The Walt Disney Company Danjel Lessard & Lauren Northcutt Business 308: Principles of Marketing Professor Simpson
Disney The Walt Disney 1Company Description
What started out to be nothing more than a dream of Walter Elias Disney, with the release of Alice in Wonderland, a series of short film comedies, the beginning of a world renowned global corporation Walt Disney had evolved. Walter and his brother Roy were equal partners in what was originally the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923 and with the suggestion of Roy, it soon was renamed The Walt Disney Studio. After four years of success and profit, Walter and Roy experienced a business set back when they found their film distributor M.J. Winkler had stolen their cartoon characters and animators in attempt to undercut them. With the help from their chief and loyal animator, Ub Iwerks, Walt created Mortimer Mouse, which was renamed Mickey Mouse by his wife. The first cartoon with synchronized sound was released at the Colony Theater in New York, November 18, 1928. Walt Disney won its first Academy Award for Best Cartoon in 1932 and continued to be honored with an Oscar every year for a decade. Walt Disney consumer products started when Walt and Roy accepted $300.00 from a man that insisted Mickey should be applied to paper towels for school children. The company became public in 1940 and followed with the release of five successful feature films, including Snow White, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Bambi and Dumbo. In turn they revolutionized animation forever. In 1955, the first of many Disneyland theme parks were opened. At the same time, television became a new, huge, and successful avenue for its fans.
Disney "I can never stand still. I must explore and experiment. I am never satisfied with my work. I resent the limitations of my own imagination." Walt Disney (Disney Dreamer, 2007). Due to this dream with determination, The Walt Disney Corporation became an international powerhouse. Today, the company has four main business ventures:
consumer products, theme parks and resorts, media networks and studio entertainment. The first being consumer products encompasses the development, advertising, promoting, licensing and selling of products that represents all of the new and old Disney characters. The theme parks and resorts that once started in California grew to one of the most profitable and loved venues internationally. Television, radio, and cable properties are the core of the media network. The driving force of the entire enterprise is the motion pictures and animated cartoons which are managed by Touchstone, Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista, and Miramax.
The Walt Disney Companys Mission Statement
According to The Corporate Disney website, the mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world (http://www.corporate. disney.go.com/careers/who.html).Walt and Roy believed that he had to stay one step ahead of the competition in order to be the most innovative and creative animator of all times.
It is without undeniable dispute that The Walt Disney Corporation has created an empire that is unmatchable. They strived for excellence and are continually changing. They have surrounded themselves with the best artists, the most innovative creators, and the newest technology. Above all, the consumers are the driving force behind the genius enterprise, and the two brothers never lost sight of that goal.
The Walt Disney Companys Target Market
Before a company even begins to look at its objectives, and marketing strategy, they must first decide what they are selling, and who they want to sell it to. A successful marketing plan requires a clearly defined and well researched target market, without knowing the desires and needs of the people you are selling to, you can not create a product that meets those needs. The well defined target market represents one reason why the Walt Disney Company has been so successful since their public start in 1940. Walt and Roy Disney started this company not to satisfy every consumers needs, but simple To make people happy. This quickly segmented the Walt Disney Companys market into children till the age of about twelve. After many years, it was soon realized that the target market is not only young children, but often includes the decision makers. These are usually the parents that take their kids to the movies and buy the merchandise. Disney knows that it's one thing to make a great movie that kids are excited about but the efforts often fall short if parents don't approve of it.
Disney The Walt Disney Companys most recent, slight change in the target market has come from their new ideas of marketing and expanding. To reach kids and teens to promote Disneyland's 50th anniversary this year, Walt Disney Co. will use one of the hottest and most controversial gimmicks in the media business: "advergaming." (http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2005-01-17-disney-advergaming_x.htm). Seeing as how the age-range of people that play video games are a little older than kids, they will be targeting at a teenager level. The attempt to expand Disney into a wireless network also stems the interest of an almost different type of target market. The Walt Disney Co.'s decision to launch a wireless service aimed at its best customers pre-teen children and their families have focused a spotlight on two significant industry trends: the growing segmentation of services marketing and a fascination with the hottest of those segments, the youth market. (http://telephonyonline.com/mag/telecom_service _providers_target/).
The Walt Disney Companys Marketing Objectives
Every company, whether a service enterprise, a retail shop, a restaurant, or a theme park must have one objective in order to be in business. It is the sole reason one goes into business, no matter how much they may have wanted to improve the lives of others. The foremost goal of every business is to make money. In an article published by the London Times, former Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner was quoted as saying, We [The Walt Disney Company] have no obligation to make art. To make money is our only objective, (Rowan, 2005). At the time Eisner was CEO of Disney; from 1984
Disney 2005 he nurtured Disney from a $3 billion company to a $60 billion dollar company, a testament to the primary goal of the business (Eisner, 2007). Even though when Walt Disney first opened Disney Land in 1955 he coined the phrase, The happiest place on earth, (Oberleitner, 2007) the real reason for opening his entertainment park was to attract fans of Disney Studio Productions, promote his characters, and make money. Without a profit the Walt Disney Company, or any other company for the matter, would not be in business for long. Companies, especially large, well established companies like the Walt Disney Company, use their profits to do many things: expand their market share; research and development; expansion; new product lines; and various activities that help attract more customers. The Walt Disney Company has many fields in which they participate to make money: television; studio productions; theme parks; consumer products; and cruise lines, to name a few. Disney consumer products and theme parks are very essential to Disneys ultimate goal of making money. The placement of Disney products on school supplies, lunchboxes and backpacks, in malls across the country, and within the walls of their marketing-giant theme parks themselves is, a daily advertisementfor our cartoons, [that] keeps them all [consumers] Mickey Mouse minded, as stated by Walts brother Roy Disney (Rowan, 2005). No matter the means behind the ultimate goal, the goal never changes. As stated in the Walt Disney Companys Mission Statement, another of their goals is to be, one of the worlds leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, (Walt Disney Co., 2007). For the accomplishment of this goal Disney already has a substantial foot in the door with organizations in studio entertainment and
Disney theatrical productions for children, teens and adults of all ages; television stations targeting a wide variety of audiences ABC for news and families, the Disney Channel for children, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, and ESPNU for the sports fanatics and even SOAPnet for the stay at home mothers and fathers; theme parks like Disneyland, Disneyworld and the Disney World Resort to attract families with younger children looking for a good vacation; and one of their newest additions is the Disney Cruise Line that tour the Bahamas and Caribbean Islands and even make a stop at Disneys privately owned Castaway Cay Island (Walt Disney Co., 2007). Disneyland in particular, the first park ever to construct rides, shows and attractions around separate themesthe themes of Walt Disneys motion pictures (Wikipedia.com, 2007)was constructed and dedicated by Walt Disney to those people who want to relive memories of the past and [that]youth may savor, (Wikipedia.com, Disneyland, 2007). Disneyland itself was not just built to entertain young children, but also to give their parents a vacation in a place that they could remember from their pasts and relate to in a way for them to enjoy the experience. With this impressive display lineup and many more to support the Walt Disney Companys goal of being a leader in entertainment it is safe to say they are well on their way to accomplishing this feat. Disneys reach is global, with theme parks in China, France, Japan, and all around the United S
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