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STRATEGIC MARKETING - Walt Disney company’s KPI branding elements

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Analysis of the Disney brand elements carried out in teamwork, within the French Graduate Business School of Clermont-Clermont.
Strategic Marketing course - Master in Management.

Grade obtained : 19/20 (A)

Published in: Marketing

STRATEGIC MARKETING - Walt Disney company’s KPI branding elements

  1. 1. Disney Brand Analysis GRADUATE BUSINES SCHOOL OF CLERMONT-FERRAND - STRATEGIC MARKETING Disney Brand Analysis Rémy Borello, Thomas Jullière, Jean-Emmanuel Lamarche, Antoine Mortellier, Steeve Saladin Instructor: Balázs Siklós 10/01/2014 Group Project - Strategic Marketing
  2. 2. Disney Brand Analysis Page 1 Table of contents I- Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 2 II- Analysis of Disney Brand Strategy ................................................................................................... 3 A. Brand Identity ............................................................................................................................. 3 1. Brand Elements ....................................................................................................................... 3 2. STP Analysis (Segmentation, Target, Positioning) ................................................................... 4 B. Brand Development Strategy ...................................................................................................... 5 1. Brand Promise ......................................................................................................................... 5 2. Brand Message ........................................................................................................................ 6 C. Brand Mantra .............................................................................................................................. 7 III- Consumers’ perception of the Disney brand .............................................................................. 8 A. Brand Image ................................................................................................................................ 8 B. Brand Knowledge ........................................................................................................................ 9 C. Type of Brand for consumers .................................................................................................... 10 IV- Conclusion ................................................................................................................................. 12
  3. 3. Disney Brand Analysis Page 2 I- Introduction The Walt Disney Company has been created in 1923 in Los Angeles (California – United States) by two brothers Roy O. Disney and Walter Elias Disney. Nowadays, the company is worth more than £42 billion in 2012 even if Disney faced downturns after Walt Disney’s death in 1966. The businessman Robert A. “Bob” Iger became the new CEO of Disney in 2005. Originally oriented towards producing short animated movies (Walt Disney Studio produced successful movies such as Cinderella, Bambi or Snow White), the company had quickly diversified its activities by implementing theme park all around the world, by selling derived products from its movies to consumers and by becoming a huge actor in mass media, media networks and studio entertainment over time. Currently, the Walt Disney Company holds an important portfolio of activities ranging from television programs (Disney television channels), books and up to recently magazines (Disney magazine’s publication stopped in 2005)1 to musical productions while continuing the production of movies. The Disney brand can be associated with the term “Global Brand” since its activities spread worldwide and more than 160.000 employees work for the company around the world. But Disney is not the only one to compete within the media industry. The market of the media industry is also made up with several companies such as NBC Universal Media, News Corp., or Time Warner Inc. fighting for their own market share. But Disney’s strength lies in acquiring new companies such as Pixar Animation Studios in 2006, Marvel Entertainment in 2009 or Lucasfilm in 2012 in order to enhance its stranglehold upon mass Medias and to expend their market further. Disney brand is especially well known for its originally-drawn characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or Pluto the dog. In the brand analysis, our research problem is first to focus on the brand promise delivered by the Walt Disney Company to its customers. By so doing, we will identify what makes the brand so unique and which message the company wants its consumer to remind. In this part, we will detail furthermore the brand development strategy carried out by the company. In a second part, our analysis will be centered on the brand perception of consumers. How do consumers actually perceive the Disney brand: what is the brand image of the company? Did this brand image change over time? This study will also lead us to talk about the brand knowledge of Disney’s customers. Eventually, we will wrap up this analysis by giving a clear statement of the Disney brand image. 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_The_Walt_Disney_Company
  4. 4. Disney Brand Analysis Page 3 II- Analysis of Disney Brand Strategy A. Brand Identity 1. Brand Elements First of all, we can start this analysis by describing a little bit what the brand identity of the Walt Disney Company consists in and we will then detail further what is exactly the brand promise that Disney delivers to its consumers worldwide. The brand identity of any brand consists in the way the company identify itself through the product or service sold. More specifically, a brand is characterized by several elements such as a brand name, a logo, a symbol, a specific design or a combination of them in order to intend to identify goods or services that a company willing to differentiate from competitors.2 As we know, a brand name must be made up with several criteria such as memorability, likeability (from consumers), transferability (is it transferable into another language?), meaning (has the brand name the same meaning in every location?), adaptability (Can it be adapted to local marketplaces?) and protection (trademark, copyright, patents). In the case of Disney, the well-known company is for instance named after Walter