Disney is rightly considered a huge company, which is a giant not only in the field of cartoon animation but at the forefront of film-making. Now adults and children worldwide are familiar with the company’s products. Theme parks, sideshows, merchandise, and TV rights bring this entertainment giant unprecedented profits for the entire family. Hardly anyone would have guessed just a few decades ago that the company, which develops animated films, would become a multi-millionaire and spread itself worldwide.
Product Portfolio Strategies
Disney’s current approach to the film industry can be considered cutting edge and is at the forefront of the entire film industry. The company pioneered the concept of paid subscriptions and sold its product to those who signed up. This was incredibly convenient for consumers and the content creators. The package itself, which Disney offered for the first time when it introduced subscriptions, was animated films and teen series and exclusive episodes of some of its shows. This created a fan base that was a fan of one show or another, and the subscription gave them a new perspective on their favorite product. Included in the box were some obscure Disney shows, but as they were bundled together, some people would have liked to see the new shows. So, over time, the company was able to bring its obscure shows to market and create a fan base for them. Despite that this company made a several innovations not only in the sphere of animation, but by implementing new types of entertainment, such as thematic parks, called Disneyland.
Disney was selling subscriptions to its services, but the concept had changed slightly. Now that the film giant can afford to buy the rights to franchises, there is no need to promote a little-known franchise as much as possible. Moreover, with the purchase of the Star Wars franchise, the company began to exploit its full potential by creating and expanding its universe. This allowed it to count on fans of the old film series and attract younger audiences interested in seeing the story from the ground up. Economically, Disney’s attitude towards big films has been that they know how to properly exploit the strengths of any film universe and reach as large an audience as possible. Often with the release of a new blockbuster, related merchandise such as video games and other merchandise is on sale. This helps promote the film itself and helps to make more money for those who like the look of the product itself.
Disney’s Product Development
Talking about the modern development of new films and big pictures, it is worth mentioning that the company has not forgotten about its old works. Nowadays, it is releasing re-releases of classic projects and sequels of long-loved projects. It should be noted that although the pretty are ready, because the idea remains unchanged, as well as xat actors and voice acting, the Disney company spends much money on remakes. Much of it goes into PR, improving the quality of the picture, producing and freshening up the story, and more. A perfect example is the remake of The Lion King, which came out recently (Pallant, 2017). In childhood, a cartoon was loved by all children and parents, which delivered the right message, could not fail to please all viewers. Instead of improving the visuals, the creators went for a radical change. They transferred the cartoon into 3D and made it as lively as possible. This shows Disney’s attitude towards its classics and how it respects them and is willing to put them on par with the new releases at the world box office.
Speaking of brand new films, it’s worth noting how carefully the themes are chosen and the relevance of the ideas for the new product. The company spends months just formulating the basic idea of what they will create. It’s no exaggeration to say that the work is overseen by true experts in both animations, as seen in the result, and excellent creators who can show some adult subject matter through the lens of children’s perception. The magic of Disney is truly unique and inimitable, as not many companies worldwide can boast such work with any age audience.
Culture of Creating Products
Like other companies worldwide, Disney does not rely on just one type of product. The company not only values big titles, which bring colossal popularity and profits but develops narrowly specialized youth projects. This includes products such as Mickey Mouse Club, which has long since lost its popularity. This show was trendy ten years ago, and children who grew up watching this show have grown up and have little interest in this project. However, in its turn, Disney does not intend to close this show, but on the contrary, it is ready to infuse more money into it and develop it for a small number of fans (Patrocínio et al., 2018). Thus, the film industry giant clarifies that it does not focus on large projects and gives way to smaller ones, which, despite the loss of popularity, live on to this day. In addition, Disney is not against investing much money in new, unknown projects because it has long been known that the company likes to take risks.
So it was, for example, the cartoon “Finding Nemo” was significantly risky because it was not known how warmly the audience would accept the story of the fish’s journey. Suppose the first example helped the status of the giant and the reputation, on a level with the inaptability of images, in the second case. In that case, no one could foresee the result. The company hired animation experts and conducted a massive number of consultations and hundreds of hours of work on creating the script. It was allocated an enormous amount of finances for the unreliable step. As a result, this cartoon won the hearts of fans and won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Once again, Disney proved its competence in calculating the risks and was able, despite the danger of the undertaking from a financial point of view, the company was able to succeed. This approach demonstrates how this giant knows how to manage money and distribute it properly.
