• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Brand Management - Walt Disney (Case Study)
 

Brand Management - Walt Disney (Case Study)

on

  • 8,683 views

a case study on Walt Disney looking at various aspects of their Brand Management

a case study on Walt Disney looking at various aspects of their Brand Management

Statistics

Views

Total Views
8,683
Views on SlideShare
8,542
Embed Views
141

Actions

Likes
13
Downloads
0
Comments
1

2 Embeds 141

http://www.pbs.plymouth.ac.uk 136
http://uvirtual.javeriana.edu.co 5

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel

11 of 1 previous next

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
  • What we can learn and use for yourself when you need to, quite convenient and diverse.
    http://www.friv3go.com
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Brand Management - Walt Disney (Case Study) Brand Management - Walt Disney (Case Study) Document Transcript

    • Brand Management Walt Disney Ishan Parekh MBA (Tech.) | Roll # 315
    • Table of Contents Walt Disney – a brief history...................................................................................................................3 Situational Analysis.................................................................................................................................4 Vision, Mission & Purpose ..................................................................................................................4 Vision...............................................................................................................................................4 Mission............................................................................................................................................4 Purpose ...........................................................................................................................................4 Values..................................................................................................................................................4 Stakeholder Map.................................................................................................................................5 Effectiveness Analysis .........................................................................................................................5 SWOT Analysis.....................................................................................................................................6 Walt Disney – the brand .........................................................................................................................7 Building a Strong Brand ..........................................................................................................................8 Perceptual Position.............................................................................................................................8 Perceptual Mapping of Disneyland.....................................................................................................8 Brand Awareness ................................................................................................................................8 Brand Image........................................................................................................................................9 Haedrich’s 3 Criteria for a Successful Brand Image ........................................................................9 Brand Elements.................................................................................................................................10 Logos .............................................................................................................................................10 Slogans ..........................................................................................................................................10 Pop Culture .......................................................................................................................................11 Brand Positioning..................................................................................................................................12 Strategic Planning .............................................................................................................................12 Marketing Mix...................................................................................................................................12 Competitive Advantage ....................................................................................................................12 Marketing Plan..................................................................................................................................13 Segmenting & Targeting Markets.....................................................................................................13 Market Positioning............................................................................................................................14 Brand Inventory ....................................................................................................................................16 Brand Hierarchy ................................................................................................................................16 Brand Hierarchy Outlines..............................................................................................................16
