Christmas Brand Fables: The mouse and the car park attendant
Posted by Giles Lury on December 18, 2010
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“I want to tell you a story…” The power of a good story has long been recognised. Scherezade managed to keep herself alive for 1001 nights by leaving her stories unfinished overnight, keeping her husband, the young sultan in suspense. This winter, in the 7 days leading up to Christmas, Director Giles Lury shares 7 festive branding fables and the marketing morals they espouse.
THE MOUSE AND THE CAR PARK ATTENDANT
Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse but it was his wife who actually christened him.
He went on to create “a place for people to find happiness and knowledge”. On September 23rd 1955, the thirtieth wedding anniversary of Walt and Lillian Disney, Disneyland California opened its doors.
This wonderful world however succeeds without any consumers, it doesn’t even have any customers.
It has succeeded without employees. It has no staff.
This land only has ‘guests’ and they are served by ‘cast members’ each performing their own role.
But it isn’t this special Hollywood-style labelling of visitors and workers that makes Disney the huge success it is. Rather it is the attention to detail that was instilled in them by their creator and which has been maintained ever since. It is a company that believes each and every cast member can be crucial in ensuring that guests have a truly unforgettable, magical experience.
In an interview, the Chief Executive Officer once stressed the importance, not of the mouse and the cast member who portrays him, but the role of the car park attendants.
Where others might view these attendants as having junior, unimportant and uncreative roles, Disney’s Chief Executive officer had a different view.
“They are the first people our guests usually meet when they arrive, so they are probably our most important cast members. They have to be ready to answer questions on everything that may be happening that day in the parks, such as times of the parades or the good value places to eat lunch.”
The moral of the story is: everyone in a service organisation is crucial to its success.