Ellias Disney’s proper name: we call such a brand name a “Blanket Family Name”; memorability of the brand name is therefore assured. Furthermore, he inspired the logo of the company through his handwritten signature which is totally part of the brand identity of Disney ever since. That reinforces how he was convinced about the success of the Disney brand and also shows to what extent he was truly devoted and passionate about his work. The logo also contains a castle with a blue background referring to fairy-tale and storytelling for kids (The Prince and the Princess used to live in a castle). Besides, almost everybody in the world has already heard of “Disney”. All sub-brands of Disney are protected by copyrights in order to avoid legal issues. The company has been practicing licensing for decades so as to have a global impact for its products worldwide. Even if Disney is a global brand, it successfully adapts to Asian market by implementing a Disneyland Park in Hong Kong and in 2015 in Shanghai (first theme park opened in 1971)3 . The intellectual property of Disney has been given to other companies in exchange of fees. Those elements enabled Disney to garner a competitive advantage regarding its brand equity compared to competitors. We will detail 2 Kotler, Keller, Brady, Goodman and Hansen, Marketing Management, 1ère Edition © Pearson Education Limited 2009 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_Parks_and_Resorts
  5. 5. Disney Brand Analysis Page 4 what is exactly the brand equity (the “added value” of the brand) of Disney in the second part of this analysis. 2. STP Analysis (Segmentation, Target, Positioning) The Walt Disney Company started producing short animated movies for kids before beginning to extend and scale up its activities. Disney segmented the media market by gathering its different owned companies under specific and distinctive branches4 . The first segment corresponds to the “Walt Disney Studios” handling movies’ production. Then comes “Parks and Resorts” which takes care of all Disney’s theme parks (Disneyland Paris, The Disney World in Miami…). The third division is focused on “Disney Consumers Products” producing toys, clothes and all Disney owned-properties. The fourth segment is called “Disney Media Networks” handling all television programs of the company and the latter “Disney Interactive” referring to virtual activities of the company (website, mobile app, social media…). Regarding its target, Disney not only targets young child but also adults because the company wants to bring entertainment to the entire family (movies, theme parks or sold products). The main target concerns young child from 4 years-old to 12 years-old and the second target mainly consists of men and women between 35 and 55 years old.5 That is the theory. As a matter of fact, their target is everyone who wants to go back in childhood to live again candor of fairy-tales. Walt Disney himself used to say “You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway”.6 About the positioning, original founders of the Walt Disney Company always wanted to stay ahead from the competition in terms of technology, quality of products and services and employees. As we can see when going to theme parks, everything is to be perfect whatever it can be (employees has to smile all the time for instance). The marketing mix of the company is therefore affected by those rules. Indeed, the physical environment of Disney is so 4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walt_Disney_Company 5 http://advergators2.weebly.com/consumer-analysis.html 6 http://www.justdisney.com/walt_disney/quotes/
  6. 6. Disney Brand Analysis Page 5 important that it could be integrated to the product itself as much as the price! One of the slogan “Where the magic lives” refers directly to mysterious world where the impossible is possible, both magic and unforgettable experiences for consumers alike. Disney has always been listening to its consumers in order to enhance its range of activities. Disney is to produce great movies for kids approved by their parents beforehand. It always contains moral principles and lessons of life for kids. Even if Disney holds a mass target, prices can be high since products and services are unique. The tendency of the company is to increase the price of its different activities (theme park cost at least $95 at Disney World in 2013)7 and even more to tend towards a more “luxury” brand as we will see in the second part of this analysis. B. Brand Development Strategy 1. Brand Promise Simply put, a brand is a promise to your customer. When describing a brand, it’s tempting to simply list the attributes for your business, describe your product line or point to your logo and tagline. But a brand is more than that – it is a unique benefit for your customers. The Walt Disney Company is more than just a business, is an authentic American icon. The Walt Disney Company’s promise has always been to be bringers of joy, as Walt as said “We need to create joy not for children but for the child in each of us”. The Walt Disney Company is linked to several promises. First of all, you can be sure that in Disney World Resort you will enjoy your time. Each Disney World resort has been made to produce joy. It’s one of the most important promises of its Company, “Come here and enjoy”. Disney World brings the deal to enjoy your kids, and as parents, seeing your child happy is a wonderful thing. All the resorts are organizes to satisfy Children, to make dream… Children are happy and parents too, because they feel their kids happy. Furthermore, Disney world allows parents to share joy with their children. The Walt Disney Company’s promise is: “Only Disney can deliver a fantasy experience to families to share”. The Disney resorts promise to have a fun experience with all your family. In fact, Disney World resort allows you to enjoy together. It’s a perfect deal that both children and parents enjoy. Furthermore, it’s a place where parents can see their children enjoying the same things they did when they were younger. 7 http://blog.priceintelligently.com/blog/bid/183927/A-Midyear-Review-3-Monumental-Pricing-Strategies-of- 2013
