More Mickey Mouse Marketing Secrets…

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Author: Troy White

Troy White is a top marketing coach, consultant & direct response copywriter based in Calgary, Canada. He has a powerful approach to growing small businesses and entrepreneurial run ventures on a budget. His free Cash Flow Surges blog shares tons of great strategies at his main blog.

Fellow Business Builder, thanks for all the great feedback on the previous article - "Mickey-Mouse-has-a-36-billion-dollar-secret." I think we all agree that Disney is the best of the best with their marketing, customer service, and selling the experience.

That’s how you get to be a $36 BILLION dollar behemoth.

No matter what your revenue goals are, Mickey Mouse has lots of things to share than can help build your business.

I wanted to share some of the other lessons I learned with our recent Disney excursion.

Mickey’s Lesson #6: Impress people with your professionalism… but do it in your own unique way.

Have you ever seen one of the Disney park firework displays? Very impressive! My wife Kari said they were worth the entire trip alone.

At one of the rides in the park, you got an un-obstructed view of the 1 acre piece of land where the fireworks come from.

Miles of tubes, wires, cables and launching areas.

In the middle of it all a very distinct command center. And buzzing around everywhere, were the squadrons of firework professions (I didn’t find out the actual name for them, which I am sure there is a Disney-style name for them).

They were decked out in slick looking blue uniforms and the ones that were out in the midst of it all wore blue flak jackets.

All-in-all it was a very impressive display, just for the preparations for the nightly fireworks.

Mickey’s Lesson #7: Constant change.

If you have ever been to a Disney park, you undoubtedly went on the “It’s a Small World” ride. It rocks!

The best part? It is probably one of their longest existing rides of all… yet they continue to keep it fresh, up to date, and exciting.

While we were there it was decorated in a Christmas theme… and it must take them hundred and hundreds of hours to switch the overall theme.

Every tiny little detail amongst the hundreds (more like thousands) of little characters inside needs to change with the theme. And they do the complete theme switchover overnight… while the park is closed.

One day you are there and it is a Thanksgiving theme… the next day Christmas!

Simply… right?

For them it is a science, for us a serious need to look at how fresh our graphics, content and promotions are.

Google gets this. They are constantly putting a theme to their main search page. Christmas, Valentines, St Patricks Day… always something new to keep it fresh… and to remind the rest of us to pick it up a notch… or ten.

Mickey’s Lesson #8: Promises are meant to be broken.

At every single ride throughout Disney, there are signs saying how long you will stand in line before finally getting on the actual ride.

The waits times range from 5 minutes for the less popular rides, to 55 minutes (!) for the most popular.

What I noticed though is that the actual wait times were consistently less than what the sign said.

So if you thought you were waiting for 30 minutes, it was a pleasant surprise to only wait 20 minutes. Still a long wait, but less than you thought.

Under-promising and over-delivering worked really well for this part.

If your business has areas that are less than desirable (like long wait times), deliver the goods in less time than you tell them and you quickly turn a negative into a positive.

Mickey’s Lesson #9: Thrill seekers unite! Get your signature experience out there front and center.

There is always a ride there that appeals to the adrenaline junkies like myself. And The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in the California Adventure side of Disney was it.

The once-glamorous, and now vacant, luxury Hollywood Tower Hotel is a blast.

By far my favourite there.

You step into the lobby of the hotel and are guided through their library where you discover the fate of the doomed guests of the past.

Then, you are taken into the service elevator to experience the hotel for yourself.

Each floor on your way up, the elevators stops and you experience another part of the disaster that happened in the past.

My kids favourite was when you stop on one of the floors and the doors open so you are looking directly into a full wall mirror. You see yourself sitting in your chair in the elevator and are told to wave. As you wave, the lightning bolts come from the sky and zap your reflection in the mirror, turning you into a ghost… the kids ATE IT UP.

Not long after that is when the elevator drops.

At first you only drop a few floors. Scary… but fun.

Then you are taken to the very top floor of the hotel and the doors open wide. This time though, the open doors give you an unobstructed view of the entire Disney park.

You are almost given enough time to start enjoying the view, when the floor drops out from beneath you and you fall 5 or so floors down.

It rocks! A great ride and one the kids talk the most about a month later.

Always have something that is your signature product or service that keeps them coming back for more… and more… and more.

There were people in the line who had already ridden the elevator 3 or 4 TIMES that day!

Worth the entire admission in itself, just for a quick 10 minute ride.

Mickey’s Lesson #10: Kick Knack Patty Whack.

Disney is a master at knick-knacking you to death. But they do it in a way that leaves the parents with empty wallets, and the kids with giant smiles on their faces.

After every single ride, you go to exit the ride, but are forced to exit through a store that is themed to the ride.

So if you are doing the Indiana Jones ride, the store you end up in sells Indiana Jones paraphernalia.

The Monsters ride exits through the Monsters store.

What better way to remember your experience than to buy a little knick knack to remember it by? Works like a charm, and every single one of the stores was lined up at the till.

No matter what you sell – are their ways you can give them little mementos to remember you by?

I have a client now that sells power equipment like lawnmowers, chainsaws and snow blowers. We have find a line of miniature lawnmowers which we are going to start giving to their clients upon purchase.

Guys are guys… and we all love our toys.

An associate of mine once did a promotion for an airline.

Their target market was the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Part of the mailer was a wall sized map which was a quiz/puzzle. The original goal was to get the executives to take the maps home for their kids… but it was very quickly discovered that almost every single executive KEPT the map for himself and did it at work, usually enlisting the help of their executive assistant to finish the puzzle.

The end result of the campaign was still a blockbuster… but the unexpected finding that all men (CEOs included) are still 11 year old boys in grown up bodies, was a bonus finding.

That little discovery has been a major factor in the success of his future campaigns where men were targeted.

Mickey’s Lesson #11: Keep them searching for those hidden finds.

Disney is a magical place with magical characters roaming the park. They also know the true importance of giving mementos to remember your experience by.

They have these little books you can buy for a paltry $8 (chump change in the Disney world) that have blank pages throughout. Each page is designed for a signature from one of the characters you see wandering around the park. The facing page has a spot for the picture you take with them.

So the kids are frantically trying to balance out which ride they want to do next, with their eagle eyes spotting the next Disney character they can get to sign their books.

Sometimes you get lucky and get the character to yourself (if you catch them at the right time coming out of a hidden door, which is another lesson it itself).

Sometimes you are standing in line, yet again, to get a signature and photograph with one of the characters.

But it doesn’t stop people. And it certainly builds more into the memorabilia you take home with you.

Which means you tell more people, share more of your experiences, and get them to desire the same… soon.

Disney IS the best-of-the-best.

I hope some of these lessons will be used by you in the coming year.

Your customers want more from you… and will pay for it… if you deliver.

When you do… the competition nearly becomes invisible to your ideal buyers.

Worthy of some of your time with a pen and paper… figuring out how you can use Mickey Mouse secrets in your business.

Till then…

To your success, Troy White PS: Discover how to make your cash flow surge with the street smart marketing tools at my blog You also get one of my favorite case studies of marketing done exceptionally well, The Million Dollar Lobster Report when you sign up for updates on my blog. Discover how two young twenty-something year old brothers turned a simple lobster sale into a million dollar business in just 3 months!

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