Branding and Boba Fett

Sushrut Munje shares on Frankaffe what Boba Fett, the beloved villainous assassin from Star Wars, teaches us about branding and storytelling.
courtesy: Juan Pablo Perez

The famous villainous assassin from the Star Wars stories, Boba Fett, makes for a fascinating subject to broach. It is curious to note how a character with a comparatively low profile in movies that youngsters won’t really appreciate now has grown into a cult figure. What drives the mystique and what can we learn from it?

Understanding Boba

It is a classic example of the opportunist storyteller building the tale – much like how we live our lives in a highly connected world. We express without anticipating the reaction, and once we note the world’s approval, we put out similar expressions. We talk about daily happenings – when the world likes a certain occurrence, they actually like our perspective, the way we are communicating the tale. That’s when we – knowingly or unknowingly – build the tale and coat the people around us with quality narration, thus creating characters that people like even more.

People liked the mysterious Boba, his few words and sheer menace. The storyteller saw the opportunity and built the character with every consecutive movie, every consecutive book, thus building a brand out of a non entity.

Understanding the Legacy

Emotions help us connect with brands. For every brand we choose, there is a certain feeling that we associate with it. Humans feeling inadequate is the natural state of our being, and completing oneself is the unexplained hunger we feel throughout our life. Material comforts, when branded right, help us identify with a certain personality type. Communication is not easy for all, thus this association helps, it aids every individual’s proclamation to the world of what they are made of. At the bottom, it all boils down to raw empathy and a feeling that they belong.

The storyteller played his cards right by sharing Boba’s story in one of the latest movies – we were shown how his ‘Dad’ was an able assassin himself, how he was slayed by a Jedi Knight, and a poignant shot of Boba holding his helmet close. You feel for the kid then, and since you know the history, you take the liberty to even like the story that’s so well drafted. Pull the right strings and customers will take it upon themselves to see your brand through.

Understanding the Symbol

I ended up purchasing an expensive action figure purely as a token of appreciation for the character Boba – a symbol of a possible non entity being created into something almost as major as Darth Vader. Following lessons learnt:

  • Pay attention to details – every minor aspect has the potential to stand apart
  • Be responsive and note customers’ reactions – do what they like more often
  • Build stories around a minor good occurrence
  • Amplify the goodness, highlight the aspects that you want to exploit
  • Be sincere, be honest, keep your promises

Thank you, Boba Fett the Villain, for you stand as an inspiration. Glad you could keep most of your promises, which earned you the reputation. Glad you couldn’t keep some, which saved our heroes in the fight against the Dark Side!

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