Marketers, pay attention to this. I just attended my first Comic Convention, or I should say almost attended. Imagine my delight while training with some members of the national Judo team, in Boston, that I learned that there was going to be a Comic Book Convention. Now, when I was growing up, I was an avid comic book collector. Most people called comic books, “funny books” and did not consider them a serious form of literature.
These are the same folks who are now spending a mini fortune at movie theatres to watch these stories bought to life, or on video games or even in entertainment parks. I’m not even going to mention the expensive halloween costumes, because kids love to dress like their favourite comic book characters, but I digress. It’s not just the kids that like to dress as their favourite characters, but people of older ages also.
I knew that I was approaching the convention when I began to see adults dressed as the Joker, Batman, Superman and many lesser known characters. And these were not just muscle bound folks, I mean folks of every shape and size, although most were below 30. Then I saw the line. It stretched around the corner for people waiting to get tickets. There were literally hundreds of people trying to get in for a three day long convention! The line wrapped around the 118,800 sq. ft. convention centre!
When some guy dressed in his favorite Ninja Mutant Turtle outfit remarked “they need to call this the Broken Dream Con instead of Comic Con”. I knew I was in trouble because he was not able to get in that day. As we approached the line, we were told that it was unlikely that we would get in that day and that we can wait in the line to get a ticket for the last day (2 days later). Since that was the only day we were going to be there, I felt extremely disappointed.
So the big question for us marketers is “how do we produce fans that would pay top dollars to see our product or service?” And drum roll please.... The answer is clearly giving them an opportunity to belong and to be a part of what we are doing. Beyond just involving them in events and telling them great stories, we need to figure out how we can be apart of their lives. For example, how many people will buy a school mug or sweat shirt, or why did we all dressed in national colors during the World Relays?
When we answer this question of how our products and services can become a part of someone’s life even to the point where they spend money on things related to us, we will have improved our businesses significantly.
• D’Arcy Rahming holds a MBA from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. A Lecturer at the College of the Bahamas, Rahming has clients in General Insurance, retail, health and medical fields, sports federations and Financial services. He is also Treasurer of the Bahamas Olympic Committee. To contact him he can be reached at DArcyRahmingsr@gmail.com.