Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Brand Gap

The LEAP Index  (Leveraging Emotional Attachment for Profit), is a proprietary tool constructed by New Media Metrics to measure how much customers “love” certain brands. In the most recent 2013 LEAP study (see image below), Disney Cruise Lines jumped 31% in emotional attachment with its customers. With a 49% increase in the price of its parent company’s stock during the same year, The Walt Disney Company (DIS) is reaping the rewards of diversification, as their other lines of business lag behind.

Who is Disney Cruise Lines?

A cruise ship subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.

What do they do?

Provide family cruise vacations that offer something for everyone!

Why does it matter?

Traditional cruise vacations are not typically tailored toward an entire family’s enjoyment.  On other cruise lines, you will find a focus on the paying adults, and the attention toward the kids is typically, at best, a day-care type environment with perhaps some games and activities that will keep the young ones out of the adults’ hair.

By contrast, Disney cruise vacations ensure that the entire family is engaged in a magical experience, encouraging family time rather than separation. In December of 2013, The New York Daily News rated Disney Cruise Lines as the number one cruise line for families and among the top cruise lines for the money!

Finally, all four of Disney’s ships ranked 91% or better in the most recent Safety and Sanitation Inspection conducted by the CDC, so customers are ensured of a clean, safe ride!

Disney Cruise Lines has impacted the industry since its introduction in 1999. While they could have simply relied on the Disney name to make a splash, they actually built their ships with the family in mind. Newly built ships in other competing fleets have adopted many of Disney’s build strategies in order to remain competitive.  Things like: larger staterooms, most of which include a balcony, bathtubs in almost all rooms for young children, and of course something that no competitor can touch – multiple visits from Disney characters throughout the duration of the cruise.

Most parents are so “emotionally attached” to the Disney brand that it will be very difficult for any competitor to attack their cruise line market share. Add to that the constant advances in “family-oriented technology” that they bring to their ships, and you’ve got a brand that will last for generations.

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