The success of the viral South Korean survival drama, Squid Game has many valuable lessons including sales lessons that any brand can use to increase revenue, improve sales and organic publicity ( no spoilers here, we promise). With the number of active social-media users at a historic peak, it is safe to say that the content presented to audiences is now more independent than ever before.
With that comes the opportunity for small and medium brands to shine more easily as it's now possible to achieve big impressions for a fraction of the price it used to take. Squid Game had virtually no press or marketing. before its debut compared to all the other big Netflix shows, but it still managed to become the topic of the year. The script has been written since about 2009, with years of attempts by the writer to get it picked up, but no one wanted to produce such an unrealistic and violent story.
But, just like any other marketing success, the show owes its popularity to a combination of luck and perfect timing. Below, we have gathered the key marketing lessons that can be learned from the popular show.
1. Word-of-Mouth Is A Very Successful Marketing Tool
Most of us heard about Squid Game from our friends or through the countless memes flooding one every social-media app including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and, of course, TikTok, which just made us stop for a second and had to give the TV show a try. This just proves that word-of-mouth is an all-time classic sales technique that works as a minimal factor in any marketing strategy. Yes, you cannot buy or secure word of mouth and it’s done organically, but with social media being so accessible to brands, businesses can now attempt to trigger a wave of trends or buzz to get word-of-mouth going.
2. Creativity Helps You Win The Game
In a very competitive field, it is creativity that sets you apart from others. For example, in the Honeycomb game, competitors had to challenge conventions and think out of the box in order to survive. This teaches us that having a creative mindset helps one to leverage on knowledge to find an unorthodox solution to the problem at hand. In a fast-changing world, survival for a business calls for one to be flexible, think fast, and adapt to changes. To a salesperson, creativity helps push the boundaries for innovative sales pitches that give your business a competitive edge.
3. Use TikTok to Your Advantage
Tiktok, reshaped the way we engage about trends and culture in general. Memes and videos flying everywhere. In fact, Tiktok is the main reason behind the success of Squid Game. It is a powerhouse for branding that for sure can bring your brand success. Some sales strategies that you can apply on Tiktok to your advantage is by introducing #challenges, which you probably had seen one or two. Once a challenge is started, it becomes an attention-seeking virus that all marketers love. Free branding!!!
4. Storytelling is Very Powerful, Don’t Stop It!
Squid Game script got rejected by local studios for 10 years before the release. The "It took 10 years" phrase becomes a powerful storytelling which inspires resilience and commitment to the goal. Rejection sparks curiosity in the audience because people want to know why it was rejected rather than acceptance. On top of that, the creator of Squid game based the games on real life Korean childhood games and the high-risk with high-return situation draws similarity in risky investments like cryptocurrency. To sum up this section, storytelling helps you close sales. People want to feel a deeper relationship with you and storytelling helps create that bond.
5. Know The Right Place to Promote Your Products/Services
In the marketing world, positioning your products or services in the right place is imperative to reach market penetration success. Squid Game producers made the right strategic move to brand under Netflix which has 209 million global paid subscribers. A large market size is necessary to get the views. Classic marketing textbook play of market sizing. The customer journey experience is extremely simplified on Netflix. So, the key lesson here is know where your audience is and promote your products there.