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What if You’re Not the “Disney” in Your Industry?

Own Your Brand
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This post will feed off of a recent blog post written by my co-worker, Brad: 5 Business Lessons I Learned in Disney World. Coincidentally, Brad went to Disney World one week, and I took a trip to Universal Studios the following week. Both mega-theme parks are located in Orlando, FL, and visited by millions of people each year; both feature characters that are engrained in our culture and beloved around the world. So, what’s the big difference between these two iconic family tourist destinations?

Universal Studios isn’t Disney World and it will never be Disney World. However, Universal Studios is still a success in its own right. How can your business compete successfully against the “Disney” in your industry?

In his post, Brad talks about customer experience, branding, and evolving among other strong points. If your business is a smaller player competing against a market juggernaut, how do you stand out? In my opinion, it’s by focusing on branding.

  1. Know Who You Are

When you think of Universal Studios, you think of adventure – and that’s exactly its plan. Attractions like Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park River Ride, and the infamous (but long gone) Jaws ride come to mind as opposed to cartoon mice and fairy princesses. Universal is in the same market as Disney, but it’s so different that it’s thought of as a totally separate entity.

  1. Own Your Brand

So, you know who you are, now shout it from the rooftops! Brand every piece of collateral, signage, social media message, etc. with a consistent message. For Universal Studios, its “adventure.” They boast thrill rides, roller coasters, drop towers and stunt shows and use powerful language when promoting them. Universal separates itself in this way, knowing they won’t attract the same audience as Disney – and that’s ok.

  1. Focus on What You’re Good At

If you mostly fill light industrial job orders, put more emphasis on those positions than on the few clerical positions that need attention. Yes, they’re important, but you want people to think of you as the light industrial provider. Sure, Universal has cuddly family characters, like The Cat in the Hat, but they also have Transformers who beat each other to a spectacular robot death. By focusing on thrills, it attracts tourists who seek adventure over other themes, thus strengthening its brand.

The bottom line is, your business can be successful without being “Disney” in your industry, simply by being your own brand and making all of your marketing decisions to support it. But like Brad says, “ideas are easy. Execution can be challenging.” By constantly reminding yourself of your brand and how it ties in with your business goals, you will lead in the niche you’ve created for yourself.


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