Profitable Magic: 10 Marketing Tips Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Walt Disney by Guest Blogger Camille McClane

Walt Disney

Image Courtesy of Jonathan Hanasab of

Walt Disney was a marketing genius. Read below to take advice from a man who had a clear vision and made his (and our) dreams come true:

1. The Details Matter

Walt Disney designed Main Street of Disneyland so that sweet, delicate scents of candy emanated from vents near the candy and ice cream shops. During the holidays, the scents are even changed to emit cinnamon and other nostalgic holiday aromas.

When you’re building your brand, remember that every detail counts. While the tinier facets of running a business may seem unimportant, your customers will notice your strict attention to detail and thank you later.

2. Perspective is Key

Walt Disney designed Sleeping Beauty’s castle using forced perspective. This technique was used throughout the park to make major landmarks, such as the Matterhorn, appear much larger than they actually were.

How can you use forced perspective to convey a louder, more impressive image of your brand to the world?

3. Mostly Accessibility and a Little Exclusivity

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, Disney’s Club 33 adds that touch of exclusivity every thriving brand needs. While Walt opened the park for the people, wanting everyone to be able to enjoy the love and nostalgia he felt for his hometown, he created Club 33 for his best customers. An invite-only, alcohol-serving private club located in the heart of the park, Disney created a mysterious and elusive location that many aspire to visit in order to share in the folklore.

What can you do to make your best and most loyal customers feel special?

4. Brand Interaction

Getting your fans and potential customers to interact with your brand is a great way to make sure they come back. Disneyland’s most die hard fans return again and again on a quest to find “hidden Mickeys,” planted by the Disney team throughout the entire park. What sort of interactive activity can you create for your business?

How can YOU find your own hidden Mickey? Sometimes branding, branding again and even re-branding all together, as highlighted in this article by Gryffin Media, is the key to finding something that really works for both you and your consumer base.

5. Outsourcing

How did Walt Disney solve the problem of ridding his park of cockroaches, mice, and other vermin? He handed the task to the professionals, and by professionals, he meant cats. After the park closed at night, Disney let local cats roam the park around to catch the mice.

What facets of your budding business are better left to a seasoned expert?

6. Know Your Industry

Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter, an extremely successful online beauty business, says you must know the history of your industry. When and why and how did it start out? Why is it still around and what will be your business’ role in this market?

What will be your brand’s position in this day and age? Although Disneyland can be seen as “just an amusement park,” Walt believed it had real significance and value to the entire world.

7. Authenticity

Walt Disney had a clear vision when creating Disneyland; “The Happiest Place on Earth” was a bold, yet unarguable slogan. He knew what he wanted the park to look like, be like, and feel like.

What kind of personality do you want your business to convey? What does the basic genetic makeup of your brand really look like? Staying true to your core is important as your business grows and expands. What is your philosophy?

8. Surprise!

Walt Disney constantly surprised park guests with all kinds of valuable prizes. This kind of marketing genius created loyal fans for life. Whether it was not having to wait in line or giving away a free trip to paradise, all a person had to do was show up.

How can you entice your customers to show up? Whether you want people to spend more time on your website, submit their email addresses, or physically show up to an event, what can you reward them with for supporting you?

9. Hard Work = Success

This management advice from Readers Digest about the beauty of hard work applies to just about any entrepreneur, experienced or otherwise. Phil Roberts of Parasole Restaurant Group says “Be ready to work when everyone else is playing.” Even Lisa Price, mentioned above, said “You will work harder for yourself than for anyone you have ever worked for in your life.”

Pushing yourself past what you used to think of as “hard work” is a key factor in developing the success of your business. Disney’s hard work paid off, even after his passing, and shows no signs of slowing down

10. Build Lifetime Value

Build lifetime value for your company by interacting with your customers on a regular basis. Disneyland is always trying out new products and attractions on its customers and values their feedback monumentally.

What can you do to convince customers that they can grow with your brand; that they’re apart of your process?


Camille McClane is a writer and researcher who enjoys creating content regarding social media and business. She is a lifelong, avid Disney fan and was excited to write this article about him! She hopes you enjoy this article.