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3 Marketing Lessons I Learned from Walt Disney

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1 month ago

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

Disney World is a magical world. Millions of people visit Disney Parks around the globe to leave their daily worries and struggles behind and tap into the energy sources of the “Happiest Place on Earth”.

Disneyland is indeed an amazing place for people of all ages and walks of life. Furthermore, it is a well of knowledge and wisdom for entrepreneurs, marketers and open-minded business people who’re eager to learn proven business and marketing principles that can be applied to their own enterprises.

A few months ago I visited the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida with my family. We focused on one of the Disney Parks where fairytale dreams come true. You guessed it; we went to Magic Kingdom.

We took all kinds of pictures, we went on several rides, watched the fireworks and parades, and obviously, we had those delicious Mickey Mouse ice creams. We had a wonderful time together.

Being the marketing addict I am, I also looked at this entire experience from a marketing standpoint. If you love marketing, there’s no way you can walk through Disneyland without taking ‘virtual’ notes and being inspired by consistency, the love for detail and the well-executed marketing strategies.

There is so much to learn from the marketing genius Walt Disney who left us these amazing gifts and Theme Parks…

It would be a crime to put all his teachings into three simple marketing lessons. However, I do want to share with you the marketing lessons that most stood out for me because they can be applied to ALL businesses.

1. Provide a Magical, Seamless Experience

Have you noticed how happy people are when they enter AND leave the Disney Parks? Have you noticed how happy visitors are while being in the parks and engaging into all kinds of activities?

That’s quite unusual. Not many parks in this world manage to accomplish that. But Disney does. And it does it sooo well.

Disney Parks are clean.

Disney Parks are perfectly laid out.

Disney Parks offer dining locations for all budgets.

Disney Parks have wheelchair rentals, stroller rentals, locker rentals, service animal relief areas, smoking locations and hundreds of ATMs. And of course restrooms everywhere.

Disney employees are very polite, helpful and knowledgeable about every aspect of the parks.

On top of that, you get to experience all kinds of shows, parades and fireworks.

Everything is laid out perfectly so that visitors can relax and enjoy their mini-vacations to the fullest. Everything is taken care of by the organizer.

Ultimately, Disney Parks offer a perfect setting for an unforgettable experience.

2. Use Idiot-Proof Directions to Guide Your Customers

The biggest nightmare for an organizer AKA business owner is seeing visitors / customers running around your entity clueless, shoeless and asking employees “Where can I find this?”, “How do I get there?”, “Where should I go next?”…

These type of questions are killer to a magical experience and I’m literally blown-away of how well Disney’s managers have taken care of these type of killer questions from arising.

Disney Parks are very well organized. There are signs everywhere. The signs are easy to understand and navigate, the instructions are clear and you always know how to get from A to B without ending up in C.

Plus there are lots of places to pick up copies of maps in several languages if you missed to grab one when entering the park.

As we all know, a confused mind never buys.

A confused customer never buys.

Therefore the big takeaway here is to do whatever it takes to avoid visitor (customer) confusion.

3. Implement Systems to Ensure Consistency Throughout Your Business

The most successful businesses in the world have proven systems in place. They are systems-dependent, not people-dependent. This is exactly the case with all the Walt Disney World Resorts and Parks.

McDonald’s has time-proven systems in place. Starbucks has solid systems in place. Why shouldn’t Walt Disney systematize his business?

Well, he indeed systematized a lot. You have perfect cleaning schedules in place. You have checklists for serving meals and menus. And more importantly, if you pay close attention, you’ll notice proven and well-tested marketing systems everywhere you go.

Upsells, downsells, cross-sells and all kinds of multi-steps offers are seamlessly incorporated across Disney shops and restaurants.

Big Marketing Lessons from the World’s Greatest Companies

For me, Disney World is a true marketing bonanza.

I travel a lot, I’ve been to loads of spectacular places around the world, I have and had the privilege to work with some of the world’s leading enterprises and corporations, however, nowhere have I experienced this level of excellence as I have inside Walt Disney’s Magical Theme Parks.

I continue to be mesmerized by Walt Disney’s love for beauty and detail, his dedication to excellence in customer service and continuous pursuit of delivering happiness.

Walt Disney left a legacy for all of us and for generations to come. He encouraged us to believe in our dreams and to do whatever it takes to turn these dreams into reality.

Have you been to Disneyland? What were your biggest marketing lessons?

Originally published on my blog at StrengthInBusiness.com.

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