Few brands have created worldwide impact as significant as Disney. Just mentioning “Disney” elicits smiles from kids – and kids at heart – in virtually every nation.
So how do they do it?
Last month the Cincinnati Business Courier hosted a seminar called “Disney’s Approach to Brand Loyalty.” Featuring representatives from the Disney Institute, the seminar highlighted time-tested strategies to help businesses “retain customers for life” by identifying the “powerful relationship between experiences and how a brand generates superior bottom-line results through greater customer and employee loyalty” (bizjournals.com).
The course presented the following eight tips on how Disney keeps customers coming back for a lifetime:
1. Everyday “Little Wows” Build Up to Make “Big Wows”
Disney has learned that it is often the little things that make the biggest impact. Going above and beyond in simple, unexpected ways will help you win your customers’ hearts and their loyalty forever.
2. Create a Brand Promise
Disney’s brand promise is “Entertainment with Heart.” Those three words are the guiding force for everything they do and they fulfill that promise continually.
3. Control Your Brand
Being true to its brand in everything from theme parks, cruises, movies and TV series is what distinguishes Disney from any competition. They know who they are and what how they want to be perceived – and they do everything they can to control that image.
4. Don’t Focus on Just the End Result, But the Step-By-Step Experience
Disney never wants to hear “It was wonderful, except for…” It’s important to Disney that the customer experience is great from start to finish – from food and rides to parking and finding your vehicle at the end of a long day.
5. Put Your Employees First
It’s Customer Service 101: If your employees aren’t happy, your customers will feel and reflect that negativity. Disney knows that keeping its employees happy and treating them well will help to ensure positive customer-employee interactions.
6. Know & Study Your Audience
Marketing experts at Disney study its audience extensively. Then know that children are their primary audience, so windows in Main Street shops are low enough that the merchandise can be seen from a stroller. They know when to expect influxes of visitors from specific regions and stock items that would be most attractive to those individuals. Most importantly, they know who their high-value customers are and how to keep them loyal.
7. Create Strong Customer-Employee Interactions
Disney encourages employees to interact with guests of all ages. Your front line of employees has the most face-to-face interaction with your customers and can provide invaluable customer feedback to your marketing team. That interaction also fosters the strong relationships built between a business and its customers.
8. Learn to Say “Yes”
Disney doesn’t like to say “No.” Hearing “No” can completely dampen a customer’s otherwise perfect experience. Disney analyzed why it was saying “No” to a lot of requests (like “Can I get married at Disneyland?”) and what steps it could take to turn “No” into “Yes.” By making additional experiences available, Disney was able to increase its market and its overall customer satisfaction.
How has the Disney brand impacted your experiences with the company?
What other companies have similar approaches to brand loyalty? What is it about this approach that works so well?
In what ways can you apply – or have you applied – these practices to your own business to improve the customer experience?