Knock down the barriers (Marketing Lessons from Walt)

This is the last in my eight-day series – Marketing Lessons from Walt.  As my family and I enjoy Walt Disney World, I’m going to capture some of the marketing genius that I believe began with Walt’s passion and has now grown into one of the world’s most powerful brands.

On the road to every sale there are barriers.  It might be price, or timing or who knows what.  A smart marketer removes as many of the barriers as they can anticipate.   Disney is a master at this.  Throughout their theme parks, there are shops.  Lots and lots of shops.  You can buy anything from t-shirts to works of art and just about everything in between.  Hauling those packages around with you all day is a pain.  And could deter many a purchase.  But never fear…Disney has lots of options.20061201compliment

  • You can have the packages delivered right to your Disney resort
  • You can have the packages shipped home
  • You can have your packages sent to the front of the park and pick up your treasures on the way out
  • You can rent a locker and put your packages there
  • You can take one of the business cards, jot down the item number and call later to order it

What barriers keep your customers from buying?  What have you done to remove them?  Do your customers know?

Marketing Lessons from Walt – The Series:

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10 comments on “Knock down the barriers (Marketing Lessons from Walt)

  1. CK says:

    Bravo on this series that I THOROUGHLY enjoyed…you’ve now been blogged in my corner at:
    http://www.ck-blog.com/cks_blog/2006/12/sucker_for_a_se.html

  2. CK,

    Thank you so much…they were fun to write. I’ve been a Disneyphile since I was a kid and have always had great respect for their marketing savvy.

    It was fun to explore the theme parks with my marketing eye on sharp focus.

    I’m am so glad you enjoyed the journey with me!

    Drew

  3. Cam Beck says:

    Great series, Drew. Having visited Disney World just last year, I can relate to everything you’ve described here. Walt deserves much credit for his vision and spirit that drives the service the theme park offers today. And Eisner and crew did a great expanding the market vertically.

    Let me know if you’re ever going to publish a book on Disney. As a fellow Disney fanatic, I’d love to read it! 🙂

  4. Hey Cam,

    I’m glad you liked the series — it was fun to write.

    You’re right about the credit being Walt’s…but clearly many have picked up his spirit and taken it even further than Walt could have imagined.

    Was this your first trip to WDW or are you a frequent guest?

    I’ve often thought about writing a book about Disney’s marketing prowess. I’ll let you know if I get it all down on paper!

    Stop by again, please.

    Drew

  5. Cam Beck says:

    It was my first visit to Disney World, although I had been to Disneyland over ten years prior. Much different experience from one to the other. In the first instance, I was barely out of high school and was only there for an afternoon. In the second instance, my family went for the entire week.

    I had different goals and perspectives on each visit, to begin with, but also I got to experience so much more on the second visit, as we stayed in the resorts and participated in the meal plan, which was incredible.

    As you say, they really pay attention to the details. It was a complete experience from the moment we arrived at the bus terminal at the airport. They never stopped showering us with service and (dare I say it?) kindness.

  6. Cam,

    I’ve only done Disneyland once and you’re right — very different experiences.

    Which hotel did you stay in? Our favorite is Wilderness Lodge. Especially this time of year.

    Did you check out Everest the new ride at Animal Kingdom? It was awesome. Part of it is a rollar coaster — backwards and in the dark!

    Sounds like you got a good dose of the Disney brand. Love that!

    Drew

  7. Cam Beck says:

    The Everest Ride, unfortunately, was slated to be opened several months after our visit, so we were unable to participate. It looked great! We can hardly wait to go back in a few years after the little one (soon to be born) is old enough to remember and enjoy the experience.

    We stayed at the All-Star Movie Resort, which was the trade off we agreed to for utilizing the dining plan. We figured we wouldn’t be there much anyway, and we were right. Next time I think we’re going to slow it down a little and enjoy the resorts some more, too. It was a lot to take in over a mere five days.

  8. Cam,

    You will love Everest. About a 1/3 of the ride is a backwards rollercoaster..completely in the dark. Wicked!

    The All Star resorts were a very smart move for Disney. They allowed their guests more choices in terms of where to be budget conscious and where to splurge, based on their own family’s needs.

    We’ve never tried the meal plan but always talk about it. Maybe next time.

    Slowing down is a very good thing. You just can’t do it all, so it’s crazy to kill yourself trying. I *still* haven’t done it all and I have been there at least once a year since 1971. They just keep adding to it!

    I may never catch up with them.

    Congrats on the little one on the way. I promise you…there is no better way to see Disney than through the eyes of your child. It is magical.

    Drew

  9. Wil Porter says:

    I was on a “behind the scenes” tour at WDW and the guide related a story about how Walt was walking down Main Street with a group of executives and stopped to pick up some trash. One of the execs stopped him and said “Sir, we have people to do that”. Walt looked at him and said “Yes we do, and I’m one of them, and if you think you’re not …” A great example of not just mandating that details be taken care of but demonstrating that they are everyone’s responsibilty.

  10. Wil,

    I think one of the biggest challenges for any business owner is helping the employees love and care for the business as if it were theirs. Walt lived his brand and I believe that’s why it is still so alive today.

    Drew

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