Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chapter 10: Product Concepts

     As you all may know, The Walt Disney Company is such a large conglomerate that they had to set up their own division for their consumer products. The Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is a division of the company that engages in merchandising of the Disney brand and Disney properties, including Disney movies and The Disney Channel television shows. I will be focusing on the Disney movies consumer products.

     Disney movies and other products affiliated with the animation department can be considered specialty products due to the company's exclusive image. Affiliated products are the Disney-branded merchandise that is inspired by characters from Disney's beloved animated films ranging from apparel, toys, home d├ęcor, books, and magazines. The DCP division has also introduced product lines inspired by Toy Story 3The Princess and the Frog and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Tron. All of these factor in to the company's product mix width.

     The Walt Disney Company also participates in repositioning which involves changing consumers' perceptions of a brand. The most recent example of this is when Disney brought back 1951's family-friendly animation Alice in Wonderland and repositioned it by teaming up with Tim Burton in 2010 transforming the film to a "dark and live-action adventure." This new look targeted 12 to 22 year old's in addition with their merchandise being sold in Hot Topic, a Gothic retail chain store.

     Disney has relatively high brand equity and has developed strong global brands. Global brand has been developed through sales of licensed Disney Princess merchandise and the newly-launched Disney Fairies franchise. The Disney Princess products have boosted from $300 million since its 2000 launch at the Disney Stores to above the $4B mark with being available worldwide. The Disney Fairies have also taken flight and is on track to become a powerful lifestyle brand for six-to-eight year-old girls.

     Indeed the Walt Disney Company is a family brand and because of it's history and success it has proudly achieved brand loyalty. Children who praise Disney and beg their parents to see these heart-warming films along with purchasing other affiliated products are being gladly rewarded because their parents too were once in their child's shoes. Because of the parent's positive memories towards Disney, they let their children experience the joy as well, resulting in the Walt Disney Company's success in being one of the world's largest conglomerate it is today.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chapter 18: Sales Promotion & Personal Selling

     The Walt Disney Company's primary target market is young children but their consumers are the parents, therefore they have to keep up with each generation of kids and also new parents. Disney has to constantly come up with innovative ways to intrigue the target market while using consumer sales promotion to intrigue the parents as well.

     Disney uses numerous tools for consumer sales promotion, the company is very big on loyalty marketing programs. They used to mail out their catalogs to their loyal customers filled with new products, coupons, and rebates. When making a purchase the customer will simply place a telephone order, but as of April 2006, the Walt Disney Company decided to stop catalog circulation and instead geared its focus on online sales promotion in order to keep up with the new generation of children and parents. Now you can find all of Disney's sales promotions on their Disney Store website.Throughout their website you can find
Special Offers - ''Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!'' We've Found Some Great Deals For You - See offers below! Check back often for new savings!Special Offers, this week's most successful offer is "Disney's Singing Dolls for $20" which can be bought in the store or online. Most of these special offers consist of deals like "2 for $20 Kid's Graphic Tees" and other premiums like so. There are also other offers such as free shipping when spending a certain amount of money on products. Currently, Disney is offering Free Shipping on your Order of $75 or More which includes a promotional code.

Another loyal marketing tool they offer is co-branded credit cards sponsored by
Visa. They have wide selection of this Disney Rewards Visa Credit Card with different Disney characters imprinted on them, and benefits such as saving 10% on select merchandise purchases each time the consumer spends $50 or more at Disney also offers Gift Cards that can be used at any Disney Theme Park and Resort Hotel, on Disney Cruise Line®, and Disney Stores. Not only does Disney promote their store products, but they also promote their theme park products. Their current promotion on this is Free Shipping with any purchase of Disney Parks Authentic Merchandise which also includes a promotional code. Throughout the website you'll find many discount promotional codes for various products. These codes function like coupons but instead of having to print out anything, the customer just has to copy and paste the code after placing their order.

The Walt Disney Company has so many loyal customers that they have created certain "clubs" that they can join. Many young children join D23 | The Official Disney Fan Club, while many of the actual consumers whom are the parents join the Disney Movie Rewards club. This club includes a free membership, and its purpose is for the member to earn points by purchasing Disney DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, Disney theatrical releases, and eligible Disney CD releases. With theses points the club member is eligible to win any reward listed depending on how many points the reward is worth. Another benefit of being a Disney Movie Rewards club member is that each member is able to participate in Disney's sweepstakes. Currently, the company has two sweepstakes running, one being The Ultimate Lion King Experience and the second being Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Blu-ray™ LEGO® sweepstakes.

     Due to all of these consumer sales promotion devices, the Walt Disney Company does not participate in personal selling. Other factors include: most of these products have low values; they are all standardized products; they have many customers; their products are usually easy to understand; and their customers are geographically dispersed. As a result, the company finds no need to engage in personal selling.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chapter 17: Advertising & Public Relations

     The Walt Disney Company is very strong in entertainment and animation, the two areas do fairly well in the global market, but just because a company has its strengths doesn't mean its going to successfully sell its product without advertising. Advertising is essential because let's face it, without advertising we wouldn't know about half the products we use. In this case we are talking about Disney's animated films, therefore Disney uses product advertising which is a form of advertisement that touts the benefits of a specific good or service.

