Twenty-four “tributes” between ages 12 and 18 are chosen at random from the districts of Panem, a totalitarian state in post-apocalyptic North America, to compete in a barbaric fight for survival. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you know the premises of The Hunger Games franchise, and there’s a lot about owning a new store that you can learn from The Girl on Fire.
1.Find a Mentor
While Haymitch might not be the best example of a mentor considering he is often described as a “drunk,” he is still integral in Katniss and Peeta’s survival. He coaches the pair from a position of experience, and he understands how the games are played as well as the culture that surrounds them.
Whether consultants, like us, or other business owners who have been in your shoes, finding a mentor who has experience with new stores can be invaluable and crucial to your survival.
2. Play to Your Strengths
Katniss uses her bow and arrow skills to impress the sponsors in the first installment of the trilogy, and she often finds herself using this skill over physical brutality.
As the owner of a new store, you should do the same. Make sure to play up your strengths, and recognize your weaknesses to help your business grow.
3. Alliances Are Important
All the tributes are fully aware that only one of them will survive in the end, yet they still form alliances in order to survive. It should also be noted that the alliances that helped Katniss the most aren’t always the ones with the strongest people. In Hunger Games, Katniss chooses Rue, a tiny wisp of a girl; in Catching Fire, Katniss chooses Mags, Betee and Wiress, all relative weaklings. All these choices are individuals with non-strength-based talents.
You can apply these strategies to your new store. Choose allies and partners that help you develop what might be a weakness of yours, and know for sure that you can’t have a new store survive without them.
4. Use Television As a Weapon
During the first two books of the series the Capitol requires everyone to watch The Games, and during the final book of the trilogy it utilizes TV as propaganda to diminish the rebellion.
While I don’t suggest your threaten everyone if they don’t watch your new store’s television spots, we learn from the franchise that your new store needs television in its media arsenal.
5. Learn as You Go
Every time Katniss and Peeta enter the arena they have no idea what to expect. While strategy and preparation can help, they won’t prepare them for the unexpected curveballs the games will throw at them.
Like the tributes regardless of how much you play ahead there will undoubtedly be curve balls thrown at your new store, but having the ability to be flexible and learn as you go is an asset for new store success.
6. Brand Identity is Essential
In The Hunger Games, a small pin of the mockingjay bird became the visual symbol of the Katniss Everdeen brand promise, and ultimately the promise of freedom.
Your new store’s visual brand identity elements, such as your logo, should be used consistently and persistently to raise awareness of your brand, recognition and recall of your brand, and ultimately, loyalty to your brand. In time, that brand symbol will come to mean something to consumers just as the mockingjay did for the people of Panem.
By utilizing these lessons from Katniss, Peeta and the characters of the Hunger Games trilogy your new store won’t have to worry near as much about the odds being in your favor.