Marketing Sense

A discussion of marketing tools and tactics with a common sense attitude

5 Principles for Brand Longevity – Lessons from a Marketing Juggernaut

Posted by Colin N. Clarke on November 23, 2009

By Colin N. Clarke – It’s truly amazing what marketing can accomplish when done right. I recently attended a performance of the musical The Lion King and simply had to marvel at what the marketing juggernaut Disney has done to create this “brand.”

Who would have thought that an animated movie could spawn such an incredible revenue generating franchise more than 15 years later! Of course Disney took us through the sequels and spinoffs, the merchandising and figurines, the soundtracks and re-releases. But after 15 years you’d think they might have exhausted the potential of that little old cartoon. Anyone else, but not Disney.

Disney Theatrical Productions has built a brand around the name The Lion King with ongoing productions taking place in New York City, Las Vegas, Paris, Hamburg, Tokyo, and London. In addition there are two touring companies settling into major cities across the United States.

Here’s a glimpse into the revenue generating power that has been built around The Lion King brand. By my calculation, a sold out week (9 performances by a touring company) in a 2,000 seat theatre can generate more than $1.3 million of revenue on ticket sales alone! Multiply that revenue generating power across multiple performance locations worldwide and you can quickly see how Disney has turned that little 1994 animation into a mega BRAND.

So what has Disney done right to maintain the appeal and longevity of a brand that should have run the course of its productive life long ago? Let’s have a look at what Disney has done, and what you can too to generate long-term affinity for your business’ brand.

1) Understand your audiences – Their interests, what motivates their buying behavior and why they choose you.

2) Appeal to the influencers – (For Disney, parents). They need to find interest in your brand and feel safe in recommending you or approving a purchase.

3) Manage your reputation – Your brand must be trustworthy and unblemished. Keep tabs on what others say about your brand and be prompt in respectfully correcting misrepresentations.

4) Be consistent – Day-in, day-out, deliver on your brand promise, maintain your brand standards and give your audience a reason to remember you (positively of course!).

5) Be innovative – Monitor how your audiences’ interests and expectations evolve and deliver new products, services or information of VALUE that is representative of your brand.

These principles help build Disney’s The Lion King into a brand far beyond an animated movie. Follow these 5 steps to build strength and longevity for your brand, and who knows, you just might create the next marketing juggernaut.

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