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Superhero Branding

Jedi Knight Vs Darth Vader: Should You Appeal to Your Audience’s Deepest Pain, Fear and Insecurities? Or Their Biggest Hopes, Dreams and Aspirations?

Study after study has proven that, as human beings, we’re twice as motivated to move away from pain as we are to move toward pleasure.

That’s why so many marketers focus on pressing on their audience’s pain points in their marketing message.

Just like Darth Vader from Star Wars, their goal is to appeal to your “dark side.”

They hope that by agitating your pain, fear and insecurities, you’ll become so uncomfortable that you’ll desperately say “Yes!” to whatever they’re offering that they promise will help alleviate it.

On the Other Side of the Marketing Divide are the Jedi Knights

These are the warriors of the light. They avoid discussing the “dark side” of human nature at all costs.

Instead, their marketing message is all puppy dogs, sunshine and rainbows.

They aim to appeal to people’s biggest hopes, dreams and aspirations.

And instead of offering freedom from pain, they aim to make you feel good, thinking that you’ll sign up to work with them because you want even more of that feeling.

But here’s the thing…

It’s NOT that cut and dry.

The truth is…

To Succeed in Marketing, You Need to be Both Darth Vader and the Jedi Knight

Sure, if you just focus on pressing on people’s pain points, you’ll get more sales.

But as you know, creating a sustainable, difference-making business isn’t just about the immediate sale…

It’s about creating long-term relationships with people who come to know you, trust you and want to stay connected with you over time.

Why? Because this leads to people buying from you over and over again, and at higher and higher price points.

Plus this is how your audience truly turns into your tribe — your familywhich makes running your business way more fulfilling and fun 🙂

So if a lucrative, difference-making, fulfilling business is your game (which I’m sure it is if you’re reading this blog) then there’s a balance that you need to strike…

… one where you have an understanding of (and compassion for) the pain, fears and insecurities your target audience has.

Because Let’s Be Real: We ALL Have Light & Darkness Within Us

But you’ve got to be careful not to dwell too much on “the dark side” of being human.

If you do, people will start to feel like you’re just trying to pull them deeper into their pain just so they reach for their wallets and say “I don’t want this problem anymore!”

Your marketing message also needs to bring people up to the light too!

So now, a quick question for you…

How Do You See Yourself As a Marketer?

When you reflect for a moment on your approach to your marketing message up until now, have you been more of the Jedi Knight? Or Darth Vader?

Or do you see yourself as striking a healthy balance between the two, like I aim to do?

Share your thoughts with me in the comments below. I personally read and reply to every comment, and I’d love to hear from you!

And wherever you are in the world as you read this, May the Force Be With You, my friend!

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Bernice Suma

    This is an awesome video presentation. It presents the reality of what many are going through. I can see my past in there as well. Many just use these as avenue to rid the pains as you stated. I am thankful to have you as my mentor because I believe my destiny’s journey is gonna be made clearer and clearer and lead me to my dream passion and purpose.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Absolutely Bernice! So glad you enjoyed the article — thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Reply ·
  2. Amy Casciano

    The music on Bourbon Street is my favorite part of the whole New Orleans experience… how it changes as you just walk, hearing all the different bands, all vying for your attention. It’s a feast for the ears. 🙂

    Love this message too. Sadness and happiness, darkness and light, yin and yang. You can’t experience one without knowing the other… and if I’m understanding your point correctly, our marketing will normalize the darkness by sharing our own experiences with the same and then showing them how they too can rise to the light. The balance. Thanks Marisa

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Absolutely Amy! And I love the music too — “feast for the ears” is so true! Thanks for sharing! <3

      Reply ·
  3. Adrienne

    #BusinessWriteoff !

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Lol 🙂

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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