Overcoming Brand Banality Disney-Style

cutting corners

Warren Buffett discusses the power of branding and Disney. But, how does Disney do it. Here’s the secret – Branding from the Inside Out:

Somewhere in the world, the following two scenarios are currently being played out. Both reflect a passive, victim mentality. Both undermine the brand. Both open the door to competitors.

Scenario #1:

“This weak economy is killing me. ‘Do more with less’ is the name of the game. My budgets are slashed and I have no wiggle room.”

The Result?

  • I don’t have the budget, time or people for training.
  • Why train employees? They’ll be gone pretty soon.

Scenario #2:

“This booming economy is killing me. We’re barely filling existing orders. Plus I can’t keep my good people. They jump ship as soon as someone else comes along waving a little extra money.”

The Result?

  • I don’t have the time or people for training.
  • Why train employees? They’ll be gone pretty soon.

Blaming the economy is a convenient excuse for not providing training and far too many organizations just don’t get it. The billions of dollars organizations spend each year on marketing and branding efforts are, for the most part, wasted. Why? Because the restaurants, stores and law firms awaiting those new customers attracted by the marketing campaign are all too often filled with indifferent employees. Yes, new clients and customers might appear, but far too many organizations chase them away with lousy service and lackadaisical employees.

Cutting corners on employee training is a guaranteed path to brand banality.

Jim Cora, retired Chairman, Disneyland International, sums up the training rationale he successfully used during his 43-year career at Disney,

“Marketing is the time and money you spend to get people in the door. Training is the investment you make to get guests to come back and cast members to stay; it creates loyalty. If show was affected, I never cut corners to save money. I never cancelled a training program if it helped our show.”

This is branding from the inside-out and is one of the many reasons the Disney brand stands out in the mind of Warren Buffett. Training never takes a back seat. Take a look: