Disneyland - Brand Positioning
By: Amrita Sandhu
Disneyland, later changed to Disneyland Park, is an extremely popular amusement park built at the Disneyland Resort in California. Since its opening in 1955, Disneyland has the second largest collective attendance to a theme park with over 650 million guests and counting, right behind Disney World.
The products and services offered at Disneyland include: tickets, rides, shows, games, entertainment, dining, and a variety of souvenirs. Tickets for children 3-9 years old are $99 each and for guests 10 years and older they start at $105 each. (Source: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/tickets/). The most popular rides, attractions, and shows at Disneyland are: Matterhorn Bobsleds, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Adventure, Paint the Night, World of Colour, Disneyland Forever, fireworks, and getting to meet Disney channel characters. (Source: http://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/things-to-do/the-25-best-disneyland-rides#tab_panel_3). Lastly, the most popular souvenirs available for purchase at Disneyland are: the classic Disneyland mouse ears, Disney silhouettes, Disneyland pressed pennies, pins/buttons, and shirts.
Disneyland’s main target market was children and their parents, but that has ultimately changed since they now focus on intriguing “people of all ages; whether it is a child, teen, or parent. Disney focuses on each member of the family.” (Source: http://thewaltdisneyco.blogspot.ca/2011/11/chapter-8-segmenting-targeting-markets.html). They want couples, groups of teenagers, and even older adults to have a desire to visit Disneyland. They have something for everyone at the park. The younger children can enjoy the toys and films; teenagers can enjoy Disney Channel, Radio Disney, live-action films, and thrilling rides; and parents can browse through the Home Décor section at the Disney Store. The people in this target market should have some disposable income since visiting the Disneyland Resort can be very expensive considering people come from all over the world.
Disneyland is promoted in so many different ways, from television commercials, to word-of-mouth, to being featured in popular shows and movies. First of all, commercials about Disneyland are not usually seen on television outside of America, but they are definitely effective promoters within the U.S. Secondly, word-of-mouth allows you to learn about all of the fun experiences from people you know and trust that have visited Disneyland. This also applies to famous Youtubers that vlog their visits to Disneyland. Lastly, popular television shows that have mentioned Disneyland include: Full House, Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Modern Family. These are or were extremely popular shows that people of all ages watched and loved and ultimately can influence people to go to Disneyland.
Other Disneyland promotions include: 20% off of stays at the Disneyland Resort, members of the U.S. Military receive specially priced tickets in 2016, and spending $85 per day if you buy a 3-day ticket to Disneyland. (Source: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/offers-discounts/).
There is a long list of corporations and companies that have sponsored Disneyland Parks. Some big ones include: Honda, McDonald's, Coca Cola, Hallmark, Hershey, United Airlines, etc. (Source: http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/list-of-disney-sponsors.33241/)
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest amusement park corporation. It has 13 different amusement parks and 7 different water parks.
The products and services offered at Six Flags are tickets, rides, entertainment, dining, and shopping. One day admission tickets for Six Flags start at $55 each for children and $80 each for teenagers and adults. (Source: https://www.sixflags.com/magicmountain/store/tickets). Six Flags also has dozens of different rides for all of their guests, including thrill and family rides. Their most popular rides include: X2, Tatsu, Goliath, The Riddler’s Revenge, Batman: The Ride, and Scream. (Source: http://www.thetoptens.com/best-rides-six-flags-magic-mountain/). A very popular entertainment event that takes place at Six Flags is getting to meet the Looney Tunes cast and Batman.
Six Flags target market is young adults and families. These individuals generally have a desire to take family vacations or just go on ordinary summer visits to Six Flags. This target market needs to have a disposable income, which most families and individuals in their 20s usually do. They also should have a love for rides and a desire for fun experiences.
Six Flags main and most effective promotions are their television commercials. Their first commercial in 2004 featured an old man, Mr. Six, who exits out of a Six Flags bus and proceeds to dance in front of it. This commercial gained lots of attention very quickly; the public loved it. This commercial soon retired after a year, but Mr. Six was brought back for their advertisements in 2009. These commercials were a hit that ultimately influenced many people to visit Six Flags.
Other promotions Six Flags features is offering up to $40 off of tickets if they are purchased online and in advance. People can skip the long ticket lines outside the park and save some money with this.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is a theme park that has been running since 1964 in Los Angeles, California. It is best known for attractions and lands based on famous pop culture movies, television shows, and music.
The products and services offered at Universal Studios include: tickets, rides, tours, entertainment, shopping, and dining. Admission tickets to the park start at $99 for children aged 3-9 years old and $105 for everyone 10 years old and up. (Source: https://store.universalstudioshollywood.com/PurchaseTickets.aspx). Included in the price of admission are all the rides, tours, and shows such as: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Simpsons Ride, Jurassic Park Ride, Special Effects Show, various Studio Tours, and meeting characters like SpongeBob, Shrek, and Scooby-Doo in the park. (Source: http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/attractions). Universal Studios also has many stores located in their park to purchase toys, apparel, and souvenirs.
The target market of Universal Studios Hollywood is mainly teenagers, young adults, and families. This target market should love movies and shows since the whole park is centered on that. A lot of the attractions are based on movies for an older audience, so naturally the target market will be older. This theme park is also fairly expensive since a lot of guests will travel from faraway places to visit, so a disposable income is needed.
Universal Studios Hollywood has limited promotions with only having television commercials in some parts of America. Another way they are promoted is from being seen in popular Youtubers vlogs.
Another promotion they offer is getting about $20 off of your ticket if you purchase them online and in advance, instead of at the gate.
Cedar Point is the second-oldest operating amusement park in America having opened in 1870. It is located in Sandusky, Ohio. It features a world record of over 70 different rides.
