“Cowabunga, dude!”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were, are, and will continue to be, a cultural phenomenon – a marketing sensation and a multi billion dollar franchise, with their film sales alone exceeding half a billion.

But Leonardo, Donatello,Raphael, and Michelangelo are more than just an ad hacks dream: they are teachers.

Below, I throw on Master Splinter’s robes and show how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can be a sensei for your online business.

Recommended reading: Building A Successful Ecommerce Brand Online

Leonardo – Be A Leader

Leonardo is the leader. He’s courageous, focused, driven, and possessed of an indomitable spirit; he’s the turtle who provides his brothers with direction, and guides them to the conclusion of their goals.

What can you learn from Leo? Let data be your leader.

Your online business has a wealth of data at your disposal, and these three sources are a goldmine of information that give you real insight into your customers:

● Your social media accounts

● Your website

● Your emails

There are a number of great tools to help you access and analyze the data you have for your business. (Data includes audience, sales, process and marketing data).

These are some of the easy to use and basic (free) tools you can leverage today:

These are some of the easy to use and basic (free) tools you can leverage today:

Google Analytics

Twitter Analytics

Facebook Insights

In order to access the data that these tools can provide, you’ll need to make sure you have a business profile with each of the four providers. You can also invest in more detailed and granular data capture tools — website heat mapping being a popular option.

Once you’ve got yourself set up and have the data, it’s over to you — use the data that you have to improve your knowledge of your performance, along with your customer’s preferences.

Raphael – live and die by your beliefs

Raphael is the renegade. He’s moody, cool, fearless, and always prepared to live and die by his beliefs.

Ralph follows his beliefs and your business must do too – the red turtle’s lesson to you? Live and die by your brand.

In order to do this, have a clear idea of what you and your business stands for, what you believe in, and how your business is a force for good in your customer’s lives – make your brand identity and company culture one that connects with your customers.

Make your business connect with your customers by telling the story of your brand, and showing how it offers a unique solution to the problems they have come to your industry with.

There are some really great examples of brand storytelling out there, with these companies being some of the many who are getting it right:

Airbnb – this online hospitality sensation gets its customers to tell their brand story through testimonials and ratings.

TOMS – a wonderful company that is a force for good (like the Turtles) in the business world. TOMS’ brand mission of providing a shoe to a child in need for every shoe sold, is stamped on every box of the shoes they sell. This lets their customers see not only how TOMS is a force for good, but how they can be part of the mission too.

Beardbrand – this company sells their story through an engaging blog and YouTube channel. And who doesn’t love beards?

Donatello – be an innovator

Donatello is the turtles’ resident tech head. He’s forever coming up with new gadgets to help the gang get the better of Bebop and Rocksteady, the Foot Clan, Shredder, Krang, and the rest of their foes.

Don’s lesson is that your online business must be innovative and use all the gadgets at your disposal.

Here’s how to innovate when time is of the essence:

● You can add a new product or service to your business’s portfolio — is there something customers have been asking for/previously expressed an interest in? Maybe an ebook or webinar to support your online content? Could you open up the floodgates with some branded merch for your community? If you’ve set your business up using an ecommerce CMS like Shopify, then you’ll have access to a host of gadgets, widgets, apps, and tools that will allow you to develop your site and

sell new products in a matter of moments. Take advantage of easy online tech to make your life easier.

● You can use your social media accounts to interact directly with you customers and find out what they want from your business. Open the floor to their creative ideas, and listen to what they’re saying. Is there a new channel you’ve been struggling to get to grips with? Now’s the time to dive into Snapchat or Reddit..

● Keep abreast of the tech updates in your industry and keep introducing anything applicable. Do you need to get more up to speed with AI or messenger marketing? Have you tried VR yet?

However you choose to innovate, remember that the end goal is to improve the service you are providing your customers – Don’s gadgets were always designed to help the turtles save the people they sought to protect.

Michelangelo – have a sense of humour

Michelangelo is the joker, the prankster, and the one who is most known for the quartet’s most famous catchphrase: “Cowabunga, dude!”
Laughter is a valuable commodity: it can get your customers’ attention, make them remember you, and make them fall in love with your business.

From Micky, take humour as your lesson.

You can bring a sense of humour to your online businesses in a variety of ways, but you should start with this great example and then see how you can bring your own jokes to the table.

Dollar Shave Club is the benchmark for all companies wanting to be funny. Their brilliant YouTube video ad, “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” has been viewed nearly 25 million times and was so popular immediately after release that it crashed the Dollar Shave Club’s site.

48 hours after the video was released the Dollar Shave Club received 12,000 new orders. Watch below and you’ll see why:

Creating a humorous video is a great way to connect with your customers, but make sure you think about how you are do it – you don’t want to drop the ball by making any silly mistakes, like failing to have a clear message, or recording a poor quality video.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are so much more than just “heroes in a half shell.” Like their sensei, Master Splinter, they are teachers and have lessons that are valuable to your online business.

Follow the teachings of Leonardo, Donatello,Raphael, and Michelangelo and your online business will be an even greater success than it currently is.

Victoria Greene is a freelance writer and branding consultant. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and digital marketing. She is a passionate about using her knowledge to help businesses increase their online brand equity.