5 Business Secrets We Can Learn from Disney Today by Jae-ann Rock

Posted on Apr 2, 2018 in Blog, Training and HR, Uncategorized

The Walt Disney Company is inarguably one of the most successful corporate brands in the world. Like it or loathe it, there are certainly valuable lessons we can learn

from Disney’s success over the years.

Originally known for its animated films and theme parks, The Walt Disney Company has developed into a “Diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise.” Today…Disney is considered one of the most valuable brands on the planet.

So, what practical strategies can we learn from Disney’s success to positively impact our own sales and marketing efforts?

  • First, know this: Disney’s success did NOT happen by chance.

Only by constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries, has Disney developed into a full entertainment experience company. They consistently seek new and creative business opportunities to create customer demand that continues to drive growth. Every year brings new Disney innovations, ideas, and boundary-breaking business endeavors. In recent years, Disney’s new business pursuits have included live entertainment (e.g. theater and ESPN sports), cruise liners, and entire residential communities such as Celebration, Florida. 

This kind of innovation allows Disney to continue to provide creative value to the market. So – what practical ideas or strategies can we use from this success story? Below are several real-world Disney concepts to consider adopting in your own business. (Which will you choose to implement in 2018?)

1. Sell more to your current customers.

It is much easier to sell more to existing customers than to attempt to secure new ones. Disney knows this and uses every opportunity to sell you more while you’re in the Disney parks. From countless gift shops and food vendors, to Disney cruises and timeshare offerings, they seize every chance to up-sell and cross-sell current customers. Once you return home, enticing customized direct mail pieces arrive in your mailbox, encouraging you to “build your next Disney family vacation.” Smart. Very smart.

  • Challenge: How can you apply this concept to your business? Can you expand your offering to meet new market demand? How do you engage your current customers to learn what they want or need? How do you meet that demand by providing add-on products or services?

Your current customers are ready-made “warm prospects,” prepared to buy your next offering. Don’t squander this opportunity! Find out what they want or need then seize the chance to present them with additional purchase options.

2. Always improve and add to your offerings.

“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”  – Walt Disney

Even back in the 1950’s, Walt Disney knew change and innovation had to be central to the growth of his business. To this day, Disney continues to innovate to meet customer demand. They never stand still.  They make it their job to push boundaries with creative, new ideas to drive revenue and repeat business at every turn.

  • Challenge: Are you constantly providing new and improved offerings to your current clients?  Even if you are a small or mid-sized company, what new market demand can you respond to by offering additional products or services to meet their changing needs? How can you make your customers’ lives easier?

DO NOT STAND STILL. Do not become complacent in your business. Do not think that what you did last year will be enough to keep your clients happy this year, or your competition will swamp you under! After all, your competition is not standing still either. They are always looking for ways to better serve the market.

You must work hard to stay ahead of the game or your competitors will beat you out. How can you continue to differentiate your offerings from those of your competitors? Learn what your customers really want or need, and find ways to rise up and meet that demand.

3. Make it easy to do business with your company.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but consider how Disney continues to creatively meet this challenge…

In the past few years, Disney launched an ingenious new technology, called the MagicBand. This technology improves the consumer experience in the Disney Parks while making it exceptionally EASY to buy more with the “swipe” of a wristband. By wearing a MagicBand bracelet, embedded with radio frequency (RF) technology, Disney resort guests can simply wave their wristband across touch-points throughout Disney Parks to open their resort hotel room, gain access to theme parks, charge meals and merchandise, make reservations for rides, meals, entertainment, and more. How easy is that? Talk about innovation!

Customers no longer need to carry cash or credit cards while visiting Disney parks and resort properties. By creating a safe, secure, and amazingly easy way for guests to spend to their hearts’ content, Disney has made it seriously easy to buy from them.

  • Challenge: How easy do you make it for customers to buy from you? Are there any hurdles your clients must jump over to purchase or implement your product or service? How can you provide a clear path for prospects and clients to buy from you?

Ask your customers what they need and how you can better serve them. Create a customer satisfaction survey to capture feedback, “If there was one thing you could change about doing business with us, what would that be?” Then implement changes based on your findings. Always be thinking, “How can we make it easier for our customers to do business with us?”

4. Stay top of mind. 

Undeniably, Disney has an amazing marketing machine, designed to pull you back into the next “experience” time and again. Disney’s promotional marketing team works hard to keep their company top-of-mind throughout the year. And, guess what? It works.

  • Challenge: Do YOU stay in touch with your customers regularly?  Do you schedule regular customer service calls to check in and see how things are going?  Stay in touch, providing value-added products and services to further meet their changing needs. Don’t sell your customers and then disappear. The “set it and forget it” attitude toward customers will not result in business growth.

Always seek to understand ongoing or changing market needs, and rise to meet those requests with related products or services. Find reasons to stay in regular contact with your customers throughout the year. Regularly provide value-added insights via a newsletter or blog. Send curriculum based, educational content to stay in touch with them. Offer free webinars, providing informative industry trends or best practice tips and ideas to help improve their business.

That’s how you stay in touch while identifying new customer needs and opportunities. Make a plan and enact it!

5. Collect and analyze key business data.

Disney has this down to a science, from tracking time-of-day and seasonal park attendance levels, to analyzing marketing response rates. Their marketing team is continuously testing and tracking promotions, merchandising techniques and results.

But, it’s not just tracking the data that’s important; it’s what they DO with the data to inform the business strategy that is paramount. For example, by collecting park attendance data, Disney offers special resort rates and free meal packages during slower seasons to increase park attendance, thereby leveling out seasonal fluctuations.

  • Challenge: What critical data do you track in your business? What data do you capture to make improvements in your customer’s experience? How do you use that information? What should you be tracking? How will that inform business strategy? It’s not enough to just collect the data… How you USE that data to improve your business is the key!

The bottom line: There are endless lessons we can learn from Disney’s success, and volumes of books have been written about it. But, in my view, it all boils down to the following phrase: Never stand still.

By continuing to innovate and exceed customers’ expectations, you will be able to maximize your current customers and attract new ones, growing your business well into the future.

  • Challenge: Select one or two tips from the list above to focus on over the next few months. Where is the low-hanging fruit in your business? Which of these strategies will provide the greatest return on your investment of time to make it happen?

– How will you make the customer #1 in your business?
– How will you keep them coming back for more?
– Think ahead in your business. Stay ahead of the competition. Never stand still… What does this mean in YOUR business?

Call Mentor Tech Group to Secure Prequalified Corporate Training & HR Decision Makers!

And, when you’re ready to ramp up your sales and marketing efforts, contact Mentor Tech Group.  We have contact information for the corporate training & HR decision makers you need to grow your business.

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We’re here to help you– whenever you’re ready. Until next time, happy selling!!

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