Emotional Ties to Disney
It’s no secret that Disney is one of the biggest business empires in the world. From movies, theme parks, and cruise lines to merchandise stores in malls, generations of children have grown up around the characters they have created. The Disney experience, known for having a friendly, open and magical atmosphere has translated itself into the in-store experience.
Inside the store itself, the shoppers are immediately greeted by friendly staff members. The soundtrack of the latest Disney movies are played through loud speakers, and scenes from the films are shown on a big digital projector in a viewing area. Focused on the system 1 of information processing, Disney pulls on the emotional ties that children and even adults have with the movies to market their products. The merchandise is displayed like reminders of memories, and the more primal and fast decision making process is engaged. Shopping at the Disney Store is like an adventure itself, as some of the bigger chain stores allow children to tailor their experiences through activities such as being able to build their own customized vehicles from the movie “Cars”, and interactive displays such as a Magic Mirror.
Alongside the displays, the store carries merchandise for both the classic Disney characters as well as the new films. While it seems as if the store is catered to children at first glance, it also draws on an older generation of nostalgic adults. The toys are catered to the children, but costumes for children aged 0-5 are often from the classic films as the parents are the target market. The newer movies are the ones often made into toys, as they go in and out of style quicker than the classics which have longer selling power. So while action figures may have the newest characters from Frozen or Moana, travel mugs, stuffed animals, and books are the more often older characters such as Cinderella, or Toy Story.
Lastly, the Disney stores ensures that every point of contact an adult or child has in the story conveys the brand and story they are trying to create. There are in-store events held with costumed staff, and activities designed for kids. When you leave the store, they reinforce the experience by telling you to “have a magical day”. Because movie merchandise is not a staple item, the stores really push towards having customers make their decisions based off of pre-existing emotional connections when making purchases.
While I may be in my early twenties, I know that myself and other in my age group are still often drawn in to the allure of the store’s atmosphere. Every time I see a new Peter Pan mug, it brings me back to my childhood, and I immediately want to add it to my collection of Peter Pan themed beverage containers. The focus on the emotional connections to sell products has worked well for Disney, and they continue to evolve their store to become an increasingly engaging customer experience.