Last week during half-term my family and I flew to Paris for a week. Those who know us well won’t be surprised to hear that we spent five of those days in Disneyland.
There is a lot of content around now about taking a break and why it is important and although taking a break with my favourite people really was wonderful, I was also reminded of a few business fundamentals on my trip. One of the many many reasons I love Disney is that, as a business, I find it totally fascinating.
We aren’t all multi-billion pound corporations like Disney but we can all take snippets from their large empires – so what did I learn from Walt Disney this time?
1. The look and feel
Whether you love it or loathe it, you all know Mickey Mouse and can visualise that Disney logo.
Do you know and are you confident in the look and feel of your organisation, is your brand solid? You don’t need to be a brand expert to do some work on your companies’ brand. There are so many free resource available online. And don’t forget to include your internal comms in your branding. It is easy to focus on all your external communications and forget that internally your brand needs to be just as strong.
2. Customer service
We received some questionable customer service on this trip which deserves its own post – coming next! However, we received some really wonderful service too, which has been a constant on numerous trips to Disney. This exceptional service has always been consistent from Florida to Paris to the UK stores.
Do you continuously review customer service? Can you honestly say that all of your team are excellent at this? From answering the phone, writing your content on your materials to client facing communications you must keep customer service a top priority.
3. Make staff feel special
Staff at Disney are known as cast members and that is every single member of staff. I know teams at Apple refer to themselves as being part of the orchard. It’s that feeling of being part of an elusive club and society that others aren’t.
Naming your employees isn’t for everyone but it’s an idea. The cast members are also completely bought into Disney, they live and breathe Disney values. Does everyone in your business know your values, do they know the aim of the company and its mission? If not then it’s not too late, good, and frequent communication is key – bring everyone in your organisation along with you on your journey.
4. Something for everyone
Meeting Princesses and characters might not be your thing but what about exciting rides or Broadway standard performances, good food and dining options, Marvel, Star Wars…there must be few people who can’t find something they like about Disney.
Do you appeal to all? You may provide a niche product however you have to appeal to all of your target market and how one person wants to deal with you and your business might not be the same as others. Keep this in mind in your marketing, sales and service delivery.
5. Value Add – that something that money just can’t buy
The best thing about Disney in my opinion is all of the emotions – how it makes me feel. That feeling doesn’t come cheap but Disney has me wanting to go back for more every single trip.
How do you make people feel? Your staff, your colleagues, your suppliers – do people want to come back and work with you again? I’ll avoid people who make me feel bad and they don’t make me want to do my best work for them. We are all busy, it is easy to get caught up and be abrupt or short or even demanding without even realising. If you make the effort to consider others and make their day that bit better then your customers will come back again and again.
And with that Mr Mickey Mouse – I’ll see you real soon!