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Five Marketing Lessons from a Day in Disneyland – #4: We’re in this Together

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Disney is more like a destination ski resort than I thought.

As such, a day in the park a few weeks ago taught me some very interesting lessons about why they are so successful as a business.

Here’s one of those lessons.

Citizens Unite
If Disney is a land and Disney employees are the citizens, you will never see a more unified population in the world.

Like you, Disneyland has a brand. Their is “the happiest place on earth”. The difference is that every (and I do mean EVERY) employee acts in line with that brand. When I bought a chicken sandwich for lunch, the girl behind the counter was beaming. Even the drumline in the evening parade managed to wear grins while they played a complex beat.

As we waited for our shuttle on the final day, a valet attendant at a nearby hotel made it seem as if his life calling, the pinnacle of happiness, were found in parking cars for grumpy rich folks from Arizona. Every employee I met fit the brand and it was clear this wasn’t an accident.

Lifties Unite
I chatted with Joe Myers the other day about this, but specifically how everyone at a resort is in marketing. An HR director who doesn’t respond to an applicant, a liftie ignoring guests to flirt with another liftie, the power-hungry patrolman. Everyone.

When I was in high school I worked at a grocery store that had a very specific rule: if a customer asked us where something was, we dropped what we were doing and walked them to the item. No pointing, no directions, just a nice friendly chat while we found the Carmex or children’s Tylenol or whatever.

It didn’t cover everything, but that one rule was powerful. I had customer tell me over and over how that one attribute of the store’s employees was why they shopped there.

Not All, One
I’ve thought a lot about that as I walked around Disneyland and especially as I took a few turns when I returned home.

I have no idea how hard it would be to implement something like this at a resort, but I know that it works and it makes a difference. Maybe the resort needs one, simple rule for everyone because I think Joe is spot on when he said that one employee, any employee, can undermine a lot of great marketing.

I’ve seen it happen and I’m sure you have too.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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