CaseStudy: Walt Disney
What does Disney do best to connect with its core consumers?
Disneyis one of the most innovative companies in customer relationshipmanagement (CRM). The company has a diverse workforce leading theingenuity in marketing and customer retention strategies. One of theways Disney connects with its customers is through the incredibleguest experience in Disney parks (Köhler,2014).The company has parks across all its markets, including Asia, the US,and Europe. The guest parks allow families to visit, eat and interactwith company employees. Whether in a Disney hotel, a Disney store ora Disney theme park, the company always offers services and productsat the highest standards (Mannheim,2016).
Acritical aspect of customer relationship management is creating anemotional bond with customers. Disney has created emotional bondswith their customers across all age groups. From the Mickey Mousecharacter among children and Hanna Montana among teenagers, Disneyknows how to align the viewers’ emotions with their best characters(Köhler,2014).This has enabled the company to have a pool of impassionate followersfrom all customer segments. The vocal supporters contribute tocustomer retention efforts through recommendations to families andfriends as well as forming on-site defense for the company`sreputation.
Pricesetting is always the difference between a dominant company and onethat struggles for market penetration. Disney sets affordable pricesfor its products, whether in Disney parks, Disney-branded merchandiseor subscriptions to Disney channels. Disney invests in training itsemployees in interpersonal skills (Vasconcelos& Demo, 2012).Even park cleaners in Disney parks undergo weeks of training ininterpersonal skills to be able to relate well with the customersthey encounter. The company uses charismatic advertising that reachesto people of all ages. It engages in strategic philanthropy,especially in the United States. The strategic philanthropies enablethe company to amass publicity (Vasconcelos& Demo, 2012).The company has an enviable online presence, especially in the socialmedia. Examples include the Disney parks blog launched in 2009 andthe Show Your Disney Side challenge in 2013 (Mannheim,2016).
What are the risks and benefits of expanding the Disney brand in new ways?
Developingthe Disney brand in new ways may present several risks to thecompany. First, the regulatory environment keeps changing from onecountry to another (Chesbrough,2013).Laws governing the channeling of television content through satelliteand the Internet continue to evolve as governments seek more powersto control the content in entertainment. It is likely that as thecompany aims to expand, it will stumble upon restrictive lawsespecially in unfamiliar territories.
Disneywill face market risks in an attempt to expand in new ways. Companiescannot be certain about the nature of customer response to a newproduct or a new way of offering a product. To avoid such risks,Disney will have to invest in market surveys. The risk, in this case,is that studies may reveal negative outlooks hence leading to loss ofinitial investment. Disney will also face social acceptance risksbecause of the diverse viewpoints in different market segments. Somemarkets such as the Asian market have rigid societies that may notbuy into the new ideas of the company. Therefore, as the companythinks of using untested technology to popularize its brand, it willface initial challenges in convincing customers to buy theirproducts.
Expansionmay also create opportunities for the company to grow its brandbeyond its traditional market. It will lead to greater innovation inproducts, services, and operations. Expanding into new geographicalterritories will lead to the development of products that suit thetargeted markets (Chesbrough,2013).Additionally, the company will leverage its operational strategies todeal with the expanded customer base. Broadening the brand in newways may result in increased revenue generation and hence higherprofitability. Additionally, this will increase the company’sviewership as well as increase the sales volumes of theDisney-branded merchandise. There is growth in the demand forentertainment in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa. Expandingwill help Disney take advantage of the opportunities present in thesemarkets and hence diversify its viewership. This may lead to mergersand acquisitions as the company seeks to stamp its market leadershipposition across the markets.
Chesbrough,H. (2013). Openbusiness models: How to thrive in the new innovation landscape.Harvard Business Press.
Köhler,I. (2014). Strategicmarketing analysis of Walt Disney`s Parks and Resorts.Munich: GRIN Verlag GmbH.
Mannheim,S. (2016). WaltDisney and the quest for community.London: Routledge
Vasconcelos,H., & Demo, G. (2012). Enchant to retain: an instrumental studyabout the relationship between Walt Disney World Parks and itsBrazilian customers. In Anaisdo International Conference on Industrial Engineering and OperationsManagement.
Wasko,J. (2013). UnderstandingDisney: The manufacture of fantasy.John Wiley & Sons.