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Marketing Lessons From the Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Image: © 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

Later this month, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer classic The Wizard of Oz will celebrate its 83rd anniversary. On August 25, 1939, audiences first experienced on the big screen Dorothy’s adventure down The Yellow Brick Road. They heard her croon for a place where troubles melt like lemon drops, and they watched her discover the importance of home and appreciating what you have.

As marketers, we can learn countless lessons from Dorothy’s adventure, particularly from the great Wizard she journeyed to meet.

Own Your Brand

“Is he a good wizard?” Dorothy asked Glinda, the good witch.

“Oh yes, very good,” Glinda promised, “but very mysterious.”

Even as far as Munchkinland, the citizens of Oz knew The Wonderful Wizard and his wondrous works. They didn’t understand how his magic operated, and they knew very few people ever saw him, but they knew he could accomplish wonderful things.

When the Wizard first landed in Oz and found he had something to offer, he created for himself a brand that resonated with his audience. That brand was the bridge between himself and the citizens he was trying to reach.

If you feel you’re struggling to connect with your audience, consider your brand. Is it effectively conveying your mission? Is your message one that resonates with your target demographic? Is your tone cohesive? For your reputation to spread, your audience needs to know what a whiz of a wiz you are. Every message should communicate the incredible things you do and express your brand’s personality.

Whether your brand is mysterious like the Wizard or sweet and bold like Dorothy, your audience needs to know what to expect from you. With a team of marketers working together to create content, it’s easy for a brand voice to feel disoriented. But as marketers, we serve as the man behind the curtain. We should be invisible, and the brand should be the star of the show.

With Great Marketing Comes Great Responsibility

You’ve likely been yelling at your screen, “But he was a fraud!” If so, you’d be correct. The great and powerful Wizard of Oz turned out to be a regular man. He had no magical powers and couldn’t do much to get Dorothy home. He sold himself as something he was not.

A marketer’s relationship with their audience is one built on trust. The citizens of Oz trusted the Wizard to be who he said he was and expected him to follow through on his promises. A brand shouldn’t be a disguise to hide the truth. It should be an honest representation of what you can offer your customers.

Be careful not to fall into the same trap as the Wizard. Your marketing goals should not only be to drive revenue or grow your number of followers. Marketing is a tool that can help you build long-lasting, authentic relationships. You may not be able to offer a Tin Man a heart, but every organization has something unique to offer its customers. Be honest about what that is.

Interested in spreading your reputation across Oz? Connect with us or leave us a comment below to share what lies at the end of The Yellow Brick Road for your audience!


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