    • Current Positioning in the Market Place...........................................................................................17 Competitors ..................................................................................................................................17 Points of Parity & Points of Difference .........................................................................................18 Brand Alliances..................................................................................................................................18 Brand Exploratory .................................................................................................................................20 Consumers’ Brand Associations........................................................................................................20 Consumer Opinions of the Disney Brand..........................................................................................21 Consumer Brand Equity Pyramid......................................................................................................22 Salience .........................................................................................................................................22 Performance .................................................................................................................................22 Image.............................................................................................................................................22 Judgement.....................................................................................................................................22 Feelings .........................................................................................................................................23 Resonance.....................................................................................................................................23 Recommendations................................................................................................................................25 Balancing Heritage with Innovation..................................................................................................25 Avoid Overexposure..........................................................................................................................25 Corporate Branding Structure...........................................................................................................25 Table of Figures.....................................................................................................................................26
    • Walt Disney – a brief history Today, the Walt Disney Company comprises a portfolio of brands related to various forms of entertainment, and this complex web of brands is all on the small shoulders of a mouse and one man’s dream. Walt Disney struggled through years of unsuccessful characters and creations, but his luck changed with the creation of Mickey Mouse in 1928. After Mickey’s debut in Steamboat Willie, the first Mickey Mouse animated feature to be released, he was immediately trademarked in order to keep the mouse and the heart of the Disney brand protected. In order to build on the momentum from Mickey Mouse, he was extended a licensing agreement to be printed on writing pads. Mickey had a kind-hearted happy-go-lucky attitude that captured family’s hearts. It was a perfect fit for the Disney image. The Disney brand was built on characters & animated features, but in 1955 the Disney brand extended far beyond cartoons and animated shorts with the opening of Disneyland. The theme park expanded Disney’s positive associations past simply film and animation to also include life experiences. The theme parks allow the brand to build associations through multiple senses and make a powerful impact on consumers’ interactions with the brand. The company continually became involved with more media opportunities such as television, music, live action filming and distribution, along with animated movies and theme parks. The company became a massive media corporation with its purchase of ABC networks in 1995. Today, Disney is able to use its assortment of brands & business unites to support one another and cross-brand through various promotions. The Disney brand value was estimated by the consulting firm, Interbrand, in 2010 at being worth $73.5 billion. That’s quite substantial for a brand that was sparked with a simple sketch of a mouse.
    • Situational Analysis Vision, Mission & Purpose Vision The Walt Disney Company is to be the preeminent leader in the field of family entertainment. Mission The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, which excels in being a diversified, international, family entertainment and media company. Purpose Commitment to producing unparalleled entertainment experiences based on its rich legacy of quality creative content and exceptional storytelling. Values •follow a strong tradition of innovationInnovation •strive to follow a high standard of excellence; maintain high-quality standards across all product categoriesQuality •create positive and inclusive ideas about families; provide entertainment experiences for all generations to shareCommunity •every product tells a story; timeless and engaging stories delight and inspireStorytelling •entertainment is about hope, aspiration and positive resolutionsOptimism •honor and respect the trust people place in us; fun is about laughing at our experiences and ourselvesDecency
    • Stakeholder Map Effectiveness Analysis Bob Iger (CEO) Communities Major Business Segments Customers / Guests Business Partners Board of Directors Employees
    • SWOT Analysis
