First, my thanks to syntax-challenged Jedi Master Yoda for helping me craft the title of this entry.

More than likely, this isn’t the first thing you’ve read about the upcoming Star Wars reboot opening in theaters in December. I am an unabashed lifelong Star Wars fanatic and have had December 18, 2015 circled on my calendar since the movie’s announcement. Not quite excited enough to spend thousands of dollars pre-purchasing tickets two months ahead of time, but still excited.

I’m also interested to see how the Star Wars brand may potentially evolve as the new films develop. Disney purchased the franchise from George Lucas and will undoubtedly put a new spin on the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and the rest of the gang.

But — will I like it?

Star Wars faces a challenge to its brand with these new movies. Much like a bank or credit union considering a brand overall or even an entirely new name, they will have to find a way to toe the line, appeasing both original fans of the franchise (that started in late 1970s) and new fans coming on board just now. In other words, they’ll have to find some way to appeal to Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials and Homelanders, in one fell swoop.

Not an easy task.

Your bank or credit union cannot be all things to all people. However, what are some ways you can bridge the generations with your brand? Following are a few ideas.

  • Define your audiences. If you attempt to craft an identity that will work for everybody, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You must spend time identifying key target audiences. For example, will your credit union specifically target young, professional women? Are you going after the aging baby boomer demographic? Or are you really going to concentrate on acquiring millennials? Once you identify your target audience, you can more specifically focus your brand towards those people.
  • Focus on details. In branding, everything As I mentioned earlier this year, Disney is a terrific example of paying attention to brand details. At any Disney resort property, you will notice a great deal of attention paid to the smallest of details, from shower knobs and towel racks to employee names and consumer service. The old saying goes “the devil is in the details” and this definitely applies to branding. Inattention to detail can cripple any brand. Just ask Quiznos.
  • Avoid brand gaps. Sure, it’s your marketing staff and executive team that primarily develop and promote the brand. But it is your frontline staff that must live it every day in order for it to succeed. You can have the greatest brand in the world but unless your staff buys into it wholeheartedly, it can also fall apart. This gap between brand identity and consumers is deadly. Once your brand makes a promise to consumers, it must live up to it. If it fails to do so, the brand gap widens, mistrust grows and wallet share decreases.

Taking steps such as defining target audiences, focusing on the details and avoiding brand gaps are ways to help ensure your brand appeals to a broad array of consumers. And there is no brand too big to fail. Just look at how the critics slammed Star Wars Episodes I, II and III. Take steps now to make sure that your brand is seen as cruel and timeless like Darth Vader and not irritating and unappealing like Jar Jar Binks.

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