  7. 7. Disney Brand Analysis Page 6 Because, going to Disney World is a lifetime experience. That’s why Disney world is the most visited recreational resort in the world. To bring your children in Disney world is the security to make your family happy. That’s the Walt Disney Company’s message through its TV commercial. In all TV advertisements you see exciting reaction of children, discovering tickets for Walt Disney resort. Disney World is a magic world of dream; it’s a unique experience. Tickets costs a lot but you are sure to have good time. It’s the famous formula, high price/high quality. Finally, the last Disney Company’s promise is to convey memories. The message is the following thanks to a Disney world experience you will have family memories, and memories don’t have any price. 2. Brand Message The brand message is very clear. Actually the Walt Disney Company is very distinguished. As we said before, Walt Disney Company is more than a brand; it’s an American Icon. We can analyse the logo. Through its logo, the Walt Disney Company communicates. Its logo is traditional, decent, fun and represents magical experience. It’s linked to the brand promise, but it deals with communication. The Walt Disney’s slogan is a good example, “make the dream come true”. Disney is clearly a core brand, which deals with the emotion of past Disney movie. To quote the Disney founder, Walt “We need to create joy not your children but for the child in each of us”. 8 8 http://www.famouslogos.us/walt-disney-logo/
  8. 8. Disney Brand Analysis Page 7 C. Brand Mantra We can wrap up this analysis by featuring Disney Brand Mantra. What is a brand mantra? Few words associated with a specific brand which characterizes it and that makes the brand unique and attractive for consumers. Marketers have to explain in thirty second and in the best way as possible to consumers what their brand consists in. In the case of Disney, those three words are: Fun (Magical) - Family & Entertainment. This subset consists in the brand essence of Disney. The first “Fun/Magical” consists of giving to consumers a great moment of happiness by skyrocketing them into a magical and fancy world (Disney characters taking photos with kids or adults in theme parks). Family is also obvious since it refers to the main target of Disney. Any family who wants to live a marvelous experience has definitely to see a Disney movie or to buy a Disney toy to remind this unforgettable moment. The last one “entertainment” is the essence of Disney, the core-value and what makes the company fighting against competitors. Disney is the best in delivering quality entertainment to mass consumers and wants to remain it.
  9. 9. Disney Brand Analysis Page 8 III- Consumers’ perception of the Disney brand A. Brand Image To study the Disney brand image, we chose to focus on the digital face of the brand: its website. Because there are too many examples to mention, we find that the website is more relevant and interesting so as to lead a marketing study nowadays. 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 Disney’s successful brand image. 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). The Walt Disney Corporation began with cartoonist Walt Disney. On July 17th 1955, after having worked many years in animation business, Walt opened Disneyland (a place where “age relives fond memories of the past and youth may savor 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 30000 acres. Within the Magical Gatherings website, Disney has not only met but exceeded Haedrich’s three criteria of a successful brand image. 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 favorable 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. 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 all in a safe, fairy tale environment. 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 could even have realized what an amazing product it was in its own right.
  10. 10. Disney Brand Analysis Page 9 B. Brand Knowledge “The brand knowledge represents all the different things that become linked to the brand in the minds of consumers.” (Kotler, Keller, Brady, Goodman and Hansen: Marketing Management, 1st edition) The brand knowledge covers all the experiences, feelings, images, thoughts, and beliefs that consumers associate to the brand. In the case of the Walt Disney Company we can say that this brand knowledge is very diversify because of the age of the brand, it’s experience and those numerous activities such as the movies, theme parks etc… • First of all, about the brand elements perception (Name, logo, colors and music): I think that the majority of people in the earth heard about Disney. This is one of the most famous brands in the world. And I think also that everybody remembers the logo of Disney with its Castle, the blue background and this nice music “When you wish upon a star”. Everything in this introduction of the Disney movies refers to the dream and makes us smiling because it refers to good memories. First, the castle is the most important because it is the one of Cinderella, the princess that each little girl dreamed to be. Then the blue background makes consumers comfortable because it refers to the sky and the ocean at the same time. It represents harmony and dream. Then the classical music of Disney “When you wish upon a star” which is very calm and easy to memorize and talk about making your dreams come true. Then, the name Walt Disney appears. This is the name of the company and also the name of the founder of the company. The way of writing is also very recognizable with the famous capital letters “W” and “D”; in fact it is the signature of the founder and it was kept as logo. So when a child or even an adult and an old person see this historic logo, he always remembers to the movies with whom he grew up. So it can just be associated to happiness, magic, dream, entertainment and fun. • The experiences for consumers (movies, characters and theme parks): When you think about Disney, the first images that come in your mind are generally the legendary characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Cinderella or Pinocchio. Almost all the Disney movies and their character became famous because they are kind of heroes who are fighting against villains. Child identifies to them like Robin Hood, Aladdin or Peter Pan. There is a clear moral to each movie and it’s clearly the good against the evil, and at the end the hero wins all the time. This is a simple way which doesn’t really represent the life because life is not as easy and beautiful as in movies but they represent an ideal and people would love to live in those movies, that is why they represent the magic and the dream. That is why people love them, because they represent the perfect dreaming life which is often very different from their everyday real life.
