If you haven’t heard of Stranger Things then you’re part of a rare crowd. The series is set in the eighties and has a distinctive look and feel of an original Steven Spielberg with a horror narrative similar to that of Stephen King. The series is fast-paced and each character group moves very quickly in trying to find a lost boy.
As a business owner you need staying power, you need a doggedness that is unwavering, resolute. If you view your target market as a lost young boy and your business as the characters trying to find him, would you succeed?
The plot follows the disappearance of a young boy and the otherworldly entities that are creating havoc in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. The storyline separates into three different threads.
First, there’s the adults’ pragmatic search for the lost boy. Second, the boy’s pre-teen friends’ relentless pursuit to find him with the aid of a telekinetic girl. And, finally, teenagers’ journey demonstrating bravery, belief and romance.
However, each thread has a distinct method and strategy in place. The series is eerie but excellent.The tenacity, persistence and drive showcased by the various characters in Stranger Things is never ending and it made me think: What if we all operated in this way when going after our goals?
Nostalgia and emotion
If you want your target market to sit up and pay attention you need to make your offering relatable. Clever marketing strategies abound but Stranger Things has created something that attracts its specific audience in a way that’s genius. There’s an emotional connection.
The series’ target market grew up in the eighties, the very era the story is set in. This means the audience is filled with nostalgia – an absolute feel-good factor – and they inevitably relate to all the characters no matter their age. So, Stranger Things feels like a place we’ve been before but with a storyline that’s fresh and exciting.
The details and authenticity
One of the most exciting parts about this series is that every single little detail about the setting, period and characters is completely authentic. Nothing is out of place. The message is clear and committed and leaves no room for questioning.
This means the audience is completely invested and trusts they won’t be let down. Similarly, when sending out a message to your consumer base, the devil is in the detail. Your message must be clear and concise, authentic to your brand and leave no room for questioning.
Make sure you’ve covered all your bases and leave no room for error in your messaging. Stranger Things covered all of its bases from the types of TV sets used, interior decor and even food the characters eat.
Be as reactive as you are proactive
In Stranger Things the different groups of characters take varied approaches to finding the lost boy. However, every group remains both proactive and reactive. They think on their feet whether they’re planning their moves, searching for answers or managing an attack.
Their goal never shifts. Each moment is filled with proactive strategies around the rescue, gathering information about the unknown enemy, investigating those who are trying to thwart their success and setting up contingency plans to mitigate risk.
Similarly in the business world you have to take a proactive stance on the daily with some strong Plan Bs when you find yourself needing a quick reaction to some or other curveball.
Practise your strategy
The group of kids in Stranger Things play the well-known game Dungeons and Dragons. It’s an old favourite from yesteryear and it’s referenced from the very first episode.
The game is included in almost every episode and nearing the end of the series it forms the foundation for the strategy the kids take going forward.
The Dungeons and Dragons game provides the audience (and the characters) with an understanding of how to take down the unknown entity that they believe has kidnapped their friend.
If you want your team to understand how to implement a strong strategy why not play Dungeons and Dragons in your own office? It couldn’t hurt. It’ll have you practising your responses to unexpected crises that might come your way.
Stranger Things may be just a TV show but its success is astounding and the formula the creators have followed must be revered. When somebody creates something and nails it, we must learn what we can from their strategy and smarts.