    • Walt Disney – the brand Simply put, a brand is a promise to your customer. When describing a brand, it’s tempting to simply list the attributes of your business, describe your product line or point to your logo and tagline. But a brand is more than that—a brand promises a unique benefit to your customer. The Walt Disney Company, commonly referred to as Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media corporation headquartered in Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, California, United States. It is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. The Walt Disney Company expanded its existing operations and also started divisions focused upon theatre, radio, music, publishing, and online media. In addition, it has created new divisions of the company in order to market more mature content than it typically associates with its flagship family-oriented brands. In 2004, Roy Disney perfectly summarized the intangible benefits of the Disney brand: The Walt Disney Company is more than just a business. It is an authentic American icon -- which is to say that over the years it has come to stand for something real and meaningful and worthwhile to millions of people of all ages and backgrounds around the world. This is not something you can describe easily on a balance sheet, but it is tangible enough. Indeed, it is the foundation on which everything we have accomplished as a company -- both artistically and financially -- is based. I believe our mission has always been to be bringers of joy, to be affirmers of the good in each of us, to be -- in subtle ways -- teachers. To speak, as Walt once put it, "not to children but to the child in each of us." We do this through great storytelling, by giving our guests a few hours in another world where their cares can be momentarily put aside, by creating memories that will remain with them forever. This is the core of what we've come to call "Disney…" Notice that Disney did not describe their brand in terms of amusement parks, cartoons, films or products. They describe their brand in terms of the experience people get from Disney. It’s no coincidence that park staff calls the customers “guests” and refer to the employee break areas as “backstage”.
    • Building a Strong Brand Perceptual Position The following statement was given by Disney as a description of his process for creating his stories: "The story man must see clearly in his own mind how every piece of business in a story will be put. He should feel every expression, every reaction. He should get far enough away from his story to take a second look at it...to see whether there is any dead phase...to see whether the personalities are going to be interesting and appealing to the audience. He should also try to see that the things that his characters are doing are of an interesting nature." Perceptual Mapping of Disneyland As an example of perceptual mapping, let us have a look at one of the divisions of Walt Disney, i.e. Resorts which primarily includes Disneyland. Now, comparing Disneyland against other theme parks in the United States on the perceptual map of price versus quality gives us the following result. Figure 1 - Perceptual Mapping of Disneyland Brand Awareness Perhaps one of the most visible and successful examples of corporate and brand image building is the Walt Disney Corporation. The Walt Disney image, management techniques, and products are known throughout the world. Disney sustains its magical, satisfying image by training its cast members from the very first day to view their work as a “role” in “the greatest show on earth.” Nothing is left to chance. We find it
    • nearly impossible to fault either on its ability to serve customers with consistent distinction and quality.” How companies maintain a high level of consistency in image-building—especially on a brand level— has received little attention thus far. While Disney has commonly been hailed as a brand image success story, almost no research has been conducted to demystify how the Disney Corporation actually puts brand image-building techniques to work. Answers to these questions may provide much useful information and strategies for today’s organizations. Before the idea of brand image can be related to Disney, we must define and explain the types of image, understand the importance of image, and explore what makes up a strong brand image. Brand Image One organization leading the way in brand image development and projection via the World Wide Web is the Walt Disney Corporation. The massive popularity of past Disney movies and related products attests to Disney’s successful brand imaging. To better reach large audiences, Disney has chosen to launch its newest invention—the “Magical Gatherings” vacation planning service— through its website (in addition to TV and magazines). Haedrich’s 3 Criteria for a Successful Brand Image The Walt Disney Corporation began with cartoonist Walt Disney. On July 17, 1955, after many years of work in the animation business, Walt opened Disneyland—“a place where ‘age relives fond memories of the past and youth may savour the challenge and promise of the future’. In 1971, Disney opened an even larger theme park in Florida—Walt Disney World. Today, the park spreads across 30,000 acres. Within the Magical Gatherings website, Disney has not only met, but exceeded Haedrich’s (1993) three criteria of a successful brand image. 1. In meeting Haedrich’s first criteria of outstanding product quality, a high degree of innovation, an exceptionally efficient sales force, highly attractive advertising, or a particularly favourable price, Disney presented the Magical Gatherings vacation planning service in a beautifully designed website that showcased the product’s ability to design a vacation for any preference. 2. To meet the second criteria of controlling disturbing factors such as simulative, economic, and social factors that could inhibit audiences from actually purchasing/supporting a product or brand, Disney emphasized the inclusiveness and all-encompassing characteristics of a Magical Gatherings vacation. A Disney vacation offers something for every age and taste and all in a safe, fairy tale environment. 3. Thirdly, the Magical Gatherings website meets the criteria of referring to a strong corporate image by prominently displaying the Disney name on every page, showing many pictures of Disney World, and using words made famous by Disney, including “magic,” “fairy tale,” and “dreams.” This tie-in to the corporate Disney image puts the Magical Gatherings vacation planning service head-and-shoulders above its competition before visitors even realize what an amazing product it is in its own right.
