How the Disney Brand Endures

The Disney brand is as impressive as it is enduring. A diverse range of Disney characters is both well known and well loved across the globe, from the iconic Mickey Mouse to recent Frozen fan favorites. The massive appeal of the brand spans decades, taking center stage in the technology age with such features as the use of the MagicBand wearable at Walt Disney World and MyDisney apps. How has Disney stayed current with recent generations, without sacrificing its core elements? Here are four answers:

  1. Lead; don’t follow: Top brands don’t see what other companies are doing and align their efforts accordingly. They set the standard for their competitors to follow. Disney leads by embracing technology to improve its theme park experiences. For instance, Disney is an early adopter of wearables. The Disney MagicBand is creating a more efficient and enjoyable experience for visitors to Walt Disney World. With one swipe of a wrist, guests can do everything from check into their hotel rooms to buy merchandise. Other businesses, including hospitals, are watching how Disney applies wearables so that they, too, can improve their guest experiences.
  1. Embrace change: The Disney brand had relied for many years on the “princess finds her prince charming” scenario for its animated tales, but lead females in recent features are much bolder. Brave’s Merida was rebellious and determined to find her own path; in The Princess and the Frog, Tiana’s dream is to open her own restaurant. Empowered characters are taking control in Disney films.
  1. Adjust to remain relevant: Sometimes market conditions require tweaking instead of full-blown change. Although Disney dominated the animated feature film industry for years, the company moved to stop-motion animation with The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. The new format relied on Disney’s foundation storytelling, but with a new aesthetic spin.
  1. Take seriously your environmental responsibilities: Disney has been quite successful in the genre of documentaries as well, with such films as Earth, Oceans, Bears, and African Cats. But the multimedia giant doesn’t just promote conservation efforts through movies like these: Disney also donates to such causes as the National Park Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. Disney has also been instrumental in developing the Disney Wilderness Preserve, an 11,500 acre conservation area in Central Florida. Considered part of the Everglades, the DWP is home to more than 1,000 species of native plants and animals and 3500 restored wetlands territory.

Is there more to the Disney brand than its approach to its audience? Why do you think Disney has endured through several generations and remained relevant? Please give us your point of view.

For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing bduffy@onesmoothstone.com

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