Five Things Disney World Can Teach Us About Marketing

 

I just returned from a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It's truly the happiest place on earth. I went with my parents and my 9 year-old little sister and, thanks to her, I risked my life on more rollercoasters than ever before. I'm not a ride kind of gal, but apparently my sister is. And my parents were kind enough to pay for my trip, but it wasn't until I arrived that I realized that was a trick that required me to ride all the rides while they sat and laughed. But, I met Mickey, so that made it all worth it.

This trip was refreshing not only to step away and have a little FUN, but it was also really a reset reminding me what's important when it comes to marketing the. Walt Disney is such an inspiration for creative entrepreneurs or anyone pursuing big dreams. His persistence literally changed the world. And he knew that the only way to make things happen is to have a good team of people around you. 

 

Walt Disney

Here are a few things I observed at Disney World that have inspired me to take them into my day-to-day and career.

1. Keep the main thing the main thing. 
Walt Disney said, "When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable."  It's so easy to lose track of what's important. We get distracted with the newest and coolest bells and whistles and keeping up with the Joneses on social media. Taking the time to focus regularly on what the most important things are for your business is exactly what Walt did. Look where it got him. 

2. Give away free stuff.
Multiple times during our trip, "cast members" (what Disney World calls employees) randomly gave my little sister freebies - ice cream, stickers, buttons, candy. Granted, we paid for it on the front end, but it added SO much to the trip. The rides and shows were amazing, but those little things made a big impact on her experience. Sometimes what is an easy giveaway that costs your business very little can make a big impact.

3. Know your customer.
While the parents are generally footing the bill for Disney World, employees there know the key to that pocketbook is a great experience for the children. And giving the kids an experience like no other means they'll be back (probably sooner than later). 

4. Consistency.
At any park, you could find a set of Mickey ears, see your favorite characters, ride amazing rides and eat delicious food. The parks are all so different but the important things are exactly the same. This goes back to #1, but in business, we need to remember that consistency solidifies your brand and message. Frequent changes to your core offering can lead to customer confusion. Strive to pick the three things you're good at and make every road lead back to the main thing.

5. Have fun!
People like fun. Stop and consider ways to make your customer experience more fun. If you have an online business, put a fun or silly note in the packaging. If you have a retail store, have them ring a bell at the register for 10% off. Keep things fun and interesting every time your shopper enters the store.

 

Laura Johns, Disney World