    • Brand Elements Along the years, Disney has worked hard to create a respectful and recognizable brand equity & image thanks to their success and constant expansion. They have created a brand image based on “core values, a brand essence, and a brand promise emphasizing wholesome, kid-friendly, family- oriented fun and entertainment”. Logos The Walt Disney logo represents the brand image & everything the company offers to families and kids: decent, traditional, fun & a magical experience. Its origin comes from the signature of the founder Walt Disney & has achieved recognition nationally & internationally. Since the Walt Disney Company contains many affiliated & subsidiary companies, there are many logos corresponding to each; however one of the most recognizable are the Disney Pictures logo and the Walt Disney logo. Figure 2 - the Walt Disney logo Figure 3 - the Disney Pictures logo Slogans A successful slogan is a short memorable quote that helps the consumer remember the brand. It helps the brand sell and the consumer understand and relate to the product. Throughout the years, Disney’s focus has been to create a fantasy land for kids and family, and has used multiple slogans to portray what the company and the brand image truly is. The first slogan was “the happiest place on earth” which was declared by the very own Walt Disney. Other slogans include “make the dream come true”, “where dreams come true”, “magic happens”, “this is the start of something big”, “the magical place to be”, “celebrate the magic”, “where the ordinary is always extraordinary” among others.
    • Pop Culture Disney is a well-worldwide-known company that offers multiple services & products. It’s such a big expanded empire that isn’t easy for it to be recognizable in the public as well as in TV commercials, TV series, movies and parades. Since kids love Disney, you can see Disney products around schools, in the streets, whether it’s a t-shirt or a hat. The Walt Disney Company so powerful that it has made a commitment to help society and the community, forming different organizations to help the environment, hospitals etc. Disney characters are also commonly seen on food products such as cereals, candy and cookies. One of the most common and well known public references has been in the Super Bowls when the winning team announces “We are going to Disney World”.
    • Brand Positioning Strategic Planning The Walt Disney Company is a market oriented corporation, meaning they assume that a sale does not depend on an aggressive sales force but rather on a customer's decision to purchase a product. These are usually the parents that take their kids to the movies and buy the merchandise. Disney knows that it's one thing to make a great movie that kids are excited about but the efforts often fall short if parents don't approve of it. The driving force of the entire company is the motion pictures and animated cartoons which are managed by Touchstone, Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista, and Miramax. Disney Imagineering does all of the strategic planning for The Walt Disney Company as well as the marketing planning. The goal of the Disney Imagineering section is to continuously design and implement new, fun and exciting products for the Disney Company that will attract, amaze, and excite their customers. By doing so, the company uses its product/service differentiation competitive advantage. The company clearly has developed a very strong and well known "brand-name and image" over many years. In addition, Disney has one the most recognized and powerful brand names in the entertainment industry according to Datamonitor 2007. Because of this, selling all of their movies are almost never a problem. Yes, a lot has to do with advertising but the Disney name has so much history that it has given them an advantage of instinct and familiarity when it comes to selling their products. Marketing Mix As you all may know, the term marketing mix refers to a unique blend of product, place, promotion, and pricing strategies (often referred to as the "four Ps") designed to produce mutually satisfying exchanges with the target market. The Walt Disney Company is very good at the product and placing aspects of the four Ps. Again, because of their brand name they have the ability to sell their products easily. As new theatrical productions are released, it allows for new product lines based off the feature’s characters to be made and sold in strategically placed stores throughout the United States. The stores are located in malls and super centres, in urban locations in order to for them to be visible by the public eye. The next two Ps are promotion and pricing. The Walt Disney Company promotes their films in almost every way possible varying from McDonald's toys to Billboards and posters all over buses and trains. Disney wastes so much money on advertising, that you see their upcoming previews all over TV as well as the internet. Movie ads are displayed on various websites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter and many more. As for pricing, new DVD releases are usually relatively cheap due to the fact that Disney is a family oriented company that wants to be able to attract families of median incomes. Competitive Advantage The most basic goal of The Walt Disney Company other than profit is, “To Make People Happy”. Their ability to make children as well as parents feel warm-hearted and full of joy after just one animated movie is what truly makes them successful. Disney is always advertising with key words
