Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Service 101 - The Voyage to True Brand Loyalty

March 13, 2018 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

Here are two words that can ignite plenty of healthy conversation at most organizations: brand loyalty. Discussions on this topic typically include how to increase it, how to build processes that help support this effort, and how best to communicate with customers to help understand their relative level of loyalty and what might be driving it.

Recently, I came across an article that speaks to prioritizing customer retention over customer acquisition. Whether it’s by truly listening to customers or empowering the team to be responsive, building relationships can help to establish an emotional connection to your brand.  

At Disney Institute, we believe that to help create and nurture relationships your understanding of the customer must extend far beyond the boundaries of traditional service criteria. Organizations must show that they truly understand what their customers care about holistically. Some questions organizations can consider are:

  1. What are you currently doing to make your customers feel uniquely valued and special?
  2. What do your customers want that will keep them coming back? 
  3. How are you continually differentiating yourself from competitors to make customers want to choose you again and again? 
  4. What story are your customers telling about your organization? Is that the story you want told?

Clearly, brand loyalty is important to the long-term success of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. With that in mind, here are some examples of how Disney Cruise Line strives to deliver an experience that answers these questions: 

Differentiating from the Competition
Year after year, Disney Cruise Line is awarded high praise for its unique entertainment and family atmosphere. It was the first cruise line in the industry to launch fireworks shows from its ships during special pirate-themed party nights, and it continues to give Guests what they ask for by offering immersive cruise experiences with “Star Wars Day at Sea” and “Marvel Day at Sea.” 

Making Customers (Guests) Feel Special
To continue deepening the attachment after their cruise ends, Disney Cruise Line sends personalized thank you cards to each member of its Castaway Club. Launched in 1999, the Castaway Club is a way to recognize Guests who have previously sailed with Disney Cruise Line by granting them exclusive members-only benefits. The post cards are an exclusive series of five art prints that were designed specifically for Castaway Club members to collect after each sailing. So, what can your organization do to truly understand your customers far beyond the boundaries of traditional service criteria? Reflecting on the questions above can be the first step in demonstrating that you understand your customers more holistically and are striving to build brand loyalty.

Think about it: How can you create a truly unique experience in which each customer feels special - before, during, and after their experience?

If you would like to learn more ways your organization can begin to understand customers holistically, check out our Disneys Approach to Quality Service professional development course for individuals. Or, consider a private training initiative for your entire organization by bringing our Disney Institute team to yours. Stay informed—Sign up here to receive information and updates on our upcoming courses and scheduled events.

Disney Institute is ready to help you apply strategic rigor to your customer experience efforts - call us at 321.939.4600 or complete our Contact Form

Posted in Quality Service | Tagged Quality Service, Bruce Jones, Brand Loyalty, Thank You, Customer Service, Loyalty Programs, Disney Cruise Line, Castaway Club

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