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CultureReporter\'s Pick
Let's Learn Business through Walt Disney
Sim Seong-a  |  tlatjddk2019@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2019.11.13  13:22:22
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Let's Learn Business through Walt Disney

From Mickey Mouse to Snow White, from The Lion King and Toy Story, what all of these famous animations have in common is that they created by the Walt Disney Company. Founded in 1923 by an animation producer Walt Disney, Disney productions are still overwhelmingly popular by their ability to realize the dreams and imaginations of children. Beyond the movie, drama and theme park businesses, the Walt Disney Company has continued to look for new opportunities to expand, such as its recent OTT project. Now, let's find out what management strategies have been used to grow a small animation studio into Disney, the company that represents the world's media market today.


What's so special about the Disney Company's operation? 

What strategy has Disney, the originator of the media business model, used to win over audiences for so long? There are three special strategies which Disney uses in its operations. The first is that they are always aware of the importance of people. Disney calls engineers ‘imagineers’. It is said to be a self-created expression by founder Walt Disney, who used the term to describe the studio engineers’ aim to create fantastic and dream-like worlds and characters. One small title shows how much Disney values people and their imagination. The above picture shows Disney's corporate strategy map made in 1957. Though the data is from 60 years ago, it shows the series of processes by which Disney plans, produces and expands its content. At the heart of these ecosystems is a human being. That is, it clearly shows that all the sources of content are in people, both in the past and in the present. The second is that they are constantly agonizing over suitability. In the media market where countless content is produced every day, what Disney emphasizes most to survive is suitability. This means analyzing the lives of consumers and supplying them with timely content. Beyond simple estimates, they are exploring diverse potential needs through anthropological and psychographic analysis, and planning customized products based on the analysis results. The prince and princess, who often appeared in Disney cartoons when we were young, clearly show the model of yearning. Recently, Disney has caught and supplied characters that modern consumers are enthusiastic about, such as superheroes with human features and superheroes, a collection of all superpowers. Finally, the third is to form a strong trust relationship with the consumer. Disney is now recognized as a single giant brand, not just a content producer. The aforementioned values which Disney pursues, such as the importance of people and the suitability of the times, have guided Disney's operations since its days as an early start-up. By sharing the same values with consumers over such a long period of time, it is about building a base of trust to help consumers become more loyal to Disney's content. In a related development, Disney Chairman Andy Byrd said in a recent interview, "The biggest strength of Disney is that hundreds of communities are created around the world with just one word”. 


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Strategies Hidden in Disneyland That You Don't Know

Within Disney's global theme park, Disneyland, there are various management strategies focusing on the service delivery system. The first is the Magical Moment. This is a planning event that stems from the intention to encourage guest participation to create a better experience. This is the case, for example, with children dancing on the streets with Disney character dolls during the parade. The time at Disney, which is done through active participation by customers, makes everyone happy. Next is Take 5. This means shaking the guest's mind in five minutes, for example, or re-filling an ice cream dropped by a child for free. In addition, all warm words and actions that can impress people belong to Take 5. This played a big part in building friendly relationships with customers. Finally, there is Reminding Marketing, which is based on Disney's philosophy of bringing home the emotion it has experienced in Disneyland. The fact that any Disneyland has a common symbol such as Mickey Mouse dolls and statues leaves a more intense impression on its customers. In addition, Disney employees use professional cameras to take pictures of visitors so that customers can find them again on their websites. These are the things that leave lasting, positive memories of Disneyland for visitors. These various marketing strategies are judged to be the factors that enabled Disney to succeed among experts.


The Company That Employees Enjoy

About two years after Walt Disney opened ‘Walt Disney World’, the world's largest theme park, in Florida in 1971, the number of employees working here increased by nearly 10,000. Before long, however, the turnover rate of employees from whom the emotional work of having to be constantly kind was required, reached 83 percent. And this was perceived as a huge crisis for Disney, which requires a lot of manpower. This has led Disney to focus on creating an environment where employees can enjoy themselves. It has significantly strengthened the welfare support for its employees. Disney has built a separate 240,000-square-meter staffing recreation area called 'Retreat of Mickey'. It is a space only available to employees, and they are able to enjoy sports, picnics, and even fishing. Disney has also increased communication with its employees by creating employee newsletters and enclosing birthday greetings in pay envelopes. As a result, the turnover rate returned to normal levels within two years. And to this day, the company spares no investment in its employees, as their philosophy has continued: "If the staff is not happy, the guests cannot be happy." This kind of employee welfare system in Disney drives up the efficiency of employees through increasing their job satisfaction. In this way, both the employees and the company can achieve satisfactory results.


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