5 branding lessons from ‘Hamilton’

The Broadway smash hit about one of America’s founding fathers has captured the hearts of theatergoers nationwide. Here’s how you can emulate that success.

Lin-Manuel Miranda recently took his last bow in the title role of “Hamilton,” Broadway’s hip-hop musical phenomenon.

Hamilton swept the Tony Awards in June, racking up 11 awards out of 16 nominations. The brilliant show took Broadway by storm last August and has continued to capture the hearts of theater aficionados everywhere. Miranda, its creator and star, paints a beguiling picture of the founding father throughout his quest to forge a new nation.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Hamilton is the “most exciting and significant musical of the decade”—and here’s how brands can learn a thing or two from Miranda’s masterpiece:

1. Do the unexpected.

Miranda took the story of Alexander Hamilton and the founding fathers and created a unique work of art. Using rap and hip-hop, he reimagined history. The cast of “Hamilton” is diverse, breaking boundaries and creating opportunities for actors of all races to play roles historically closed to them.

Being unique is attractive, especially for brands from a consumer perspective. Customers are fascinated with surprising and different products and services. When companies do the unexpected, people are enticed to learn more about their brand. As the cast “Hamilton” sings, “The world’s gonna know your name,” but only if you’re extraordinary.

2. Stand by what your brand represents.

Hamilton was known for being ambitious and always believing in his dreams. Although no one backed his decision to create a national bank, he moved forward to make his vision a reality.

To inspire brand loyalty, companies must go above and beyond conventional business practices to start a movement that consumers can’t wait to join. If brands are confident in their offerings and reciprocate fans’ loyalty, a strong following will come naturally.

3. Make mistakes and sacrifices.

Throughout his career, Alexander Hamilton made numerous mistakes—notably having an affair, thereby opening himself up to be blackmailed by James Reynolds. Nonetheless, he owned his mistakes and publicly apologized for his wrongdoings.

Taking ownership for missteps in your path to success makes you relatable. We’re humans, and we make mistakes. Sometimes you do what you must to maintain your integrity. Transparency is crucial for brand loyalty.

4. Patience is essential.

Although it took Miranda years to develop “Hamilton,” it was well worth the wait and success that followed. Alexander Hamilton was also patient in his career, which is the key to victory. Big, thriving brands aren’t built overnight. Instead, it takes time to craft a high-quality product that consumers want to support.

5. Effectively tell your story

“Who lives? Who dies? Who tells your story?” is one of the popular and concluding tunes of “Hamilton”—and its essential takeaway. Your story isn’t just what you tell people; it’s also what others believe based on the signals your brand sends. Create a brand that draws fans who want to praise your products, and you’ll live to tell your influential tale to the world.

Fully embracing the messages in “Hamilton can help propel a business’ success. You, too, can become a sensation of your industry, just as “Hamilton has done in the theatrical world. Manuel didn’t throw away his opportunity, and you shouldn’t either.

Kayla Hockman is an account coordinator at Konnect Agency. A version of this article previously appeared on the agency’s blog.

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Topics: PR


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