Do you grow like Marvel or like DC?

Miles Morales Spider-Man

One of the main decisions in company growth is to choose between:
1) Making current clients happy;
2) Getting new clients.

Unfortunately, in many cases these are opposite because of customer perception and company resources.

There are numerous examples of this challenge. Mercedes redesigned its C level models and Apple made the poop animoji to attract the younger customers. Google was “evil” for a while in China.

One of my favorite examples is the Marvel vs DC rivalry. DC has chosen to cater to their current base, and Marvel is building a new fan base which is frustrating their traditional customers. DC makes few changes to their characters, while Marvel takes risks by changing gender, age, race, and other sensitive elements. There will not be a movie with a Chinese female Batman while Marvel is releasing a movie about Miles Morales, a half-black half-Puerto Rican Spider-man.

While DC is playing it safer and entrenching itself with its current customers, Marvel has been building a culture of taking risks and conquering new customers and markets. My advice is to grow like Marvel.

Below are three tips how to grow like Marvel:
1) Formalize and document which products are for current and which are for new customers. The clearer the better.
2) These products and brands should be designed to work well together under the mother brand.
3) Make any change as gradually as possible. Do not suddenly stop serving current and start serving new customers.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 13 Jul 2018