Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro & Brand Trust

Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro & Brand Trust

Welcome to our Disney at Work podcast, where we talk about best in business practices from the “Happiest Places on Earth!” In our last Disney News on Parade, we spoke of an interview Josh D’Amaro made with the CEO of the U.S. Travel Association Roger Dow. We’re going to dissect his conversation about brand trust at Disney, and we’ll look at what it means to your organization, especially during this pandemic. We’ll talk about the millions of ways Disney connects with its customers, and look at The Chain Reaction of Excellence that makes Disney customers so loyal.

You can find our podcast here on PodbeaniTunesSpotifyMyTuner, and ListenNotes. Photos and video follow, but for a more complete narrative, check out the podcast.

Josh’s Interview

Roger asked about the challenges of re-opening the Disney parks. I thought Josh had some great insights that offer lessons for all of us:

“The idea of people trusting Disney is a big deal. It’s a big responsibility…the safety of our guests and cast members is always going to be at the top of everything we do.”

“It’s not just all about Disney. We are an economic engine. We have an impact beyond the berms of our theme parks…When we get these engines –particularly the Disney parks back up and running, the rest of the ecosystem starts to work as well.

“People trust brands today more than they ever have before. Staying connected with your guests even when you might be closed…We were closed for quite a while, but we didn’t just stop talking to our guests. We actually leaned into a digital format.

“It’s so important that we have engaged employees. We have employees that understand what’s happening around them, and that they’re ready to receive guests. These are the difference makers for us, and I think for big brands or even small brands, this is where I would be spending a lot of time.

“If there is a resilient industry, this is it. We’re living in it right now. People will always need to travel. People will always need to experience the things our industry delivers. So there’s no question in my mind that people need what we do, and I think based on everything that we’ve talked about here, the new protocols, the way that we’re moving faster, the way we’re communicating more effectively and transparently, we’re going to come out stronger. I know that might be hard to believe right now, but I think we’re going to come out stronger than we went in. And I can tell you that when our guests, when the Disney guests are ready to come back and visit our theme parks or go on our cruise ships, or go on our adventures, we’re going to be ready, and we will invite them right back in, and I’m looking forward to that day.”

Opportunities for Building Brand Trust

Alan Adamson in a 2014 Forbes article shared the following:

“Obviously, the greater the number of ways it’s possible for a consumer to interact with any given brand, the greater the challenge for the organization to keep its promise consistently. So, when I heard “11.2 billion possible combinations of how you can experience the product,” I was all ears. Mouse ears, as it were. For this was the number stated by Tom Boyles, Senior Vice President, Global Customer Managed Relationships at Disney Parks and Resorts, who was among the speakers at the recent Hub Brand Experience Symposium. And, no, he wasn’t referring to the entire Disney brand relative to these “11.2 billion ways.” He was referring only (only?) to the ways a guest can interact with the Disney brand at its Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, be it through major attractions, restaurants, characters, hotels or transportation, just to name a few points of touch.  I wanted to hear what this iconic company has been doing to stay differentiated and relevant in an increasingly complex, fast-moving market. And, how they ensure all experiences reflect its promise.”

Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Sustaining Trust: The Chain Reaction of Excellence

How do you truly create an experience that is trustworthy in a way that is sustainable? Allow me to introduce what I refer to as The Chain Reaction of Excellence. It looks like the following:

Disney Best Practices Global Tour
The Chain Reaction of Excellence

In the podcast, we walk through each of these, and how they affect your organization.

Souvenirs for Your Organization

Here are some questions you may want to ask about building and sustaining trust in your own brand:

  • Do your customers trust your brand? How do you know they trust your brand?
  • Have you seen examples in your industry where brand trust has been broken?
  • How are you communicating your trust in the future of your brand?
  • How are you intentionally improving those touch points that build the brand?
  • How are you engaging your employees in a way that builds brand trust?
  • How are you leading positionally, spontaneously and personally in engaging others in building a brand customers trust?
  • Are you positive and optimistic about the future of your brand?

More Best in Business Disney Practices

If you want to get another glimpse of Josh D’Amaro and the leadership he offers to Disney, please visit our post/podcast about my brief interview with him.

A short chat with Josh D’Amaro. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

J. Jeff Kober