Disney is a type of company that markets gender-neutral strategy but somewhat gender-specific markets to girls. However, their latest big budget property acquisition “Star Wars” has been pretty much universally perceived as a boys brand. Now this perception hurts the brains (marketing, branding, advertising, physiology, environment ) within Disney and their system is difficult to change when it’s been saturated with a specific way of thinking and doing business. They’ve been promoting the ideal of a “Disney princess” for so, so long.
Which is why when they got Star Wars in their hands, they actively worked on re-branding it as a girls product. Now this sort of thing happens all the time in corporate environments; taking a boys brand and adjusting it to be a girls brand and visa versa.
I know, I have been in companies that have attempted this many times. I have been directly involved in the re-branding. And it always failed.
I voiced my thoughts at the inception time and was dismissed. After experiencing this many times over, I realized that the corporate decision makers, once they have a plan, will not alter course until actual metrics interfere with their plan. That only happens after the attempt failed.
Explaining why this is business as usual is actually quite simple.
Ego. Bragging rights. End of year job evaluations for bigger pay and bonuses.
If it doesn’t work out, no big deal. It’s not their property. In fact any fault is then spread out across a wide range of people, in many divisions and disciplines, and any failure is just looked upon as a hiccup in the effort to make money.
Oh wait, but “the buck stops” with (insert name here ).
Yeah, that is total BS. A red-herring used to calm the public and the investors into thinking that they’ve identified the problem and it will be fixed for future business endeavors/projects. The truth is that unless you gut the problem out of the company completely, the business will be as usual.
Difficult to do with a company that is saturated with thousands of brand managers, account representatives, approvals managers, licensing lawyers, distribution analysts and assistants of all kind.
Disney has had a plan all along. Not necessarily to destroy the brand, but to convert their “boy brand” into a brand with double the appeal by marketing heavily to girls.
How’s that working out for you, Kathleen, Bob and Disney Shareholders?