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Actually, it’s isn’t all about you

February 7th, 2013 · 6 Comments · Magic of Disney, Marketing

Gaston2At a recent jaunt to Disney World*, I found a great marketing reminder for us all.   Right in front of the brand new Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland, there’s a huge statue of…no shocker, Gaston. (For those of you unfamiliar with Beauty and the Beast — shame on you!).

In front of the statue is this plaque that reads:

Tribute to Gaston

An extravagantly generous gift to the humble people of my village.

From Me, Gaston

Of course…Gaston is the buffoon in the movie but all too often brands and companies get their Gaston on.  They behave as though it’s all about them.  They talk about themselves incessantly (go on…look at your website — who do you talk about?) and they behave as though they are a gift to the people they’re supposed to serve.

We laugh at the behavior when Gaston does it in the movie.  We shake our head when we talk about how “other” companies market this way -but when was the last time you did an honest gut check of your own marketing materials?

If you aren’t talking about what really matters to your potential customers and customers — odds are, you’re talking about yourself.

So a little message from Gaston and me — get over yourself and start focusing on sharing what you know/do in a way that actually helps and serves your clientele.

 

*Note:  Yes, I know I start a lot of posts with this sentence.  I’m a 12 year old boy trapped in a grown up’s body.  I can’t help it.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Virginia

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  • Delane

    Wow! Cool! I’ve never been to Disney World. I love to see this.
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  • Smith

    Excellent reflection, I do not know if I’m the type Gaston, but never enough over a voice alert.

  • Warren Lanier

    Hi Buddy

    Great post! As marketers-I think we can all learn a lot not only from Gaston but also the man that made Gaston and other great and memorable Disney Characters the icon’s they are.

    I’m reminded of a story I heard some time back about Walt Disney and some of the marketing genius he displayed during the time he was building up ‘Disneyland’ to become what it is today.

    It seems that some years back Walt Disney had this revolutionary idea of filming the experiences of the people who were visiting Disney Land (at that time it was a single location here in Southern California).

    In his infinite wisdom, Walt Disney then took those moments he captured on camera and began promoting them on local television. As more and more people began watching the broadcasts each week; naturally the crowds coming to Disneyland began to grow in size.

    It was then that another stroke of marketing genius began to unfold. Seeing that the growing number of families coming to Disneyland each week were becoming soo large that those attending were becoming more and more uncomfortable and therefore not really enjoying themselves; Walt then engaged another effective marketing strategy….it was called ‘Close the Park.’

    In essence what he did was, once the number of families reached a particular head count; Disney would then “close the park” to those families who were not there at a certain time. In true Disney fashion, those families arriving to the park after a certain time would be given ‘special invitations’ to come back and enjoy the park at another date and time.

    Although at first there was some disappointment expressed by the families coming too late to get in, the idea of having a ‘special invitation’ to return to Disneyland on another date and time worked miracles and also assured some what predictable attendance to the park at dates and times in the future.

    But that’s not the real marketing genius…the real marketing genius of Walt Disney was that he realized that in promoting Disneyland on television back in those days; it was more important for the public to see everyone at the park having a great time and enjoying the many activities that were available to them, then it was for him to film long lines of disgruntled park visitors who were obviously miserable because of overcrowding.

    In other words Disney engaged in the long view of marketing success as opposed to hoarding in as much ‘cash’ as possible on any given night. His visionary approach to promoting meaningful family moments in a pleasant park environment on local, then national and ultimately international television did more to sustain the value of the Disney brand and provided a solid foundation for the company to grow upon.

    With the myriad of marketing channels available today-as professionals perhaps we could learn a thing or two from some of our more successful predecessors.Things like, every time we get the chance to engage others-it is far more important to make them feel that we understand them and are willing to ‘close the park’ to assure their comfort and enjoyment…then it is for us to ‘see how much we can get them to spend.’

    …”just sayin…”

    Best

    Warren

  • Abbie Touchton

    Such an awesome thought. A brand must stay relevant in the mind of it’s customers! Social should be used to provide information to customers and attract their interest, then when they are interacting with you more personally, say in your store, you should be able to promote yourself through your products and services. Self promotion online makes brands seem conceited, like Gaston himself.

  • Amelia Sherrill

    I love the approach you took for this post. Without an audience you have nothing for your brand. It is crucial to always remember to keep the needs of your audience in the forefront or else they will not be loyal to you. Thanks for a good read!

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