Walt Disney World: Marketing to Diverse Demographics
I had mixed feelings when I found out that my last family vacation was going to be to Florida and that Disney World was going to be part of it. I hadn’t been to Disney World since I was nine years old, so I was afraid it would be kind of lame considering I am not a kid anymore (and neither is anyone in my family).
However, the trip surprised me and actually turned out to be one of the most fun and amazing trips I have been on! The youngest in my family is my little sister, who is 20, and we all had a complete blast! It turns out that Disney World attracts people of all ages, not just children.
Businesses that can attract anyone and everyone are the best family destinations out there. It is not always easy, though, to successfully attract everybody. But Walt Disney World is perfect, considering they provide so much! They succeed because…
Disney World’s lodging has something for all age groups.
Disney provides many places to stay during vacations with them — some that especially attract adults, and some that uniquely attract children.
For example, their popular All Star Resorts cater mostly to children but they don’t isolate adults. I checked these out during my trip and thought they were super cool; I am 22 years old and I was just amazed by them. Disney has three different All Star Resorts: All Star Movies, All Star Music, and All Star Sports. They all are themed and decorated in high quality Disney decorations. In my opinion, the coolest was the All Star Movies Resort. Their lobby and pool area was all decorated with Disney-themed movies. Toy Story was one of them, so they had one of the lobbies themed as Andy’s room with all of his toys. Down in the pool area they had activities set up throughout the day for the children to participate in.
As interesting as the All Star resorts were, the adult-centric resorts were absolutely breathtaking. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort was elegant and I really wish I could have stayed there. It is a lakeside resort that makes you feel very high class. You can sit along the beach with service at your feet with any drink or food available. They also provide a Supervised Activity Center for adults who brought children, so that adults can enjoy their time and not have to worry about their kids running off. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is similar to the Yacht Club in the sense that it is also on the lake, and provides many of the same services.
TAKEAWAY: It’s a huge thumbs-up for your company to offer accommodations for specific age groups. You need to have unique perks that people will remember and want to brag to their friends about. Business spreads like crazy when people are talking about it! In the case of All Star Resorts, children will likely go home and tell their friends they got to stay in “Andy’s Room” with all of his toys, and their friends may end up begging their parents to go there, too. Adults like to brag as well, whether it is by telling their friends how their trip went or by posting pictures on Facebook about the amazing hotel where they stayed. To mimic Disney’s success, find your business’s perk and don’t be shy about showing it off!
Disney’s night life primarily appeals to adults.
Has anyone been to Downtown Disney? I never even knew what it was until I went there this last October, but it was honestly one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. This part of Disney is definitely geared more towards adults, because it is a chance for adults to get out and have some fun. The area consisted of some shops, restaurants, a few bars and night clubs, live entertainment, and the best part: a little margarita bar. And being in Downtown Disney was a completely different atmosphere. It was sort of like being in Downtown Chicago, except it specifically spoke to fans.
As I shared before, my family is all in the adult range, so the downtown area was perfect for us. My mom, sister, and sister-in-law loved visiting all of the different stores, so they shopped for most of the night while my dad and brother listened to live entertainment by the margarita bar (I was torn between both because both shopping and margaritas are two of my favorite things). However, this just goes to show that Downtown Disney wasn’t dull even when catering to different types of people.
TAKEAWAY: Not only is it important for businesses to worry about entertaining different age groups, but it’s also key to make sure there’s something for every interest. For the most part, everyone can stick together and do the same things at Downtown Disney. But when they want to split up, it is important to offer something that specific groups would enjoy. If your company’s products or services are one-sided, then it may be time to re-evaluate to see if there’s room for improvement.
Disney’s collectibles convey urgency, as well as inspire brand discussion.
Disney is well known for their souvenirs, and they sell a variety of products that people could easily start collecting. And the best part? Their collectibles appeal to adults, children, men, and women, so no one’s left out. Their collectible pins are among the most popular offerings — collectors buy Disney-themed pins and then spend time trading them with other tourists (or employees) in the parks.
The idea behind the pins is to get people to interact with one another and share in a love of all things Disney. I saw both adults and children buying and trading them throughout the day; it’s a fun way to get people more involved with a brand. Besides these awesome pins, customers can also collect Vinylmations (plastic figurines) and the movies themselves.
TAKEAWAY: Collectibles or limited-edition products market your business because they play on a sense of urgency and drive people to take action. Customers will be happy to snag collectible items, and your business will grow when people pay attention to what you’re offering. In Disney’s case, the pin trading helps market their business because of the conversations that come along with it. If you are making small talk about what you have been doing so far on your trip, it will give others activity ideas and encourage them to spend more money. Even if it doesn’t make sense for your company to offer collectibles, you can still take this advice to heart. For example, you could offer a limited-run coupon and ask customers to share it with others — this would urge word-of-mouth and give clients an exclusive tidbit at the same time.
What do you think about Walt Disney World’s commitment to their diverse audiences? Would you do anything differently? Have you had a similar experience at WDW?