    • such as "Love", "Magic", and "Happiness" because that's what their films are all about. Their unique ability to capture their audiences’ hearts is what separates them from other companies in the film industry. I believe that this is Disney's secret to success and true competitive advantage. Marketing Plan The Walt Disney Company current situation on marketing takes into consideration the following characteristics: sell more to existing customers, expand their market place, continuous promotion, tracking business, and always improve or add to existing products. Disney is continually offering goods and services for existing customers through their website, parks and resorts, television and cruise lines. Through these goods and services, Disney tries to capture the most as they can by expanding to strategic points in the world – such as parks in China, Japan and Paris -, and also by developing structures that fit different cultures, in order to make people from different backgrounds feel comfortable with the products offered. Continuously advertising is also an enhanced marketing strategy of Disney – the company never stops advertising, through the most various means -, making people keep the company in mind at all times. A really important fact about the company’s marketing is that they know their seasons very well, and adapt marketing to it; always heavily investing in slow times, in order to have profit all year round. Moreover, Disney never stops; it embraces the change by always modifying, expanding, and creating new ways of brings the magic to customers, making their experience never be the same, and making them want to experience it again. Competitors of Disney are News Corporation, Viacom, NBCUniversal and Times Warner. They compete with Disney in all the five branches. However, Disney uses marketing more focused in the family, which calls for the parents, the ones that often has the power of purchase decision; while the others call customers individually. Hence, Disney has a marketing advantage while appealing for not only children but also for the parents. But, as kids grow, establish their tastes, and have their decisions taken into consideration by the parents while purchasing, Disney might lose market for being associated to younger children and family; while its competitors gain advantage for that reason. Constantly making parents aware and comfortable with Disney goods and services, as well as their way of advertising, in order to reach the ones that have the purchasing power, is the marketing objective of The Walt Disney Company. Segmenting & Targeting Markets Now it is obvious which kind the Walt Disney Company is, this is due to their market segmentation. Market segmentation helps marketers define customer needs and wants more precisely. Disney uses geographic, demographic, and psychographic segmentation to locate their target market. Geographic segmentation refers to a region of a country or the world, market size, market density, or climate; this is used for the location of Disney's theme parks such as Disneyland and Disney World which are strategically located in the world's most visited places: Europe, Japan, India, and of course the United States. Demographic segmentation refers to age, gender, income, ethnic background, and family life cycle; this is used to help determine where to place their chain stores called the Disney Store, where to distribute their movies, and even determines what kind of movie they should create next. Psychographic segmentation is based on personality, motives, lifestyles and
    • geodemographics; this is also used to help Disney determine who is going to buy more of their products. Disney mainly targets children and their families; it uses the multisegment targeting strategy which is when a firm chooses to serve two or more well-defined market segments. Disney intrigues people of all ages; whether it is a child, teen, or parent. For small children, it has its animation films, toys and other goods from their consumer products division, a segment on their channel called "Playhouse Disney," and many more. For older kids such as tweens and teens, it has the Disney Channel, Radio Disney, their live-action films, and much more. Disney's live-action films such as Pirates of the Caribbean attracts adults as well, in order to target adults Disney uses a "family approach." Disney theme parks were built for the whole family to enjoy and they do a fine job stressing that. If you pay close attention to their advertisements you will see that they are not always aimed for children, in fact they are aimed at the parents most of the time with little phrases such as "Let the Memories Begin" and "This is Where the Magic Happens." Even the animation films are made to please the parents, with their good morals and some jokes that are meant for the child not to understand. In addition, the Disney Store has its own Home Decor department which is intended to satisfy the parents' wants as well as their children's, while the child is browsing through the toys, the parent is browsing through the Home Decor section. As you can see Disney does not have one specific target market, it focuses on each member of the family. It mainly targets average income families, who live in urban areas. Almost all of the Disney Stores are located in large super-centres and malls; their theme park in the United States is located in Orlando, Florida; and their films as well as consumer products are conveniently priced for the average person. Walt Disney himself said it all when he stated: "You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway." Market Positioning When referring to the words "A magical world where dreams come true (Disney official website, 2011)". What immediately comes to mind? While, there is a destination can embodying all your imaginations: mysterious neverland, incredible fairy tales, unlimited possibilities, it is called The Disney, which is a conspicuous instance of a brand that can effectively position itself on its benefits or attributes by meeting their target's expectations. As one of the most successful entertainment companies in the world, the Walt Disney Group, it now owns interests in four major fields: media networks, studio entertainment, consumer products, theme parks and resorts. This essay will elaborate how Walt Disney Corporation positioning itself to obtain competitive advantage in the market. According to the marketing process of segmenting, targeting and positioning, it is crucial that Disney select profitable segments in order to be success in their operations. After identify the most worthwhile target market, the company should be able to provide them additional value that competitors cannot provide. By following this principle, Disney must then position itself basis on the targeted customers' demands. Therefore, the consumers are being regarded as the driving force
