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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Matambo

4 Branding Lessons From Marvel's WandaVision

Following the success of their "Infinity Saga," Marvel released a brand new television series starring Wanda Maximoff, or as Marvel fans know her, the Scarlet Witch; an Avenger who played a more supporting role in other MCU movies. The show has quickly become a fan favourite sparking significant discussion online and providing an exciting start to Phase 4 of Marvel's Cinematic Universe.

This article will discuss the branding lessons we can learn from Marvel's hit series, WandaVision.

NOTE: This article will contain mild spoilers but nothing that will ruin your experience of the show.

1. Strong Brand DNA

Over the years, Marvel has built a strong reputation for telling compelling stories about characters with extraordinary abilities, overcoming impossible obstacles, and this has gained them a large worldwide audience. This is their brand DNA.

Marvel's cinematic programs are deeply rooted in the lore and storylines explored in the comic books over the years. The movies and television shows mostly follow and stay faithful to the source material.

Marvel's creatives focus on making films and television series that even Marvel comic-book loyalists would approve of, rather than trying to appeal to the masses. The rationale is that once the hardcore loyalists approve, the mainstream audience can be won over by the strength of the characters and entertaining storylines.

WandaVision also follows this trend by following the storyline of some of Marvel's most famous and beloved comic books: The House of M series, The Scarlet Witch run, and the Vision and the Scarlett Witch run. Knowing what stories will guide the show, fans have a good idea of what to expect from the series, and this is what has given its success.

The benefit of defining your brand DNA is that it helps build awareness, win customers, and earn brand loyalty. To make the most of their efforts, brands should tailor their marketing content and communications for maximum impact (providing massive value to their audiences) while preserving their brand DNA.

2. Building Anticipation

Due to the democratisation and abundance of information available on the internet, audience attention has become the world's most valuable currency. The more a brand can hold its audience's attention, the better its position in their minds, and the better the chances that a customer will buy from them.

Marvel has done this exceptionally with WandaVision. WandaVision is jam-packed with Easter Eggs and references to the broader Marvel Cinematic Universe, making reference to iconic storylines and teasing future movies and plot events. These are used as inside jokes or a secret language between the show creators and the eagle-eyed viewers that are not always easy to spot but very satisfying when found.

These spark significant conversation on online platforms following every episode, causing the show to become a trending topic each time it airs. They also allow room for fans to theorise where the story is going and try to anticipate significant plot events before they happen. This tends to build hype for the next episode as fans tune in to confirm their theories and simultaneously build awareness for the show at the same time.

All these serve the purpose of keeping Marvel at the top of its fans' minds. The lesson for brands is to find creative ways to build hype and anticipation around their products and services using technology and their knowledge of pop culture. The more they can engage and hold their customers' attention, the better.

3. Developing a Clear, Unifying Brand Strategy

At this point, Marvel has creating a blockbuster movie down to a science. Across their 23 movies, they have a consistent strategy that they follow to make their movies and television series massive successes.

Each movie and series, while distinct, have a common theme that makes them feel like "Marvel Productions". They usually centre around extraordinary characters with a defined grounding or humanising flaw, a good amount of humour, a villain who is a dark reflection of the hero, and a powerful MacGuffen or object driving the plot.

A defining feature of the Marvel productions is that they all share this brand unity or strategy, associating the quality of production and fun with the word "Marvel". It is a formula that other studios are trying to copy but just cannot seem to get the hang of. One thing that is clear, both critically and financially, is that the formula is working.

WandaVision also follows this formula, painting Scarlet Witch's story in a fun and witty tone, finding humour in her and Vision's attempts to thrive in their suburban life.

The big lesson for brands is to try and formulate a sustainable strategy backed by science, and that will be hard for competitors to replicate.

4. Taking Calculated Risks

It goes without saying that Marvel knows how to produce a blockbuster production. As previously stated, they have mastered the art of making good superhero productions. However, the most surprising thing about Marvel is its ability to challenge the norms of the superhero genre and surprise its audiences with every production. Each production, while sharing the "Marvel feel", has a different tone and takes on different genre tropes that make it unique and stand out from the rest.

This is evident in WandaVision, whose format and premise make it the most immersive experience the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen to date. WandaVision does not take long to distinguish itself in the MCU and the whole superhero genre by having a stronger focus on mystery and comedy, leaving more questions than it answers. The show also deviates from the norm through its visual style, taking inspirations from popular sitcoms from the '50s and '60s, all the way to modern-day sitcoms like Modern Family and The Office.

This keeps the show interesting and engages the audience in ways no other MCU or superhero production ever has before. Saying that the show breaks the mould of a Marvel production is an understatement, and that is what is keeping audiences glued to their screens.

The lesson here is that brands should not fear taking risks and trying out new ventures that could potentially be more fruitful. Brands tend to wait to see if their opportunities can be scientifically validated, but science tends to be slow and full of mistakes, holes, and fallacies. So if the brand has an opportunity that has the chance of improving their business and is low risk, they should take it.


The success of Marvel's WandaVision is no accident as every step was carefully analysed and meticulously planned. They stayed true to their brand DNA and brought the MCU characters to live in a way that resonated with their audience and are continually intriguing its audiences with each production.

These are lessons that could help other brands also succeed in the long-run.


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