Cinderella lives in a studio flat in Clapham…


I think it’s fair to say that, in recent years, Hollywood has gotten a little moody and as a result, our favourite fairytales have been given a darker, more modern makeover.

The prince in Rapunzel fell to his death after tugging a little too hard on the princess’ hair extensions, Little Red Riding Hood turned into a bloody massacre and the less said about Snow White and her seven male lodgers the better…
However, Disney’s hotly anticipated latest release, a live action version of Cinderella has bucked that trend, with the director of the film, Sir Kenneth Branagh, choosing to go back to basics with the look, feel and plot of the film.

The newest version of the classic fairytale contains all of the tried and tested elements that have ensured that the story has been retold throughout generations.

Wicked stepmother? Check. Fairy godmother? Check. Glass slipper? Check. Handsome prince? Check. Happy ending? Check.

Sure, Branagh could have updated the whole thing; leaving the castle and her ugly sisters behind, Cinderella could have been catapulted into 2015 to work in admin and live with two mean roommates in a cramped studio flat in Clapham, but he chose instead to do something a little different.

“Keeping it classic is the twist,” says Branagh.

It’s clearly worked, as the film has taken £70m in its opening weekend in the United States.

You see, Branagh appreciated something that many business owners often overlook; the value that lies in doing the basics really well.
It’s easy to get distracted as a business owner; there’s always a shiny new object trying to catch your attention or something with a bit of an edge that seems much more appealing than the ‘old stuff’.

It’s the old stuff that works, though; it’s been tried and tested time and time again and has proven to be successful for a reason.

For us business owners, this could be choosing to craft a well-written sales letter over exploring LinkedIn ads, or adding glowing testimonials to your website rather than fancy, dancing images. For example, I know that whenever we go back to basics, and pick up the phone to get in touch with past customers, the results have been amazing.

Truth is, if you can get good at the basics, you’ve got a blockbuster on your hands…