    • behind Disney, and setting positioning strategies which can fit properly with its marketing mix is the key element of successful marketing process. Disney Studio for example, which has been positioned as providing great movies that kids are excited about, while parents approve of at the same time. This will affect the marketing mix in relation to product, as Disney added family orientated as one of it characteristics, they are now tending to make the product suitable for different levels of ages. Another part of marketing mix that is affected by Disney Studio's positioning strategy is the presentation utilized by the company, it is especially important for service sector. The physical environment (i.e. the buildings, decor, furnishings. etc.) is instrumental in customers' assessment of the quality and level of service they can expect, for Disney Studio, in fact, the physical environment is part of the product itself. As the two founders, Walt and Roy believed that they had to always stay one step ahead of the competition.
    • Brand Inventory Brand Hierarchy The Walt Disney Company manages a complex portfolio. Under the corporate level brand, Walt Disney, the company is organized into two family brands: ABC & Disney. Under the ABC family level brand, there are a few individual level brands and sub-brands related to television and production. The Disney family level brand is a massive umbrella with individual brands involved in a breadth of various businesses. Each individual brand under the Disney family brand also includes sub-brands and modifiers. For example, under the Walt Disney Pictures individual brand, there are various modified brands specifically relating to particular types of film production, such as Walt Disney Feature Animation. Technically, every movie title, character, hotel resort, and theme park attraction is brand under Disney. It was impossible to include every trademarked brand in the following hierarchy, but examples are provided along with some of the key Disney characters. The company also manages television group brands jointly under both the Disney and ABC family brand umbrella, such as Disney ABC Domestic Television. Outside of the two family brands, the company also manages various individual brands such as Touchstone Pictures and ESPN among others. The brand inventory and exploratory, beyond the hierarchy outlines, focus on the branding strength of Disney as a family brand and the various individual brands it represent. Brand Hierarchy Outlines Figure 4 - Corporate & Family Brands Figure 5 – Example of Individual Brands under the Family Brand & Sub-Brands
    • Figure 6 - Brands jointly under the Disney & ABC Family Brands Figure 7 - Examples of Individual Brands not under a Family Brand Current Positioning in the Market Place One crucial aspect of managing a successful brand such as Disney is building and maintaining an established position in the market place. Among all brands worldwide, Disney is ranked 10th based on weight. Brand weight is used to describe a brands ability to dominate a particular area of the market. Recognition in brand weight suggests that Disney is a market leader and is a brand that develops standards for competitors. Disney is also ranked first based on brand length, which Interbrand defines as a brand’s ability to expand into new categories and tackle new markets. Competitors Because the Walt Disney Company is flourishing in a multitude of various businesses, the Disney brand faces immense competition from a myriad of different companies. Some of the major corporations managing brands competing with the Disney brand include CBS Corporation, NBC Universal, and the Disney Corporation’s top competitor – Time Warner Company.
    • CBS Corporation, like the Walt Disney Company is mass media company that operates in television media, radio, advertising, publishing, theme parks, and consumer products. NBC Universal also operates a portfolio of brands involved in media and entertainment. One of Disney’s top competitors, when compared as a brand is Universal Studios. Finally, Time Warner operates various brands that, like Disney, work together to support to one another. Another brand that is often compared to the Disney brand is Nickelodeon, which is driven by a television station. Both are youthful brands that inspire imagination and spirit. As a global brand, Disney is forced to compete on an even grander scale that encompasses entertainment brands across the world. Points of Parity & Points of Difference As a brand dedicated to providing entertainment, Disney is associated with fun and excitement. This, however, is an association that is a categorical point of parity and is common among all brands with entertainment. The entertainment products and services Disney provides, such as television programs, theme park attractions, animated and live action films, and online entertainment are all shared among the majority of Disney’s corporate level competitors. Involvement in most if not all of these services mentioned is expected by entertainment brands and, therefore, a