  11. 11. Disney Brand Analysis Page 10 The other activity which is very important for the company is the existence of the theme parks. They are kind of myth which become reality. They allow to people to enter in the universe of the heroes of their youth. For child it’s very funny because they can see and meet their favorite stars and for adults it’s also an amazing experience because they remember good memories. It’s also a good family experience because there are activities for each ones with spectacles, roller coaster, carousel etc… The atmosphere and the sceneries are also excellent and allow to the “guests” a total immersion in the Disney world. To conclude, Disney is maybe old fashioned for some persons but the power to sell dreams and magic to every generation of people allow to the company to stay in the memory and in the heart of millions of people all over the world. C. Type of Brand for consumers According to a recent study held by “APCO Worldwide” (Independent Communications Consultancy) of 70000 people located in fifteen different countries9 , Disney brand name appeared to be the most be-loved brand name of all as you can see in the array below. This rank is based on the “Emotional Linking Index” 9 ALLEN K. (2013) ; « Survey names Disney the world’s most beloved brand », PR Daily, October 15 th 2013 http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/Survey_names_Disney_the_worlds_most_beloved_brand_15396.aspx
  12. 12. Disney Brand Analysis Page 11 The Walt Disney Company is therefore purely what we can call an emotional brand since Disney succeeded in creating curiosity, admiration identification, pride and approachability for its consumers. The promise and the message of the brand clearly prove the call to emotion like the child part of the adult, the happiness of the parent through memories and through the happiness of the child. This emotional appeal is displayed in every advertisement: The belief in a magical world and the happiness it provides come first, only after this appeal you have the economic aspect that concerns more the parent.
  13. 13. Disney Brand Analysis Page 12 IV- Conclusion Disney started with short animated movies in 1923 and rapidly gained success that spread him the idea to build an empire, a whole industry of dreams and evasions. Its diversification took place through the expansion int television programs, musical production, books, magazine and all derivate products to engender this machine of dream: The emotion is clearly the core business of Disney. The brand has been known more than 90 years and includes several generations; both parent and their children can be met in the theme park. This is the reason, the message and the promise of the brand get so well deep rooted in the mind of the consumer. The marketers succeed in satisfying consumer needs, in this case the need to have family shared experiences through entertainment and amusement. However the brand and the idea it conveys would not reached its goals without its managing policies. Indeed Disney has widen its product portfolio by acquiring broadcast cable network such as Disney Channel or Pixar Animation Studios and have extended the theme park outside America like in Paris or in Tokyo. Disney has also driven a high value chain network policies, for instance by providing an innovative Magical Gathering vacation planning service or by inciting employees to smile in order to deliver high added value to the customer. So if the brand Disney has been so well carried on it is due to a controlled marketing management and an adequate management. We could conclude that the brand stands for the effort the company puts into marketing and management but the recent diversification and expansion of the company may be hindered by its brand. In fact, as mentioned above the brand is deep rooted with value such as fairy tale, magic, dream, family etc… so these value seems to be old fashioned when Disney announced it develop product line in home furnishes, jewelry and haute couture. So we wonder if the market of fairy entertainment becomes mature or if new markets are available for a brand like Disney. It is clear that Disney want to expand the bridge between dream and reality Disneyland theme park afford, through another way like home furnishes. The adult could still dream through his home design, the need clearly exist but childish entertainment image of the brand turn these new businesses more ridiculous than professional at a point that Disney reduced the size of the logo or even turn it differently. It turns that a strong brand can compromise the reputation of a product even if considerable effort has been deployed. So the brand is not only a matter of good marketing management and management strategies but also a matter of time, of how far is the brand mind rooted and foremost how does the society perceive it.

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