This is Halloween… or is it Christmas?

Nightmare Before ChristmasTim Burton’s film, “The Nightmare before Christmas” came out over 26 years ago.  It immediately saw huge success earning a 91% approval rating, and bringing in over $75 million.  But I’m not here to talk about its success, nitpick the finer details of the movie, or even whether or not you like it (personally I like it).  I’m here to take a peek into some of the psychology behind the movie.

It’s not that this movie is particularly astute, or that it stood out to me more than others.  The reason is that over the weekend I watched it, and, frankly because today is Halloween Day.  I’m sure that you could look at a number of other movies and find the same insights if you pay close enough attention.

First, The Movie Marketing Itself

You take a look at the title, and you think it is a twisted Christmas story.  But you watch the movie and it seems to be a Halloween story.  Which one is it?

It’s both.  When the movie was created, it was designed to appeal to those looking for a spooky movie that revolved around a Halloween theme.  It was also designed to be a Christmas movie.  Capturing both audiences has allowed the makers to “double dip.”

Was it intentional?  Most likely.  From the start the creators knew what they were doing, and they knew how to maximize the profits from this.

Apply this to your own business.  Some products can be designed so that they market equally well to different crowds.  You only have to create the product once, but you can sell it to many different interests, and they all think it was designed just for them.

Halloween Christmas

The Psychology Inside the Movie

During the movie the main character Jack Skellington is known as the King of Halloween.  He executes (no pun intended) a perfectly spooktacular Halloween every year.  Despite being the best of the best, he isn’t satisfied, and goes in search of himself.  Eventually he stumbles upon Christmas Town, where everything is new and exciting.  To overcome his ennui Jack takes over Christmas, foolishly thinking that since he’s so great at Halloween, he will naturally be good at Christmas as well.

Jack of All TradesTo make it short: things don’t go as planned and he royally screws up Christmas.

It’s a fantastic view into ourselves as humans, and a great insight into how we should be approaching our business.  We should become experts in order to be seen as an authority and to achieve success.

Let’s take a look at those who have honed their skills, and become an expert, and see who is the most successful:

You get the point, the more you can hone your skills and keep them nice and narrow, the more you can charge for your services and the more successful you will be.  As you start to add more services and branch out, you end up becoming a jack of all trades, master of none.  You want to simplify your business and your life by becoming a master instead of a jack.

Jack Skellington, no relation to a jack of all trades, tried to branch out and failed miserably.  He realized that his skills are best suited for Halloween where he could be the king; leave Christmas to the other expert.

Are You a Master or a Jack?

If you’re trying to do too many things, it’s time to take a step back.  Stop trying to please everyone, and instead focus on a smaller group that you can more than please.  The result will be that you will be better at what you do, and able to charge more, and see great success.

At Sery Content Development we are digital marketing specialists.  We keep our services narrow to provide expert level service.

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