
All small businesses will experience a crisis at some point. Whether for a significantly disruptive long-term event or a temporary catastrophe that needs attention ASAP, it’s a good idea to have a disaster recovery plan in place. Many businesses permanently shutter their doors after a disaster; the danger is real. You may not be a large corporation, but you still need to establish continuity for your company to survive.
Proactive planning will help you in the event the disaster does hit. Your plan can serve as a roadmap to pull you out of survival mode and allow you to return to levelheaded proactivity. It’ll also help you to stay calm in times of crisis since you will have already identified the steps to take.
Not to mention, statistically speaking, a plan will give you a greater chance of surviving if a disaster or serious interruption does occur.
6. Never Be Averse to Change
The Mandalorian lived most of his years as a bounty hunter (or at least as one in training). As far back as “Star Wars” lore goes, bounty hunters have a reputation for being heartless and possessing a killer instinct.
No one loves a bounty hunter, and most life forms try to avoid contact unless they’re hiring them.
Yet despite his upbringing, Din Djarin had a change of heart, even after he was paid handsomely to deliver Baby Yoda to the client. Having handed over the bounty, he decided it was time for a change and upended his life. It wasn’t easy, but with dedication and hard work, he found it was possible. And worth it.
Small businesses that remain static won’t be around long. Today’s companies have an amazing capacity to compete with big corporations, thanks to technology. By embracing change and being willing to integrate technology (as needed) into your processes, you can level the playing field and be truly competitive.
Change is difficult, but once you make the commitment, adapting to changing circumstances becomes easier. Never stop evolving, and always pivot your strategies as times change.
7. Don’t Neglect Your Core Audience
When Din Djarin rescued The Child from the evil holdovers from the Empire, he knew he would tick people off. Not only did he anger the client, but he also angered the Stormtroopers, other Mandalorians, and Greef Karga, the head of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild.
The lesson here is that you won’t be able to please everyone all the time. However, you need to be selective in whom you do work to please. Your core audience is more likely to stay with you through thick and thin, so don’t spend too much of your financial resources trying to attract others who are unlikely to join your loyal customers.
Never cast aside those who truly matter. Remember, it costs far less to retain good and reliable customers than it does to get new ones who might be fickle or not so enthusiastic about your product or service.
8. Look Beyond Profits
If Mando had continued on his bounty hunter’s path, he would undoubtedly have become a rich man, having mastered his skillset and built a reputation as of the best at his job. However, when push came to shove, he chose the well-being of The Child over himself. And he did it again when he protected the villagers on Sorgan from marauders who attacked them.
Profits are essential in any money-making company and shouldn’t be ignored, but it’s important to look beyond this basic business need and put some effort into initiatives that support corporate social responsibility (CSR), as well. Millennials and Gen Z’ers are rapidly expanding their spending power, and one of their core values is caring for the world around them. They’ll instinctively be drawn to companies that are engaging in CSR.
Belong to something bigger than yourself by identifying a meaningful cause and contributing to it. In the long run, these initiatives — in addition to improving the planet — also can prove to be a passive way to market yourself organically.
9. Use Technology Strategically, but Wisely
The Mandalorian has a huge stash of neat gadgets to help him in times of conflict. These tools aid him in his battles, but sometimes they aren’t accessible, so he has to improvise. In one episode, the mighty bounty hunter uses his instincts and crushes an opponent with a door. He also refuses to rely on droids in an era where almost everyone is dependent upon them. Even his ship, The Razor Crest, isn’t shiny and new; it predates the Empire.
Technology is vital to modern business operations, but it’s not wise to become too dependent on it; plus, it’s important to thoroughly understand the processes behind that technology. If you don’t, and your tech goes down or is damaged without a backup or repair plan, your business can take a big hit.
Tech is powerful and has amazing capacity, but it should never replace basic skills. The ability to improvise and adapt without technology is crucial to any business. You want to position yourself as a mover and shaker, but if your core is all about the tech, you’re doing something wrong.
10. Simplify and Stay Focused on Your Mission
Mandalorians aren’t caught up in clutter. Their armour and lifestyle are quite simple. This enables them to perform their duties without distraction.
It’s not easy to focus on your core competencies if you’re surrounded by clutter. If you make an effort to streamline your physical space, for example, it’ll help you get a lot more done. And while you’re tidying up your professional space, why not get the whole office on board, rent a dumpster, and give it a good cleaning? Once you’re done, you can get back to business without distraction. Eliminate the clutter and create a pleasant environment — and watch your productivity soar!
“Star Wars” is a memorable collection of movies and series that many people are drawn to, and with good reason. However, if you look beyond all the excitement on screen and think about the characters’ actions and dialogue, you might be surprised by how many business lessons can be learned — lessons that can apply to any planet in the galaxy, including Earth.