     In order to advertise a product, a company must first select an advertising appeal which identifies a reason for a person to buy a product. Disney uses the "Fun and Pleasure" appeal to advertise their animated films. Next, the company must choose a style to execute their message. Disney uses the "Mood or Image" executional style for advertising which builds a mood or image around the product such as love, happiness, or inspiration. For example, whenever you feel a certain emotion after watching a Disney movie trailer, that's their "Mood or Image" tactics working on you. 

     After the company has established how they are going to advertise, they must determine which types of media will best communicate the benefits of their product or service to the target audience and when and for how long the advertisement will run, this is called media planning. Disney advertises through newspapers, their own radio station - 1560 AM ©Radio Disney, television, internet, and outdoor media. Of course each media type has its advantages and disadvantages, but because Disney has such a powerful brand name and history, they end up having more benefits than losses. 

     Due to this powerful image, Disney can sell almost anything by just putting one of their famous animated characters on the product. For example, because Disney had teamed up with McDonald's and Mattel toy makers many years ago, each time it comes out with a new film they simply let Mattel make toys out of their characters of the upcoming film who distribute the toys to McDonald's who advertises them with their Happy Meal for kids, which brings Disney more fame and customers. As a result, the child begs the parent to take him or her to the movie theater to watch the new Disney film the child now knows of just by eating McDonald's. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chapter 15: Retailing

     The Walt Disney Company's retailing aspect consists of strategically located chain stores - 216 in North America, 107 in Europe, and 48 in Japan. The Disney Store is a specialty store, where you can find disney consumer products such as toys, clothing, games, costumes, DVD's, books, art & collectibles, home decorations, and electronic accessories.

     I happened to take the time to visit a local Disney Store myself, its located in Queens, New York at the Queens Center Mall. The lighting in the store was very bright, and the ambiance gave off a very exciting and youthful feeling. There is a big screen in the center of the store, which is the theater area and you can control what it plays. Of course, the control pad only has certain options of videos and music for you to play which are Disney animated movie trailers and Disney Radio music.

     The store is split up into many different sections which attract both girls and boys. For the girls, there's a huge Disney Princess section which is broken up into smaller sections of each princess which consists of costumes, shoes, dolls, accessories, and toys. For the boys, there is a Cars (the animated movie) section which consists of toys based on the main characters of the movie, video games, board games, and clothing. There is also a Pirates of the Caribbean section for the boys, it includes costumes; toys such as plastic swords, pirate ships, action figures, etc.;  and video games, along with board games as well.

     Another section, being the mutual one, is filled with plush toys based on almost every Disney animated character ever created. Varying from the original characters: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie, and Daisy to major and minor characters from the animated movies. In addition, there is also a section that's more likely for adults, it consists of items used for home decorations: such as bedding, towels, throw blankets, photo frames, etc.; books; DVDs; electronic accessories: such as clocks and wrist watches, iPod, iPad, and mobile phone covers; and art & collectible items such as snow globes, mugs, figurines, and portraits.

     The customer service was very friendly, as my little sister and I browsed throughout the entire store the employees asked if we needed any help. One particular employee had a brief conversation with my little sister about her favorite Disney character and then recommended me with which toy would satisfy her the most. To test out how "friendly" they really are, I purposely kept denying every recommendation and stated that I was "just looking." I was hoping to aggravate the employee in order to see her fail to stay calm and friendly, instead she surprised me with a good sense of humor and ultimate patience. In the end, we left empty handed because I was there as a marketer not as a consumer.

     My overall experience at the Disney Store was surprisingly fun, and satisfying. I was impressed by the way the store was laid out, how they had each section to satisfy each target market including parents. Customer service, in my opinion, was excellent and I can see why many children like to go there not for any main purposes but just for pure entertainment.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chapter 6: Consumer Decision Making

     Everyone follows the "Consumer Decision-Making Process" whether they're aware of it or not; it may not be in order but it is still followed. In fact, the consumer may end the process at any time or may not even make a purchase at all. Throughout this blog, I will be using The Lion King 3D which was released in theaters on September 16, 2011 for only two weeks as the product to demonstrate how a Disney consumer will typically use the Consumer Decision-Making Process without even knowing it.

     The first stage in this process is the need recognition which is always a desired need when it comes to Disney products. This "need" can be triggered by external stimuli through immense advertising or positive reviews. The second stage is information search which in this case it's internal because of all the good memories consumers have of the original film "The Lion King" released seventeen years ago. The information source is nonmarketing-controlled due to personal experiences. Most Disney consumers are the parents, not the actual kids who want to watch these films. Therefore these parents end up considering watching these films because Disney never failed them as a child.

     The next stage is evaluation of alternatives which helps the consumer ultimately make their decision in whether they are going to buy the product or not. The Walt Disney Company's biggest competition is The Warner Bros. In this case, consumers compared Disney's "The Lion King 3D" to the Warner Bros' "Dolphin Tale" before making their final decision. The fourth stage is purchasing. Most of Disney's films are unplanned purchases due to the consumer not knowing about the upcoming film until seeing a preview or advertisement - therefore the consumer buys on impulse.

     The final stage of this process is the postpurchase behavior which is the certain outcome these consumers expect from their purchase. According to the Box Office Report The Lion King 3D ruled the box office for the second weekend in a row with $22.1 million coming in first place, followed by Moneyball - $20.6 million, and Dolphin Tale - $20.3 million. It appears that four new movie releases were no match for the Disney classic and because of this success Disney is planning on extending what was originally intended to be just a two week release. It is quite clear that Disney consumers are more than satisfied with the film and their expectations were beyond exceeded.