Brand of the month - The Black Panther
Philippe Guinaudeau

Philippe Guinaudeau

The Black Panther

You may have heard that the Marvel movie, ‘Black Panther’, has been achieving huge success at the box office. In fact, it has surpassed the globally infamous ‘Frozen’ to become the 9th highest grossing worldwide movie release ever, according to Box Office Mojo. The movie so far earned over $1.347 billion worldwide, which is only slightly behind 2015’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ at $1.405 billion – and headed in the direction of 2009’s ‘Avatar’, which rocks the top spot at $2.79 billion globally.

Not only that but ‘Black Panther’ has enjoyed the largest opening weekend for a Marvel Studio movie – just before ‘The Avengers’ – and is only the fourth film to have topped $100 million in each of its first two weekends. Pretty impressive stuff!

In the USA, the movie enjoyed $700 million in the box office (source: Box Office Mojo). Are we talking about 70 million viewers here??? That’s quite a lot.

Almost everybody above 7 years old knows Black Panther

De facto, according to the BrandTrends research, a very large proportion of the American boys from 7 to 25 knows the brand. This is less the case for the younger girls, 7 to 9-year-olds, with ‘only 55%’ of them aware of the brand in last October.

It’s also fair to say that Black Panther gained a significant level of awareness in this short period of time. Just consider that in one year, the brand got to be known by 80% of the American boys 7 to 25.

Indeed, at its released period, 6 months before, the brand tend to attract mainly boys 10 to 25. Later, the gap closed faster among the older girls: 10-14 improved by 8 points while 15-25 improved by 5 points; as well as among the younger boys: + 6 points.

When they know the brand, they tend to love it!

OK, let’s be honest, the brand skews more toward the boys than the girls: as a matter of fact, when they know the brand 53% to 63% of the boys love the brand. However, girls range 31% to 41%. Not bad at all.

Just keep in mind that, in this worldwide phenomenon, the brand records a better level in this KPI than in the USA; like in the Philippines for instance.

And as expected, as more people became aware of the brand, more of the new guys were 100% fans of it. Therefore, the overall likability slightly decreased to the levels presented in the chart next.

When they know, they also want to engage with the brand

Now, the billion $ question: do the persons loving the brand intend to purchase a product, any, with the brand on it? Do the licensing programme will support the transfer from a strong brand to a full franchise.

Honestly, the answer is expected to be yes, of course. Given all the above parameters, plus the fact we are dealing with the #1 licensor in the world, expecting less would be disappointing.

Not only the numeric proportion of those intending to purchase is exceptionally high (66% to 72% of those aware of the brand, or 54% to 60% of all the boys); but also, a very significant proportion of those not necessarily loving the brand still intend to purchase a licensed product with it. Way to go!
And guess what else: the consumer demand, so the potential new buyers to the brand, is one of the best in class among the boys of that age in the USA. Only Jurassic World does better among boys 7 to 14, and only by 1-point difference.

Besides the ownership of the brand, understandably low due the recency of the brand, the licensor should address one weak point for the brand. Indeed, when respondents consider the different product categories they would purchase a licensed product with Black Panther, the diversity of choices is quite low: only 3 different product categories for the brand; when our usual benchmarks would reach 7-8 categories. So far, we are willing to put that on the fact the brand is quite new and people did not project it much on product categories.

A bright future?

So, with all the pillars of the brand engagement to the green:

  • Strong awareness: they all know it.
  • Strong likability: they love it.
  • Robust consumer demand: they want it.

The licensing program can extend and bring this new super-hero to new highs. Therefore, the biggest challenge of this brand, beyond the simple fact to live in a very competitive environment, is to gain new consumers on their licensed products. No doubt this will happen.

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