Articles Tagged ‘Disney’

Disney – the Marketing Machine

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Disney has many options for visitors to make them feel special. For instance, we received “1st Time” buttons for my daughters, which was supposed to give them extra attention throughout the park. And another extra package my daughter, Elaina, got to experience was at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where she received the royal treatment from her own, personal “fairy godmother” with a princess dress, hair, makeup, tiara and accessories.

Despite the 90-degree heat, she didn’t want to take the dress off for most of the day! I also experienced what it was like to see my daughters meet and get autographs from Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White and all of the princesses for the first time at a Disney Character breakfast. These experiences made the Disney trip extra special for them (and for me), and were worth the extra cost. Business Marketing Takeaway: Could you offer some kind of VIP package or special treatment for customers willing to pay more for the experience?

Improving Customer Service: One of the coolest features of the two days at Magic Kingdom were the Fast Passes. These allowed us to avoid waiting in 90-minute lines with impatient toddlers just to enjoy a 60-second boat ride. We were able to skip around between several rides by picking up a Fast Pass ticket, and then coming back later to ride the ride or see the show with no more than a 10-minute wait. Disney has done a great job with this system, because it alleviates a common complaint that visitors have had for years — lines are long during peak operating season — and improves the overall customer satisfaction with the Disney Experience. Business Marketing Takeaway: Is there something you could improve upon in your current business process to enhance the customer experience, wait time or service expected?

Creating Memories (and Brand Evangelists): Aside from the many Mickey Mouse eared-souvenirs we could purchase from the various gift shops throughout Magic Kingdom, Disney also gave us a photo pass, which we could use to get our picture taken in various places throughout the park. While in concept, it’s a great idea for an additional service offered (and who wants to tote around a digital camera all day?) the drawback to this was the $15 per photo price tag, which made it a negative for me. One marketing tactic that I think they’ve done well with is their “Let the Memories Begin” ad campaign. If you’ve seen the TV spots or magazine ads, they feature submissions from real families visiting the parks, sharing a photo or video of their experience with Disney parks. One photo shows a family riding the famous teacups ride, and another features a video of two parents (and the children’s reaction) telling their kids that they’re packing their bags for Disney. The website also allows you to share your own memory, and thus feeds the emotional connection between the Disney brand and the customer/visitor. They have also re-purposed these memories on their social media sites, blogs, ad campaigns and more for greater impact. Business Marketing Takeaway: How can you create an emotional bond with your company and its customers, and get them to share their experiences with others, as brand evangelists?

Overall, I was very impressed with my most recent trip to Walt Disney World – from the hotel staff at the resort to the rides and the experiences. And I was even more impressed with Disney’s marketing prowess. Hopefully you can learn a few lessons from a marketing master on how to improve your marketing and customer experience.

Susan Young, President
AimFire Marketing
(317) 858-7669 office/fax
(317) 414-3623 cell

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