Disney’s Daring Marketing

By Posted in - Marketing & Public Relations on September 3rd, 2020

Strong marketing and an effective organizational strategy provide the ability to adapt your business model at the drop of a hat. Over the past few months and amidst a pandemic, the Walt Disney Company has rewritten its playbook and realigned its plan of action.

What lessons can we take from its approach?

Focusing on Profit Points

Disney’s park closures around the world from mid-March through mid-July were followed by a soft opening keeping current crowd numbers at an all-time low. Considering the current loss of revenue at the parks, Disney took steps to recognize and maximize profit potential in other areas. 

Disney Plus has been a big source of revenue for the Walt Disney Company, especially throughout the past few months. Identifying this, Disney dropped a few new releases along with old favorites on the streaming platform early and amidst the thick of quarantine. 

Onward, which first came to theaters on March 6, was released on Disney Plus as soon as April 1. The latest Star Wars film, The Rise of Skywalker, joined the line up on May 4. Disney Plus’ latest big addition, the live-action version of Mulan, whose release has been delayed since mid-March, is dropping on Disney Plus this September — for an added fee, of course. 

Additionally, for Disney Park fans, a virtual viewing of the “Magic Happens” parade was made available for families to gather and watch from their living rooms.

While Disney is losing profits in other areas, the company has been able to alter its business model and focus on the places that it can maximize success during this time.  

How can you identify profit maximization areas and navigate the inevitable ebb and flow of your own organizational pursuits?

Strategizing Without Sacrificing

With many stores closed or adjusting their operations, online shopping has been booming. Retailers are capitalizing on strategies involving sales and specials. Yet, Disney isn’t known for having “bargain prices.” It isn’t part of the company’s brand. 

How has Disney capitalized during this time to attract consumers to buy its products? 

Rather than discounts, shopDisney has added value and appeal to its product offerings with free shipping, personalized recommendations and creating product pairings. Each of these additions adds incentives for consumers to purchase from Disney without sacrificing Disney’s brand. 

Whatever your business’s product or service, how can you adapt and add value while maintaining your brand’s reputation?

Respectful and Responsible

In the past, Disney has focused its marketing on attracting large crowds. How many people can be incentivized to come to the parks? What events, conferences and competitions can be hosted to pull as many people as possible to Disney property? 

Fast forwarding to the present, wait times for popular rides like Flight of Passage, Space Mountain and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train that previously reached three hours aren’t exceeding lines longer than 20 minutes. Amidst the current pandemic, Disney’s focus is on social responsibility rather than filling its parks to the brim. 

Through this example, Disney portrays that good business tactics mean being responsible and upholding ethics rather than solely focusing on bringing in revenue. 

Enjoying the “Magic” at Home

Whether from the comfort of home or on its property, Disney has continued its central theme of enjoying the magic and experiencing joy through beloved characters, products and offerings. 

Here are a few ways the company continued to care for its “Disney people” from afar.

  1.  The Disney Parks blog made several recipes, including its crowd favorite churro recipe, available for cooking connoisseurs to try at home.
  2. Through its hashtag, #DisneyMagicMoments, Disney opened the gates for its fans to “see, hear and feel the magic of Disney, wherever they may be.”
  3. Movie theater closures haven’t stopped Disney from creating animation amazement. Disney has warmed the hearts of its fans and guests from afar using clips of beloved characters like this one

How can you create your own “magic” for your clients or audience during these uncommon circumstances?

Ready to read more about marketing magic? Check out the marketing section of our blog. 

By Clairemont intern Anna Beth Adcock, a senior at NC State.

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