Star Wars blasted onto the screen when I was eight years old.

Sci-fi instantly went mainstream. In epic proportions. We had a modern Hero’s Journey which we could all embrace. To find we felt empathy for the chief villain, Darth Vader, humanized us.

Star Wars impacted science as well. Imaginations soared with ‚Äúwhat could be possible?‚Äù Technology’s bounds exploded. The digital age leapt forward.

That is the magic of a good story: it has a life of its own. Maria Popova’s recent post featuring Sandman author Neil Gaiman elaborates this concept: a good story needs humans to survive. For a story to outlast our grandchildren, it must contain the seeds of greatness worth growing in fresh hearts.

The countdown is on for the latest movie installment: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wired magazine is featuring an amazing series of weekly challenges. Those awesome nerds have compiled a massive Star Wars treasure trove and are doling it out to us a day at a time. We, as fans, are wildly participating and “liking” our hearts out.

“…a good story needs humans to survive.”

Perhaps more closely, we see here before us, what every marketing expert dreams of: massive, grass-roots level popularity. It’s every social media guru’s secret question, ‚ÄúHow do I imitate that level of success for my clients?‚Äù No doubt, Lucasfilm has a huge marketing budget for this film. They could cut that budget in half. We, the fans, will market it for them, free of charge.

“To Build a brand that lasts, you need a product that matters.”

We will line up, en masse, in costume, at midnight, for a chance to see our favorite friends live for a few hours in front of us. And then we will talk about you for months afterwards, just like we are talking about the story now, while we wait, teased and eager. Why? We want to see more heroes. Heroes who reflect where we are as humans today. We hope and pray, that it delivers the good we seek.

To build a brand that lasts, you need a product that matters.

Something that makes us all the better for embracing it.

The packaging matters.

That’s where artists, designers, and writers come in. As Bob Lefsetz states, ‚ÄúIt’s about reconstituting building blocks to deliver something new and tantalizing.‚Äù We, as a people, want to spend our time, talents, and money where it matters.

So, answer the important questions.

Show us that our participation makes a difference.

Assure us that we can be a part of your particular hero story.

Then, as a group, we are all in.

Just like Star Wars.  May the force be with you.

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