“Homeland,” Showtime’s 2012 Emmy-winning series, is a story of heroic efforts by a team of dedicated intelligence professionals to promote the interests of the United States and safeguard it against threats in an ever-changing, turbulent world. In a larger sense, it’s very similar to the efforts of luxury marketers to gain mindshare of affluents. The storyline has a premier brand, the United States, whose influence is being threatened. Like luxury marketers, the team has to promote the brand while also protecting it from powerful, opposing forces in the marketplace who desire to diminish its influence.
It’s an elbow-jabbing, jostling competition where only the best can play. The series presents the marketplace of opposing ideas (or brands) as a constant juggernaut, as opponents strive for leverage against each other, vying for the hearts and minds of their audiences. It’s about looking for and uncovering elements of “truth” and acting upon them.
Consider these observations from “Homeland” for luxury marketers:
For luxury marketers, this can translate into a meticulous understanding about what competitors are doing, as well as rigorous attention to how messaging is being received by audiences. This may require additional spending on competitive profiling and consumer behavior mapping to gain actionable insights.
Marketers might also strive to be open to relationships that bring new, intense collaboration that benefits all parties.
Luxury marketers have the same challenge. It’s easy to view data as delivering a set of conclusions that are stable. But as “Homeland” challenges, the data can shift and advantage can be lost by not being agile in interpretation, and questioning the “what-if” scenarios the data presents.
Marketing teams might want to break down artificial structures in team organization and look inward for empowerment. This cross-functional blend also requires a different type of check and balance system as teams move forward.
For luxury marketers, efforts on behalf of brands have to be fueled with the same type of energy and passion that drives them each day to make a difference. Not every decision will be right, but the force of the accumulated decisions will shape and compel the long-term win.
“Homeland” presents a life-and-death struggle where the team has to constantly monitor and evaluate information and adjust to ever-evolving influences to stay “at the top of the game.” It has a similar reality to the world of luxury marketers as each strives to catapult their influence and effect other’s behaviors. It’s also about being open to moving the brand forward vigorously, based upon gathering intelligence and acting smartly on it. As the show frequently repeats in its closing, “To uncover the truth, you have to know where to look.”