categorical point of parity. However, in a business that is fuelled by creativity and imagination it is easy to separate competitors based on entertainment content & style. Although Disney has always been a unique brand with concrete differences, brands often attempt to compete by following the success of competitors using competitive points of parity. Disney’s real source of competitive edge is found in its ability to set itself apart and above competitive brands. The most powerful point of difference for Disney juxtaposed to its competition is the Disney name itself. The name immediately generates strong, positive associations that set it apart from other entertainment companies that are impossible to copy. Although the Walt Disney Company is a complex corporation, individuals recognize “Disney” as a beloved brand first, and a business corporation second. As long as the Disney name continues to make the promise of unique and unmatched entertainment, the brand will be strengthened. Other than the unique, intangible associations that the Disney name generates, the brand holds a cast of characters that extends from the brand offering it a major point of difference against competition. This is a powerful tool because the characters are trademarked and, therefore, cannot be copied by competitors. The characters help to define the Disney brand. Mickey Mouse may be the most successful brand character ever created and acts as a symbol for the Disney Brand. Brand Alliances Because of Disney’s strongly defined associations and massive consumer awareness, numerous brands have been interested in being associated with Disney throughout the years; in fact, Mickey Mouse was the first licensed character to appear on a cereal box when General Foods printed him on a box of Post Toasties in the early 1930s. Today, Disney characters are found on a number of different products. In order to better control these brand alliances, the company has a recently redefined licensing program to permit greater control of the brand’s licensing agreements. The Disney brand has become more specific its selection of distribution and products it associates itself with. It has also recognized the need to monitor the target market of its partnering brands and
    • products involved in its various license agreements. There must be connection with the Disney brand element licensed and the product. Disney often finds itself rejecting ideas brought to the company for proposed agreements. One marketing alliance that Disney has long been involved with is that between Disney and McDonald’s. The most popular promotional strategy used by the partnership was the distribution of Disney figurines and toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals accompanying the release of a new film. Perhaps the most commonly known and recent brand partnerships include that with Disney and Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilms. With the help of high-tech computer animation, a rich library of stories and characters and a proven franchise of films; Disney has been able to create classics such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Avengers, Iron Man, Star Wars & Indiana Jones. All these companies are acquired by Disney and are now a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company.
    • Brand Exploratory Consumers’ Brand Associations The most important element connected to Disney is the magic and fantasy associated with the brand. “Magic” is a unique and exciting concept that leads to other positive associations of happiness and excitement. In a 2008 focus group study conducted at Ball State University, consumers were asked to share immediate associations that came to mind with the mention of “Disney”. The first words mentioned were: magic, princess and fun. The first few thoughts from consumers are clearly favourable. It is evident through Disney’s various advertisements and products that magic and happiness are key elements that Disney wants to associate with its brand. The immediate mention of magic and fun illustrate the brand’s success in establishing favourable and strong associations. The other associations mentioned by consumers can be collapsed into key categories representing the brands values: characters, theme parks and resort locations, movies, and brand image. Numerous associations were mentioned that depict Disney’s brand image such as: dreams, magic, happiness, happy tears, Walt Disney, the man and the mouse, and many more. These brand values and their associations work together to make up a complex network that is represented by the Disney brand in the consumers’ minds. These brand values can be condensed even further into a brand mantra: fun (and magical) family entertainment. All participants agreed that this brand mantra was an accurate representation of the Disney brand.
    • Figure 8 - Consumer Associative Brand Network Consumer Opinions of the Disney Brand Focus group members also determined that Disney can be old fashioned, but in a positive light. This related to a common issue for brands that have been strongly established for a long time: the challenge to balance heritage with staying contemporary and competitive. Disney, today, sticks to its roots and its original core image, which is important. Consumers find it crucial that Disney always keeps a firm connection with the characters that define the brand such as Mickey Mouse or Donald
