5 Marketing Lessons from Disney+

November 19, 2019

Streaming services (and their content) have been popping up like weeds, and it was only a matter of time before everyone’s favorite Mouse joined the party. In November of 2018, Disney announced it would join the content battle with its own platform, Disney+, and the marketing efforts since then have been of epic proportions. While not every brand can compete with the behemoth that is Disney, here are five things Disney+ taught us about introducing a new product:


1. Find communication channels where no competitor has been before. It’s time to start thinking about the road less traveled. Even if a channel seems a little bit unconventional, there is inherent value in the fact your audience will encounter your brand and only your brand. Disney’s owned fleet of buses and cruise ships are currently being plastered with Disney+ ads and programmed to play sneak-previews. Don’t be too quick to shut the door on channels you might have otherwise ignored.

2. Incentivize consumers to buy-in early. Inspire interest and build demand for your new product or service prior to launch. This can be hard as no one wants to put money into an unsure thing. Disney introduced a limited-time only, promotional incentive offering a discounted subscription to those who enrolled before November 12 and committed to a three-year subscription. On top of getting a head start on their subscriber count, the promotion garnered more media coverage than money can buy. Reward those who invest in your brand with blind faith.

3. Less is more. Netflix reigns supreme in the content production game. This industry leader pushes out more original programming than any other of its competitors and it works… for them. Disney’s not playing that game and opted for quality over quantity. Through more specialized content tied to brands people love, like Star Wars and Marvel, Disney is able to build anticipation for sparsely released content designed to engage audiences in the long run.

4. Be prepared! Disney pulled out all the stops in order to build demand for their new platform, and people heard the message loud and clear. However, when the launch day arrived, thousands of subscribers were left hanging. They could not log on, stream the content or contact customer service. If you create a campaign designed to attract the masses, be prepared for them. Make sure you have the capability and resources available to fulfill your promise and to help frustrated customers. In the words of Disney Channel icon, Hannah Montana, “everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days.”

5. Offer something no one else has. In a saturated market, two brands with very similar offerings won’t survive. While many pit Netflix and Disney+ against each other, they’re not necessarily rivals. Both streaming services provide branded content that the other doesn’t have. Make sure you have something new and different to offer. This doesn’t mean you need to go out and invent something, but instead, find an iteration of a product or service that hasn’t been thought of yet. Differentiation creates loyalty and loyalty creates a lifetime of revenue.


Your brand might not have the same recognition or brand equity that Disney has, but you can still take cues from the marketing storm unleashed by the corporation. Identify what separates you from your competitors and let it inspire your next product launch.