Alan Horn, at one time, created an almost perfect product for consumption for all ages. Although his initial focus was on children, the focus has shifted to teens and older audiences over time. An essential principle of the work is the interaction with other studios and their collaboration to create joint projects. For example, in the advertising headlines, you can increasingly see the news that Disney has launched a cooperation with this or that fashion brand.
This is primarily due to the marketing point of view because brand recognition goes to a new level, and it is mutually beneficial to both sides. Disney, with its images, can claim an audience of older people who follow the fashion world, and companies that produce clothing can count on additional support from the animation magnate. This brings not only advertising but commercial benefits. Under different brands are released a limited number of copies of clothing for children or adolescents. This flirtation with images raises the public’s interest in the various projects from which it was taken. Not surprisingly, before the premiere of the cartoon Mulan 2, Disney launched a collaboration with the cosmetics brand Revolution (Wei, 2018). The increased demand for the comic with an Asian theme increased both interests in the project. It was able to raise the number of young fashionistas who, in anticipation of the movie, bought cosmetics to be like the film’s heroine.
Despite the enormous profits, there are some disadvantages to these collaborations. The main one is that the parties must work closely together, and if one of the parties makes a mistake, there are reputational risks. An example is the cartoon “Chicken Little,” one of the worst projects in Disney’s history. The company began collaborating with various toy manufacturers, who received vast sums of money in contracts to expand the market. Since the cartoon failed on the big screen, no one wanted the toys, and many companies declared bankruptcy.
Based on what has already been said above, Disney is balancing its major projects with its minor ones. This is partly true, but the main priority in the development of a new project is its scale. The company uses all possible means to create a quality and expensive product that can bring in huge box office receipts. Every year Disney steadily releases several pictures, which is the main focus and emphasis from a financial and marketing point of view. Usually, their number does not exceed 3-4 films a year. A tremendous amount of effort, finances, and resources are spent on their development. In addition, these projects attract more attention than small animated or real-life films, as the effect of authority and cost plays into their hands. Usually, such a project involves actors of the highest level, new special effects or unique camerawork, or a recognizable franchise. These films play a significant role, as a massive part of the company’s overall profits comes from their box office receipts.
Since such projects are costly, they are developed not only by Disney but by partners who already have experience with such products. Depending on the relevance of the idea, the hired company and Disney itself may spend money on development. Often this format is experimental because it is not known what the result of the final product will be. If successful, this collaboration can continue for the creation of prequels and sequels to this universe. If I were Disney, I would provide more material assistance to the hired companies to guarantee a better product. Provided the picture can occupy the top places at the box office, this franchise can be developed, and there is less risk that subsequent films can fail. There will be brand recognition and, consequently, greater economic stability and the possibility of a more creative approach to the creation.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Tentpole Approach
This strategy has a number of significant pluses as well as some rather crushing minuses. The main advantage is that such films attract a huge amount of attention and audiences with high expectations go to theaters. The name Disney has long been known throughout the world, and when a giant releases a movie or cartoon with a huge budget involuntarily wondered if it was worth it, and how well it turned out to create something new and interesting (Spencer, 2018). an important plus is that these projects are easier to attract the world’s stars. They are much more willing to accept a role in a movie with a large budget, which has the potential to be successful, rather than in the project, which has significantly low budget. This creates a kind of trendiness, which heats the interest of viewers. This affects both the success of the film and its popularity around the globe, as well as its box office.
However, of course, there are disadvantages to this strategy. First of all, the audience’s expectations, which are usually inflated before the premiere. Viewers expect an incredible spectacle in the picture, to see where the entire budget has gone. Few people realize that in spite of the quality of the film, the ticket price is always the same for the average moviegoer, regardless of the efforts made by the producers. Such people only fuel their interest by thinking about what an incredible spectacle they’ll be watching for the next few hours. Another no less important disadvantage is that this strategy is highly risky, because no one knows how warmly the audience will accept the picture. This factor is impossible to calculate and often depends only on chance. There are topics that the viewer is always interesting, but the film industry is not standing still and you always need to move forward, no matter what. Sometimes such experiments can end up creating a masterpiece, or the total collapse of the picture.