    • Duck. Rather than refer to the brand as old fashioned, which can hold negative conations and relate to an out-dated image or poor branding, the brand is viewed by consumers as traditional and well established. Overexposure is always a potential issue for brands that represent such a diversified company as the Walt Disney Company. Focus group participants, when questioned, agreed that they did not consider overexposure to the Disney brand an issue at this time. As a large corporation with a complex portfolio of brands, the average consumer is not always aware of the various connections within the brand structure. In the recent focus group study, only about 25% of the individuals were aware of Disney’s ownership of ESPN & Touchstone Pictures; all but two, however, were aware of the company’s connection to ABC. In regards to family branding structure, everyone agreed that collapsing ESPN, ABC, Touchstone & Miramax Films under the Disney brand and possible renaming them to include the Disney name would have a negative impact on all the brands involved. Consumer Brand Equity Pyramid Salience According to polled consumers, everyone regardless of cultural background, age or geographical location is aware of the Disney brand and the core basics of the brand’s common associations. Not only is brand awareness well-established worldwide, it is done at an early age. Because salience is established at a young age, it sets a strong base to allow structuring of the complete consumer brand equity pyramid. Performance The Disney brand is dedicated to offering high quality products & experiences. With all entertainment based companies, consumers expect to be entertained and have an exciting time. But Disney goes further and attempts to dazzle audiences and customers beyond expectations. Disney is viewed as having reliable brand performance; consumers trust that their experience with the brand will meet expectations with every encounter. Image Disney’s image is clearly defined in most consumers’ minds. When the focus group was asked to describe the image of the Disney brand, the members explained it was youthful and inspired a child- like innocence. Magical, fantasies, popular and thrilling were other terms used to depict the core brand image of Disney. These associations are all concepts that Disney wants to represent with its brand; through advertisements and exciting products and services, Disney has successfully embedded the desired brand image in the mind of consumers. Judgement Consumers in general have a favourable opinion of the Disney brand. Brand quality is not an issue because Disney continues to offer high quality products. Consumers also consider the brand credible and able to ensure energetic entertainment. Disney is also seen as a leader in the entertainment brand category.
    • Feelings As an entertainment brand, Disney has an advantage because it is automatically associated with feelings of fun and enjoyment based purely on its brand category membership. The sex most important feelings needed to build a strong emotional brand base are warmth, fun, excitement, security, social approval and self-respect. Disney is able to create positive emotions in its customers, and these emotions set the tone for truly developing a deep relationship. Resonance Disney begins with salience at an early age and continues to build the brand equity pyramid throughout consumers’ lives, hoping to lead to brand resonance. Consumers feel that people are easily able to build relationships with Disney because it generates such positive and touching emotions. Disney is unique because it manages such a strong collection of brand characters. The characters, along with Walt Disney himself, help to give the Disney brand almost a human or super- human personality. According to a branding analysis performed by Interbrand, Disney was ranked second among other strong brands on brand depth.
    • Figure 9 - Consumer Brand Equity Pyramid
    • Recommendations Balancing Heritage with Innovation As discovered through exploratory research, Disney is a brand that sparks memories dating back to consumers’ childhoods. Disney has been a well-established brand for many decades and has a defined heritage. All tradition-based brands struggle with maintaining established brand equity while simultaneously expanding the brand to keep it fresh. Avoid Overexposure Disney is a globally recognized brand that releases numerous impressions on consumers every day. Overexposure is currently less of an issue for Disney than in the past, but it still demands the company’s attention. The size of the Walt Disney Company causes it to be difficult to monitor everything, particularly the smaller projects that might be easily forgotten. Corporate Branding Structure The Walt Disney Company manages a complex web of brands, described in the brand hierarchy. Because of the company’s complexity, it can be challenging to manage such a range of brands. Disney is considering restructuring its brand hierarchy in order to simplify its management. By examining past successful Disney branding strategies and exploring consumer opinions, it is clear that some brands can be collapsed, but others should remain separate from the Disney family brand.
    • Table of Figures Figure 1 - Perceptual Mapping of Disneyland.........................................................................................8 Figure 2 - the Walt Disney logo.............................................................................................................10 Figure 3 - the Disney Pictures logo .......................................................................................................10 Figure 4 - Corporate & Family Brands...................................................................................................16 Figure 5 – Example of Individual Brands under the Family Brand & Sub-Brands.................................16 Figure 6 - Brands jointly under the Disney & ABC Family Brands.........................................................17 Figure 7 - Examples of Individual Brands not under a Family Brand ....................................................17 Figure 8 - Consumer Associative Brand Network .................................................................................21 Figure 9 - Consumer Brand Equity Pyramid..........................................................................................24