The products and services that Cedar Point offers are admission tickets, rides, a waterpark, entertainment, fun on the water, and dining. First of all, admission tickets are $45 for children and $65 for everyone else if bought at the gate. (Source: https://www.cedarpoint.com/ticket-category/Daily-Tickets). Secondly, Cedar Point offers 70 different rides throughout the park. They have everything from roller coasters, thrill rides, water rides, family rides, to kids’ rides. In addition to these, they offer many activities to do on the beach that is located right next to the park. You can go parasailing, rent a wave runner, rent a boat, or just relax by the water. (Source: https://www.cedarpoint.com/things-to-do/fun-on-the-water). In between all of the activities and rides, you can take a break and enjoy food from their selection of restaurants.
Cedar Point is targeting children with their parents, teenagers, and young adults. This is apparent because they have rides specific for each individual in this target market. This park is only open from May to October, so it will be mostly families and groups of friends that attend for fun in the summer months and also friends and young adults going for the Halloween events in October.
Cedar Point promotes themselves through television commercials which are aired in the U.S. and sometimes in Canada. Another way they have been promoted is by being seen in episodes of Insane Coaster Wars.
Other promotions they have going on this year that will influence guests to visit the park include: receiving free soft drinks in the park if you stay in their resort, free Soak City Waterpark admission with the purchase of a resort ticket, and saving 30% on admission tickets if you stay at the Cedar Point Resort. (Source: https://www.cedarpoint.com/places-to-stay/hotel-specials).
Disneyland is currently using differentiation positioning in order to get ahead of the competition. They are specifically making use of product, image, and people differentiation. First of all, product differentiation is based on the features, style, or design of the products that Disneyland offers. This sets them apart from their competition and potentially makes them better since most of the attractions and products are Disney themed and you will not find that anywhere else. Even though most of their products are Disney themed, they still offer something interesting for every different guest – as mentioned in the research. Secondly, image differentiation is the recognition of the brand. Disneyland is known as the most magical place on earth that everyone must visit at least once in their lifetime. Their competitors are nowhere near recognized as this. Lastly, people differentiation is how friendly, well-trained, competent, and customer-focused the brand and the workers are. Disneyland is known for having the nicest, well-trained, and hard-working employees. Many individuals that have visited Disneyland have said that they immediately noticed this about every single worker they came across. Here are some examples: “Custodians are hard at work, constantly cleaning, sweeping and picking up. Managers and employees are also trained to make neatness everybody’s business. Disney employees are also trained to be ‘Assertively Friendly.’ Disney team members are encouraged to actively seek contact with guests. For example, they will approach an individual who appears confused instead of waiting to be asked for directions.” (Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2011/04/14/customer-service-the-disney-way/#52f2c4c57361). Their employees are also trained to know about everything going on in the park, even if that is not part of their work area. You never hear of any other establishment having such outstanding workers, no competitor could possibly compare. Overall, these three types of differentiation and the way Disneyland uses them are effective and helps them build a successful brand.
Based on all of this information, I believe two of the main qualities Disneyland wants to achieve are to have a wide market and be exceptionally customer-focused. This gives them a competitive advantage because it is widely known that every guest will have the most amazing time and receive the best service during their visit to Disneyland. This is not what any of their competitors are known for; Disneyland is one-of-a-kind.
Explanation of Perceptual Map
I have placed Six Flags near the center of wide and narrow market and closer to not customer-focused. This is because Six Flags is only known for their thrill rides that are meant for an older market such as teenagers and young adults. Also, the employees at Six Flags do not go above and beyond. Most of the employees do not have knowledge about things outside of their work area, which shows that they are not as customer-focused as the employees at Disneyland.
Universal Studios Hollywood is placed in the center between wide and narrow market and a little closer to customer-focused. Universal Studios Hollywood has a lot of attractions and rides, most of which that are based on films for older children to young adults. This probably would not interest younger children and adults which is why this has been placed in the middle of wide and narrow market. Universal Studios Hollywood is fairly customer-focused since they are trying to be more like Disneyland in that category.
Cedar Point has been placed closer to wide market and not customer-focused. This is because Cedar Point has a large selection of rides and activities for people to take part in. As mentioned in the research, they offer thrill, family, and water rides, along with other things to do at the beach. Therefore this is a good place for kids, teenagers, and parents. On the other hand, their employees are not customer-focused. This is because most of the workers at this amusement park are teenagers that just need a part-time summer job since the park is only open during the warmer months. Therefore, most of the workers do not necessarily offer the best services to the guests.
Attractions Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved May 03, 2016, from http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/attractions
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Cedar Point Daily Tickets. (n.d.). Retrieved May 03, 2016, from https://www.cedarpoint.com/ticket-category/Daily-Tickets
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Fun on the Water. (n.d.). Retrieved May 03, 2016, from https://www.cedarpoint.com/things-to-do/fun-on-the-water
Gallo, C. (2011, April 14). Customer Service the Disney Way. Retrieved May 03, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2011/04/14/customer-service-the-disney-way/#52f2c4c57361
Juliano, M. (2014, August 11). The 25 best Disneyland rides. Retrieved May 03, 2016, from http://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/things-to-do/the-25-best-disneyland-rides#tab_panel_3
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Offers & Discounts. (n.d.). Retrieved May 03, 2016, from https://disneyland.disney.go.com/offers-discounts/
The Walt Disney Company. (2011, November 17). Retrieved May 03, 2016, from http://thewaltdisneyco.blogspot.ca/2011/11/chapter-8-segmenting-targeting-markets.html
Theme Park Tickets. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2016, from https://disneyland.disney.go.com/tickets/
Universal Studios Hollywood - Ticket Store. (n.d.). Retrieved May 03, 2016, from https://store.universalstudioshollywood.com/PurchaseTickets.aspx