One of the keys to creating a competitive advantage over your business competitors is to develop a strong marketing message. Some companies lose their way getting there. Some are inflexible, adhering to a concept or a theme that doesn’t resonate, doesn’t motivate or simply doesn’t get attention.
The message the committee developed last January in the seclusion of a meeting room may not be the one that will work today, in this economy, under today’s circumstances. Change, evolution is a necessary part of the process.
Francis Ford Coppola, director of films such as Patton, The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, said that producers create a picture three times. First they write it; then they shoot it; then they edit it.
Those changes can be very significant, changing the entire message of a story. Important films have often changed even the ending of the story.
The Grapes of Wrath, a 1940 film directed by John Ford and based on John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, switches the order of story sequences from the book so that the family ends up in a “good” camp provided by the government and events turn out relatively well. The ending of the book is far less optimistic.
In the film, The Natural, from the 1952 book by Bernard Malamud, Roy Hobbs is victorious and fulfilling his dreams of glory, hitting the game-winning, pennant-clinching homer. The novel shows a Hobbs who is crushed by his own hubris and must live as a forgotten man, striking out in his ultimate moment.
If filmmakers, the executives of arguably America’s most successive industry, can change the message of their film to accommodate their audience (clients), why shouldn’t you?