Disney has been successful due to its grow business ventures. Walt Disney started the company initially producing shorts. It was only when Walt lost out on one of his characters did he get the motivation to go into creating full-length features. Disney became known as a company that always brought its "A" game to the table. The company's innovative thinking in the business world is what kept it ahead of the rest and kept it staying so successful. Disney went from Movies, to music, to TV, to theme parks, to hospitality, and even took its innovations global. In the beginning, Disney ran its company as a flat, nonhierarchical organization, which everyone used their first names and no one had titles. Walt said, "You don't have to have a title, If you're important to the company, you'll know it." I feel this model for his company, although it really didn't last, was instrumental in how great the company was ran. Employees loved working for Disney and is known as one of the companies with the least about of turnover. Even after Walt died in 1966, the company made an effort to continue the culture and legacy of his believes by instituting a three-day traning program at Disney's corporate university. They actually made each new employee and executive spend a day dressed as characters at the theme parks as a way to develop pride in the Disney tradition. This is just one of the examples as to why Disney continues to succeed. Their diversification within different markets allows them to stay atop the industry.
2) What did Michael Eisner do to Rejuvenate Disney?
When Michael Eisner was introduced as the new CEO of Disney in October of !984, his goal was to maximize shareholder wealth through an annual revenue growth target and return on stockholder equity exceeding 20%. He had a plan to build the Disney brand while preserving the corporate values of quality, creativity, entrepreneurship, and teamwork. He set up programs to teach the new employees of Disney the culture and legacy that Disney was trying to uphold. He viewed "managing creativity" as the most important and distinctive skill of the compnay, so he focused on that aspect. He revitalized the TV and movie department by first launching The Disney Sunday Movie on the ABC network. the launch was a big success as it according to Einser " put us back on the map". They created a syndication operation to sell to independent TV stations its old shows. In movies they branched out to to more riskier, but successful movie themes that at first may not have been in line with the Disney brand. He maximized the theme park profitability by expanding the attractions and raising tickets prices. He also expanded into new regions as well as businesses. From hollywood records to Disney press, the Disney brand continued to grow and flourish under Eisner.
3) Has Disney diversified too far in recent years?
Personally I feel that spreading your business across different areas in the market can be good when you want to reach a mass of people, but it can also take away from the things that made your company in the first place. In reading this short BIO I felt as if Disney tried to branch out at times where they should have been focusing on the existing market it already had. The theme park is a prime example as when Disneyland was built, the films took a dramatic fall. Overall though I feel Disney has done a wonderful job in its diversification.
4) What was your biggest takeway from CS#3?
The biggest take I will get from this case study is how to really stay diverse in the things you do. How creating a family environment within the work place can go a long way toward great employee satisfaction. This passage really stood out to me, "Walt Disney's philosophy was to create universal timeless family entertainment. A strong believer in the importance of family life, the company was always oriented to fostering an experience that families could enjoy together. As Walt Disney said," You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway." This passage really stood out to me because it showed how innovative Walt really was in the fact that he understood the importance of not just catering to one segment of the market.
•Walt Disney World's greatest strength is its world famous brand. With theme parks around the world and movies released to generations of children, the Disney brand is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Beyond the Disney name, Walt Disney World is able to use the brand power of its many animated characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Cinderella and Winnie the Pooh in order to attract customers. Disney has expanded its holdings to include the Mirimax film studio and the Pixar animation company, giving it access to an even greater number of brands and characters. Weaknesses
•Walt Disney World includes several different theme parks within its resort, including Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. Additionally, they have opened up two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. They have also expanded beyond their traditional brands with the ESPN Wide World of Sports attraction. On top of all of this, Walt Disney World operates several different hotels and a campground. This diverse product portfolio may represent a weakness because managing such different products can reduce efficiency and lead to a lack of strategic focus.
•According to Danjel Lessard and Lauren Northcutt of Pacific Lutheran University, a major opportunity exists for Disney parks and resorts, including Walt Disney World, through the use of "imagineering." Imagineering is a combination of imagining and engineering, developed by Walt Disney. It refers to the company's ability to develop innovative new attractions that bring the imaginary world to life. This provides Walt Disney World with the opportunity to create exciting, new attractions that will draw in new visitors. Threats
•According to Danjel Lessard and Lauren Northcutt, a major threat to Walt Disney World is the competition of other resort and theme parks such as Universal Studios, which is also located in Orlando. In addition to competitors in its geographic area, Walt Disney World risks losing customers to the many theme parks that are opening throughout the United States and the rest of the world. These theme parks have the potential to steal away visitors who might otherwise make the trip to Walt Disney World.