What has Disney Learned from Global Branding


Even if you’ve never been to a Disney park or seen a Disney movie, you can appreciate its massive success with global branding. Walt himself developed the core promise behind a simple idea: To create happiness through magical, immersive experiences. The movies, theme parks, resorts and attractions are built around this central objective, but they real key is knowing the audience well enough to be relevant to them – anywhere they visit.

Disney has mastered the technique of staying true to this promise, even in other countries where the brand must accommodate different cultures and traditions. Remaining relevant to every visitor, every time they interact with the Disney brand hasn’t been easy, but they’ve managed to achieve this goal throughout the world.

Locally Inspired Attractions: For success globally, it’s often necessary to focus locally. Disney has proved to be a master at its parks and through its attractions worldwide, but one notable example really stands out at Disney Paris’ Ratatouille: The Adventure. The magic abounds on Disney Paris’ attraction based upon its hit animated feature film. Park-goers are immersed in the setting of the Parisian restaurant where Gusteau creates his culinary delights, following along in a 3D journey on his action-packed quest to prepare the perfect meal. The experience culminates at a functioning bistro restaurant, where diners can enjoy French classics like the movie’s signature dish.

Staying True to Its Roots: Disney has always found success with its approach to creating unforgettable experiences, Walt Disney Imagineering. One place to see the latest technologies at work is at DisneySea Tokyo’s Aquatopia, the second of only four attractions in the world to use a system for trackless rides – developed by Imagineers. Riders take a joy ride on steampunk-era themed personal hovercraft as they dodge whirlpools, get soaked by water spouts, and avoid rocks. Through the magic of Disney, the watercraft are actually supported by wheels that roll along the floor in 2-inch deep water.

CRM to CMR: The bigger the brand, the more challenging it can be for the Average Joe to interact with it. Disney bridges the gap by kicking the typical customer relationship management up a notch – putting the customer in the driver’s seat – with Customer Managed Relationships. Through its MyMagic+ app, Disney allows guests to maximize their personal experience across multiple touchpoints, including rides, shopping, dining options, shows, parades and other attractions. Visitors to the parks can use the app to dictate the time and manner of the experience, thereby increasing engagement with the brand.

You may not be able to jet-set throughout the world to visit the various Disney parks and resorts, but you can take a lesson from the brand’s strategies to adapt to the different nations where they operate. Integrating local cultures and putting the guest first have worked well for Disney’s global branding efforts, and are effective in establishing ties with both the host country and audience. What are some other companies that are killing it with global branding? Do you incorporate local history, culture and tradition when planning events? Please let us know what you think.

We Love Live™. 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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