Inspired Brands: The Success and Diversity of “Hamilton”

Our country was created by the persecuted. Those who came from Europe were persecuted for their beliefs. Native Americans were driven off their land because they were believed to be inferior. Slaves were tortured and traded because of the color of their skin. Our country has fought for every right and liberty it has. Sometimes, it even if it means fighting each other from Civil War to Civil Rights.

This is an important fact to keep in mind as a business owner, a marketer, and as an American. Your audience crosses sea to shining sea. And yet, many focus on one group or another.

A perfect example of a successful brand embracing this country’s beautiful differences is the award-winning musical “Hamilton.”

Embracing Diversity From Sea to Shining Sea

Unless you live under a rock, you know about of this little Broadway musical. The show, by the brilliant Lin Manuel Miranda, concentrates on an intriguing idea: a hip hop musical about the founding fathers. The musical had a multicultural cast with Miranda, a son of Puerto Rican immigrants, as the lead. Actors like Daveed Diggs and Leslie Odom Jr. originate other iconic roles.

After the show’s opening, many asked why Miranda chose to have such a diverse cast portray such iconic characters. In one interview, he said, “In ‘Hamilton,’ we’re telling the stories of old, dead white men, but we’re using actors of color, and that makes the story more immediate and more accessible to a contemporary audience.”

And that’s what happened. Being able to get a ticket to “Hamilton” was difficult. In fact, it was equivalent to Charlie getting a golden ticket to Wonka’s chocolate factory. Every day, millions flock to the theater to see the show. Fans buy soundtracks, mixtapes, and anything else to connect to the cultural phenomenon.

Why Hamilton?

Because it became a story everyone could relate to. The little boy in the projects became Alexander Hamilton writing his way to the top. Immigrants are like Lafayette and Hamilton upholding ideals of a country they weren’t born in. Women could see themselves in Eliza or Angelica.

Indeed, it’s a musical for everyone. America is for everyone.

Our nation is a quilt of faces, ethnicities, religions, languages, sexualities, and ideas. Remember, don’t focus on one because it will make you the most money. Embrace everyone and inspire them with your brand.

Keep in mind Lin Manuel Miranda’s inspiring words. “And Love is Love is Love is Love is Love is Love is Love is Love is Love.”

What do you think of Miranda’s words? Of diversity in marketing and business? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Inspired Brands: How Disney Has Stayed Magical

The statue of Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse at the front of Disney World. Roy was Walt’s brother and business partner.

In honor of our Pixar post from Monday and the D23 Expo* this weekend, we have decided to highlight the Disney brand rather than a trend.

If you don’t already know, the Walt Disney company has been able to ride the waves of pop culture since its creation in 1923. All the while, they have served as a symbol of childhood wonder and entertainment’s innovation.

The question we’re asking tonight, though, is…how do they do it

Know Your Brand

The fact of the matter is that you KNOW when you’re faced with a Disney product. Disney is a master at knowing its brand and how they can use it to expand it further. Is it always successful? Not necessarily when it comes to some lackluster sequels or the revamp of “Journey into Imagination.” However, it is always high quality and filled with little details that mystify fans. Not to mention, everywhere you look there is a popular Disney character saying hi.

Speaking of Quality

Disney is notorious for its quality. Their parks are some of the best in the world with “cast members” trained to constantly make guests feel welcomed and magical (like asking little “princesses” for their autographs). A Disney vacation, while expensive, is practically guaranteed to feel luxurious and magical.

The pin kiosk in Epcot is where Disney pin collectors from around the world come to trade.

Variety is Key

Disney has everything: movies, theme parks, stores, books, CDs, stage shows, cruises, toys, STAR WARS! Pretty sure the only thing the company doesn’t have yet is an airline. Disney is not afraid to diversify their portfolio. While this doesn’t always work for small businesses, it is an example of protecting the brand. Starting a website? Invest in similar domains to avoid copycats. Creating a film franchise? Make sure no one questions that it is yours.

With the 95th Anniversary just around the corner and Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary not far behind, it’s no secret that Disney is about to make a lot of noise in a big way. They already have Avatar Land attracting more guests to the Animal Kingdom. Star Wars Land will have a huge impact on attendance, especially with more films planned for the franchise. However, only time will tell what else Disney has up its sleeve.

 

*The D23 Expo is basically Comic-Con for Disney. It happens every two years and is when the company announces major additions to the parks (Avatar, Star Wars, Toy Story Land), movies (MCU, latest Pixar, and live-action films), and more.

Inspired Trends: Elevate Your Business With “Sustainable” Marketing

The climate debate spans every corner of the globe and business. Entertainment, politics, and science have all talked circles around the subject. However, no matter which side of the debate you are on, it is obvious that environmentally conscious, “sustainable” marketing is a trend that makes a statement.

Look at some of the most revolutionary brands today. Tesla has made a name in clean energy with their stylish electric cars. Forever 21 gives coupons to customers who bring in old clothes the company can recycle into new clothes. Even Vistaprint, the online business card designer, offers recycled paper as an option.

Need some ideas about how you can create a “sustainable” marketing campaign.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska / Kaboompics

Here are four ways that you can start incorporating environmental inspiration into your marketing.

  1. Start Seeing Green:Environmental consciousness can be as easy as adding greenery to your office space or to into your product videos. This not only adds a fresh feeling to your aesthetic, but plants also help purify the air around you. Plus, it shows your audience that you can grow something amazing. (Yes, that was a pun.)
  2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: You remember that phrase from school when your science teacher taught recycling? Finding creative ways to not only reduce your carbon footprint or the waste that your company creates. If you’re a fashion designer, go “Project Runway” with an unconventional material. Technology company? Develop something that runs on alternative energy! If you are just a small financial firm, then maybe you can switch to recycled paper. A little can go a long way.
  3. Give Back to Your Planet: Volunteer opportunities are a great way to connect to your community, make the connections to expand your business, and do good for your planet. Help clean your local park. Start a community garden. Sponsor a street to keep free of litter.
  4. Better Together: There are many small, startup companies and nonprofits that have a drive to creating a better planet. If your company is not one of them, then work with them! Partnering with these types of businesses can help them flourish, but also create inspiring opportunities for your company to do something fantastic.

These are a few ways that you can start doing good in your community and creating a sustainable climate. Trust me when I say your planet and your audience will be thankful that you took a stand.