Business Lessons From James Bond

Business Lessons From James Bond

Business Lessons From James Bond

By Mark Wager

One of the most successful movie franchises in history is back in the cinemas this month. James Bond has returned in Spectre the twenty fourth in the official series. Ever since Dr No hit our screens in 1962 James Bond has been thrilling audiences for over fifty years making it the highest grossing franchise in ticket sales in movie history once inflation has been taken into account. Many businesses would be proud of this level of success. So what lessons can be found when we analyse the James Bond franchise?

Build a brand
Whether you have consciously created one or it has developed over time, your business has a brand. Your customers have an expectation of your product whenever they see your logo or hear your name. It's this expectation that defines your brand. Even if you haven't seen the latest Bond movie, you know what you are going to get. Bond is famous for its action packed opening sequence, the theme music, exotic locations and the glamorous women. A clear and defined brand presents your customers with an expectation of consistency and quality. If you can meet or even exceed these expectations then you will have brand loyalty and ongoing success will be yours.

No one is irreplaceable
One of the main differences between James Bond and other movie franchises is longevity. Most other franchises stop or fail when the actors become too old for the roles yet Bond has implemented a key business principle, that is that no one is irreplaceable. There's not a single person in your organisation that is more important than the organisation itself. Change can be uncomfortable, it can be disruptive and a little bit scary but change brings benefits through new ideas and a fresh approach. Bond has been played by many actors throughout the years and whether it's Sean Connery the original Bond or the the latest played by Daniel Craig everyone has their favourite Bond. Different actors have brought a fresh approach to a role and won over new fans. Change is not something to be afraid of. Change, even if it's because if a loss of a valued member of the organisation, is just a part of ongoing success.

Be prepared to reinvent your business
Just because you might have a strong brand it doesn't mean that you can't change. The Bond franchise has been successful because it has stayed true to its brand while still adapting to suit the times. Every movie is always set in the present day and the tone has changed to suit the audience. You could say that while the product has remained the same the packaging is always being modernised. To be successful your business has to do the same, you have to keep the core components that your customer wants but you must always ask yourself how you are going to present those components to today's ever changing audience.

Always look for new revenue streams
If you have a strong brand then other opportunities present themselves. The James Bond movies were one of the first to include commercial arrangements with non-film related businesses. In the movies you see numerous product placements, the car that James Bond drives, the watch he wears and even what he drinks generates revenue as companies pay significant amounts of money to have their product included in the movie and endorsed by the character. On the official 007 website there are links to twelve official brand partners including Sony, Aston Martin and Omega all money generated before anyone has purchased a cinema ticket. As a business you need to always look at how you can generate income in addition to your core business. Ask yourself who is your customer and in addition to your product what do they buy and how can you be part of that additional business.

For over fifty years, James Bond has entertained generation after generation with his adventures and the chances are that James Bond will still be with us in fifty years time, a true example of a great character and of a great business model, a model that other businesses can look at as a source of inspiration.

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About the Author:
Mark Wager wanted to become James Bond but ended up as a Leadership Expert and Author. Mark provides leaders with the strategies and techniques in order to inspire & empower their teams. 

Posted: Monday 9 November 2015


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