Walt Disney Marketing Strategy: Consumer Behavior Analysis

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Choices that people make when buying products might seem as completely random. However, at a closer look, obvious logic will be found in customer behavior. These findings can help to create a model for forecasting customer behavior. As a result, buyers’ needs can be addressed better. For this purpose, one should consider key characteristics of buyers’ behaviors toward a certain product or brand. In order to make an accurate forecast, it is necessary to take a number of factors into account and make correct assumptions. Therefore, becoming the best at marketing is a difficult journey. Making a personal choice, it would be reasonable to claim that Walt Disney was the best marketer of all time. Indeed, his decisions showed a deep understanding of how people behaved and by what they were motivated.

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At first glance, Walt Disney might not seem like the best marketer of all time compared to others. Although he made a lot for the movie industry, his marketing skills are not as obvious. However, this can be explained by the specifics of the industry. At the time, the animation industry was seen as children-only. Thus, Walt Disney faced huge marketing challenges, yet he managed to overcome them. Walt Disney managed to rebrand children-oriented movies as family films, most of which became instant classics. Therefore, he deserves to be seen as the greatest marketer of all time. Disney not only found a unique way of catering to his target audience, but also rebranded the product to make it appealing to literally anyone.

To analyze the marketing strategy that Walt Disney used in order to gain the undivided attention of his target audiences, a look at his view of quality and his understanding of customers’ needs will be needed. The quality assurance process was an issue of huge importance to Walt Disney, according to the existing historical records of his life and career (Lucas, 2019). As a result, both the movies that the company produced and the services that customers received at Disneyland were perfect (Sandlin & Garlen, 2016). The focus on customers’ needs helped to build the reputation that would keep the relevance and reputation of the Disney Company high years after its founder’s death (Wasko, 2020). The focus on quality management might seem as an obvious strategy nowadays. However, at the time, quality management was not as appreciated in the industry that originally targeted only children (Patrocinio et al., 2018). Instead, the quantity was seen as the main objective for animated children’s movies. Thus, Walt Disney made his brand unique by focusing on quality. In addition, it was very unusual for an animated movie company to invite people of all ages to enjoy the services and products. Thus, Disney made a name for himself and his organization by using these two strategies.

In addition, Walt Disney was famous for creating an authentic and unique customer experience. This marketing decision brought new customers to the company and increased loyalty among them. Specifically, at Disneyland, the actors hired to play famous animated characters were trained to develop a strong emotional connection and an instant rapport with visitors. This was an essential marketing move given the nature of the product. In order to build an authentic experience of the magical world that Disney created, the staff had to engage with guests emotionally, which made the company’s fame rise quickly. In fact, the focus on innovation and uniqueness was one of Walt Disney’s earliest inventions. Later on, this innovation would become the trademark of the company According to Crosby (2016), “Dream, diversify, and never miss an angle” was Disney’s main motto in managing the marketing process (p. 131). Disney used it as the essential tool for innovation within the company. Thus, the company could develop and offer audiences authentic experiences.

The focus on diversity could also be seen as an important addition to Disney’s marketing framework. Today, Disney’s vision would be seen as quite usual. However, Walt Disney’s approach was very innovative at the time, which defined the company’s success. For instance, the decision to combine animation and live-action in “Mary Poppins” was unprecedented at the time and, thus, gained deserved public attention (Havard, 2020). Overall, Disney’s willingness to experiment was one of the key contributors to the firm’s success.

The analysis above provides two main insights for aspiring marketers. The first one is to establish a strong emotional rapport with customers. Thus, their loyalty to the organization will remain constant. However, the specified insight might seem to be impossible to achieve for large organizations. Major companies have grown to the point where adding a personal touch to every product is very difficult. Similarly, the firms that work in a less emotion-driven industry will find it difficult to connect with customers emotionally. However, Walt Disney’s legacy proves that even the areas which are presently considered as not quite lucrative can become the foundation for creating a money-making machine that will last for decades. Therefore, seeking for the available solutions to consumer engagement and creating methods for building a connection with the target community are two primary takeaways from the story of Walt Disney’s success as a marketer.

Another important lesson that Walt Disney’s marketing strategy has taught is the need to maintain the quality of the production consistent. The significance of effective quality management becomes especially evident when comparing the products that were created during Walt Disney’s Golden Age to those that were released immediately after he passed away. Specifically, reused animation and the lack of ideas in the development of animated movies made the future Disney Renaissance very difficult (Sichol, 2019). Thus, the need to update and control the quality assurance process constantly is another crucial lesson that the marketing strategy chosen by Walt Disney has shown. Other aspects of a product that can be used to increase its appeal, specifically, innovation, have been suggested recently. However, Walt Disney managed to create a perfect marketing strategy solely with the help of an effective communication strategy and a highly efficient quality control strategy.


The strategic solution created by Walt Disney shows a deep knowledge of how people act and make choices in the target market can be considered essential for analyzing one’s marketing skills and prowess. Therefore, Walt Disney deserves the title of the best marketer of all time. Disney located solutions to marketing issues and the promotion of seemingly children-only content to people of all ages show that he was extraordinarily knowledgeable in multiple areas. These include not only the product and the target audience, but also the issues such as cultural development, economy, and financial opportunities. To become a good marketer, it is needed to have a proper grasp of the specified issues, which Walt Disney clearly did. Disney demonstrated an excellent understanding of how the choices of consumers are shaped and what factors need to be included into the analysis that determines the further trends within a specific market for a certain community.


Crosby, D. (2016) The laws of wealth: Psychology and the secret to investing success. Hampshire, UK: Harriman House Limited.

Havard, C. T. (2020) Disney vs. Comcast. Graziadio Business Review, 23(1), p. 1.

Lucas, C. (2019) Top Disney: 100 top ten lists of the best of Disney, from the man to the mouse and beyond. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield.

Patrocinio, R. F., Souza, J. L. A., Santos, C. T. O. & Martins, K. S. (2018).The vision of the Disney World: an experience marketing study at The Walt Disney Company. Archives of Business Research, 6(9), pp. 222-23.

Sandlin, J. A. & Garlen, J. C. (Eds.). (2016). Disney, culture, and curriculum. New York, NY: Routledge.

Sichol, L. B. (2019). From an idea to Disney: How branding made Disney a household name. New York, NY: HMH Books for Young Readers.

Wasko, J. (2020). Understanding Disney: The manufacture of fantasy. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

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BusinessEssay. "Walt Disney Marketing Strategy: Consumer Behavior Analysis." January 11, 2023. https://business-essay.com/walt-disney-marketing-strategy-consumer-behavior-analysis/.