Marketing Processes Analysis
Like every other company globally, Disney has its marketing strategy, which is thoroughly structured and thoughtful. This campaign is quite popular and time-tested, as many multimedia services use this strategy when promoting their products. The central concept focuses on the 4 Ps, namely Product, Price, Place and Promotion (CoSchedule, 2019). The product in this system is everything that the company has created in the production process. This includes the already mentioned movies and cartoons and cable TV, theme parks, video games and paper products. All of them are an integral part not only of customer consumption, but of the promotion of related products and services. Price refers to how much a customer is willing to pay for a product. This aspect is constantly adjusting and changing depending on various factors, such as the regions, where the price can be higher due to financial stability or lower. The place in this hierarchy is the playback device of the content produced by Disney. It could be a smartphone, a television set, a park, or the official website. It is where the services and products are hosted and from where the user has the convenience of using them. Promotion is critical, because without it, the profitability of the rest would be in great question. You can create a quality product, but people won’t know it exists. The right approach to presenting one’s product ensures good saleability and economic stability.
Disney resorts to some fascinating manipulations in advertising to promote the products and services it supplies. For example, this company uses a strategy of subconscious interaction with the customer. This means telling stories that are touching and can penetrate the customer’s soul. This creates a kind of connection between the product and the consumer. Therefore, Disney touches a vast audience and offers its services to all those able to penetrate the themes that the company raises. In addition, this giant uses as a marketing move the sense of nostalgia that plays in the memory of every adult. All adults want to go back to their childhood for a while and experience the excitement of watching their favorite TV show. Disney uses this skillfully, as shown in The Lion King’s example. Equally important is the already familiar brand (Clark, 2019). Everyone in the world knows Disney and what it can do. Every time the audience expects a new show, they will enjoy like they did when they were children.
One studio wouldn’t have the ability to produce that much content while at the same time developing new ideas and thinking about marketing. For such purposes, the company hires other studios to help build specific projects. This can be a simple creation and concept or a full-fledged project with the participation of professional animators. As has been said many times before, Disney is a giant in the entertainment content market. She moves the industry forward and sets the pace of the company’s development for many years, and other studios adjust to her. In addition, to improve the product produced, the company can conclude a partnership and completely buy out the entire franchise. This is done in the case this company has shown itself correctly and has the potential for the future. Of course, this strategy has its pros and cons.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Multiple Labels
Of the positives, we can highlight that now the property of the already subsidiary company passes into the full ownership of the main studio, which makes its use by other companies. This applies to intellectual property and character rights. No less critical plus is the fact that if a company like Disney buys a smaller company, it means it plans to develop it, which should please the fans of the company already bought.
On the downside, it is worth noting that the purchase of this company can take it to the next level and take a couple of steps back in quality. Often there are situations when a company is acquired not to develop its capacity, but it did not get competitors. This usually happens, and, alas, no company in the world is immune from such cases. In addition, since the firm becomes a subsidiary, it loses control over its developments. All the materials used earlier and planned for future production belongs to the company that bought them out. In many ways, the purchase of companies by giants closed various projects due to the lack of need.
Summarizing all of the above, we can conclude that Disney has built a veritable empire in the field of multimedia entertainment over the years. Over the years, it has developed its marketing system, approach to content creation, and relationships with other firms. Despite numerous problems with one product or another, the company is still the leader in its field, and this development strategy will remain so for many years to come. Many companies are guided by the Disney business model, as it is the benchmark and an example to follow.
Clark, D. G. (2019). Walt Disney and Europe: European Influences on the Animated Feature Films of Walt Disney. The Lion and the Unicorn, 25(3), 427–432.
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Pallant, C. (2017). Disney-Formalism: Rethinking “Classic Disney.” Animation, 5(3), 341–352.
Patrocínio, R. F. do, Souza, J. L. de A., Santos, C. T. O., & Martins, K. S. (2018). The vision of the Disney World: an experience marketing study at The Walt Disney Company. Archives of Business Research, 5(9).
Spencer, E. P. (2018). Educator Insights: Euro Disney—What Happened? What Next? Journal of International Marketing, 3(3), 103–114.
Wei. (2018). Understanding values of souvenir purchase in the contemporary Chinese culture: A case of Shanghai Disney. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 10, 36–48.