Magical World Unmasked—3 Secrets of Disney’s Marketing Strategies

3 Secrets of Disney’s Marketing Strategies

Disney’s centurial success isn’t just fortuitous—it is all about utilizing the right social media tools and finding the edge of the business.

Established in 1923 by American animator and film producer Walt Disney, Disney has ballooned its business from animation to parks and resorts, consumer products, media networks and studio entertainment. For many years, it has been an icon and a household name worldwide. Customers have returned to Disneyland or Disney World again and again to get a taste of that Disney magic, especially when the world enters the post-Covid era. 

As of the second quarter of 2022, revenue from Disney Parks, Experiences and Products generated a revenue of US$6.7 billion, a 200% increase from the US$3.2 billion in the same quarter of 2021. That and Disney’s other operating segments, like media, content sales, licensing and linear networks, continue to drive tens of billions of dollars in revenue every year despite the pandemic. 

You may think that the brand’s huge success is just a stroke of luck. When in fact, Disney has been deploying some smart marketing strategies to achieve the success we see today. So, what is so captivating and magical about Disney that customers can’t seem to grow out of it? It all starts with the secrets of Disney’s marketing strategies. 

Three Secrets of Disney’s Marketing Strategies

Mastering the use of nostalgic elements 

One of Disney’s most effective strategies is to create nostalgic and emotional sensations that let us take a stroll down memory lane. Disney is good at reviving classic stories from the past by turning them into live-action movies with a modern twist. 

Imagine dreaming day and night about becoming like the protagonist in your favorite Disney movie as a kid and watching the live-action version of it as you step into adulthood. It can be a heart-warming feeling to take a journey back to one’s childhood. For example, the classic tale Beauty and the Beast was first produced at Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1991 as a romantic musical fantasy. In 2017, Disney remade the animated film as a live-action movie and generated US$1.263 billion in revenue from worldwide sales, proving the effectiveness of Disney’s nostalgia marketing. 

Mixing nostalgia with a moral message about valuing inner beauty, the live-action movie version of the classic tale lets the adult audience revisit their childhoods. Ultimately, the secret formula of Disney’s marketing strategy is to captivate customers with emotional provocation, allowing them to connect with their inner child.

Building a unique brand identity 

To be a successful company, you must develop a unique brand identity to set yourself apart from your competitors. Disney has done just that during its long period of operation. Disney’s brand identity is all about providing family-friendly, wholesome and fun endeavors for people of all ages and, simply, making people happy. 

The company has been solidifying this identity through its products and services. Inside the Disneyland Resort, the Disney-themed roller coaster rides, parades, fireworks, food and a chance to interact with one’s favorite characters create a “magical feeling”, making it the happiest place on Earth for many. 

There are over 800 Disney characters, and many have their own shows and parades at the theme parks. For people of all ages, many of the Disney characters are part of their childhood memories. For example, although Mickey Mouse made its first appearance in 1928, it is still well-known and much-loved by children nowadays—it has even also become a symbol of Disney. The cross-generation popularity of their characters shows how Disney makes an effort to solidify its brand identity of being family-friendly. 

Using social media effectively 

Apart from building a sound brand identity, advertising and promotion on social media are also vital to a company’s success. Disney has been actively working on creating a social media following and has attracted people worldwide to visit its theme parks. 

Disney’s marketing success can be credited to the utilization of a multichannel strategy for its social media marketing. Disney has created unique social media accounts on various social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, for its different subsidiary departments, including Pixar, Disney+ and LucasFilm. For each account, different social media feeds, like pictures, videos, quizzes and surveys, are curated to suit the interest of various target groups and engage with their followers. The combination of all the channels and accounts allows Disney to reach people across different age groups and preferences globally. 

For example, the Star Wars Twitter account posted a picture of a famous character in its series, Yoda, and turned it into a meme, which has aroused humor and discussions among the fans. Their retweets and comments on the meme also help Disney create more brand awareness.

If you are not satisfied with your business’s success, perhaps it’s time to try some of Disney’s tried-and-tested marketing strategies. With Walt Disney Company being a 100-year-old business, its marketing strategies have the potential to help you and your business thrive. So, why wait? Market your brand using nostalgic connections, build a unique brand identity and set up an Instagram account now!

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Header image from Pixabay


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