Yesterday I wrote about Joy Mangano and the entrepreneurial empire that she built. Her success is going to expand even more after the Joy movie as they have done a terrific job in leveraging her products after the fact.

I can’t recall ever seeing the “Huggable Hangers” anywhere, and now they have prime retail space in all of the major stores.  Not only does it fit in well with the movie, but after the be-tidy craze spurred by Marie Kondo’s book, there are people organizing their closets all across the land.

Merchandising not only increases profits, it goes a long way in leveraging the impact of a message. It is content used exponentially to garner increased exposure, to create a lasting impression and to solidify a space in mass consciousness.  A movie or book is “one and done” if left on its own, but follow up merchandising allows the message to be lived again and again.

You don’t need to limit your leveraging to books, movies or products. Think of the content you are creating and ways to develop subsequent tie-ins to that material: A recording of a lecture posted on line. Tweets following blog posts. Imprinted party favors at an event.  Distribution of written copies of a speech. A follow-up email with a link to related content. Pictures of an event tagged on social media. A hand written thank you note that reinforces your message.

On the West Wing television series, President Jed Bartlet was always asking: “What’s next?”  It’s a good question to ask yourself whenever original content is involved.

— beth triplett


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