3 Messaging Strategies We Can Learn from Disney World
I’m a HUGE Disney fan. From the VHS collection in my living room to rambling off movie quotes in everyday conversations, I love Disney movies and, naturally, Disney World. With my son’s fifth birthday approaching, my husband and I planned a family vacation at the parks to celebrate the milestone. For our 5-day trip, we visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom.
I could rave on and on about the parks, but I’ll briefly share my favorite attractions:
At Animal Kingdom
Soar with a Banshee ride on the Avatar Flight of Passage.
Enjoy family fun on the Kali River Rapids.
Feast on the buffet at Tusker House Restaurant.
At Magic Kingdom
Search for jewels along the family-friendly Mine Train roller coaster.
Enjoy punny humor along the Jungle Cruise.
Be inspired to dream big at the fireworks show.
While we jumped on ride after ride, eating snacks along the way, I started noticing Disney’s level of customer service. It’s top-notch and reaffirms the long-term success and lifelong customer loyalty the company achieves. I also recognized a few tactics they use that are crucial in a strong brand messaging strategy.
Here are 3 brand messaging strategies we can learn from Disney World.
1. Make your customer the main character.
Disney World ensures their guests are front and center at the park. When you book your park ticket, Disney offers an array of features to make your trip tailored to your desires and one you’ll be sure to remember.
How do they do it? By putting the guest in the center of the story. From the scenes and thematic decor decorating the halls before each ride to the interactive live shows and the one-on-one character meet and greets, Disney focuses on each guest, making them feel special and important. One of our favorite rides was the Avatar Flight of Passage. The staff did three height checks on my son to ensure safety, but it almost felt like it was a part of the experience–so he could be personally suited for his Banshee. And, of course, he received birthday wishes, special treats, and restaurant-wide shoutouts from the staff at both parks. The character dining was spectacular, and Disney guarantees you’ll spend quality time with each character. Some even came to our table twice. And at the meet and greet, we spent a few moments with Princess Jasmine, who was so sweet and encouraging. Even in 90-degree weather, she made us feel like royalty.
How to apply this in your biz?
In branding, we share stories and market our offers, but the focus is always on the customer. If your target audience doesn’t see space for themselves in your story, they won’t be a part of it–and won’t become your customer.
And the role you assign your customer is essential. They aren’t seeking a supporting role–they want to be the main character. They want to be the hero saving the day but need you to help guide them toward the solution.
In your copywriting, arrange your messaging to focus on the customer. Talk about their troubles and desires and how you understand their importance. Then provide an offer that will help them achieve the big success they’re after. It’s up to them to take action–you’re just showing them the way.
2. Focus on the benefits.
Since becoming a mother, I’ve learned that parenting is different for everyone and that each family has a “thing” that defines them. The “thing” isn’t necessarily good or bad but a unique component of a family’s way of being. Our “thing” is food allergies. Currently, my son is allergic to 10 different foods and some environmental allergens, which has substantially navigated our lives. From making all of his food to reviewing allergen menus at restaurants (and ultimately giving him what we prepared in advance) to keeping an epinephrine injection on hand in case of a severe reaction to several appointments with his allergist throughout the year, we do all we can to keep our son safe and not limit him from exploring the world.
So it should be no surprise that we packed ALL of his food for this Disney trip–breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. We knew we wanted to do a character dining experience during this vacation but planned to bring his food with us as usual. To my surprise, Disney World fully accommodates guests with food allergies, and their website includes a full menu of allergy-friendly foods filtered by specific allergies. Upon booking our reservation, they asked us to list all the allergies we needed to avoid. Once we arrived at the restaurant, the chef came to our table and personally showed us which foods our son could eat (talk about customer service!) They understood our pain points and focused on us having the best experience by offering their services.
How to do this in your biz?
In your messaging, highlight how you will address your customers’ problems and provide a solution. Customers want to know that you know and care about their needs and that your offer will address them and improve their lives. They don’t care about the features; they want to know what’s in it for them. Your features matter less than the benefits they provide.
Recently, I needed a new laptop. My current desktop was very slow and would freeze if I had too many tabs open on my web browser (I’m an unashamed tab hoarder!) When it would freeze up, it slowed down my efficiency in completing projects, and I felt unprofessional on discovery calls when my video and audio would become choppy. I knew I needed something that allowed me to move quickly and showcased my professionalism as a biz owner. Enter the Macbook Pro. The specs are great, but they didn’t matter as much as their ability to help me shine and work seamlessly. Now I’m not worried about my video quality on my calls, and I’m rolling through projects quicker–so I can bring in new projects. It’s helping me become the free-flowing digital entrepreneur I dream of. THAT’S selling the benefits.
When discussing your offers, don’t harp solely on the specifics; focus on how they will transform your customer’s life. Do customer research and learn their pain points and desires. Read your customer reviews to discover what really matters to your audience, then determine how you can help make this a reality. Flash the benefits!
3. Support your call to action
Whether you have bought a movie ticket, have Disney+, sailed a Disney cruise, or park-hopped at Disney World, we all know the one thing Disney wants us to do: shop with them. At the park, they ensure all of their messaging draws you in to buy their tickets, order food, grab lightning lane passes, book the photo packages, and purchase a souvenir after every ride (there’s a reason why people easily drop $5,000+ for their Disney vacation!). Blown trip budget aside, the lesson here is that Disney knows their one call to action, and they market it flawlessly.
(photo credit: Mood Design US)
How to do this in your biz?
Whether you want customers to shop with you, join your program, or book a call, your messaging should be clear and centered around one main objective. Think about the one thing that will move the needle for your biz. Create a quick, easy-to-understand copy for this objective and only focus on this call to action.
When looking at your web copy and format, consider your prospective customer and the one call to action you’d like them to take. Is that listed above the fold on your website? Prospective customers like to follow a simple path (or sales funnel) toward working with you. When we place unnecessary copy and unrelated buttons towards our other offers (blogs, affiliate links, talking heavily about ourselves, etc.) before our main call to action, it confuses our audience and creates a longer, complicated sales funnel. This can lead to more abandoned carts and, ultimately, fewer sales.
Also, consider the wording you’re using for your call to action. Does it frequently change on your website (buy now, shop with me, book me) and confuse your audience? Be sure you have one consistent call to action, and use the rest of your copy to support it and encourage people to move. This may look like using “Work with Me” as your call to action and having web sections highlighting your offers, how you relate to the struggle, and how you can transform your client’s life.
[If you’re wondering about your website’s user-friendliness and marketing strength, I offer web copy audits to provide a professional review and guidance to elevate your website.
There you have it. Three messaging strategies we can learn from Disney World. While Mickey Mouse and his crew ensure all our dreams come true at Disney, we can do the same for our customers by focusing on their needs, emphasizing the benefits they’ll receive from working with us, and keeping our language clear and concise. Which of these strategies will you apply this week? Leave me a comment and let me know!
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