Johnson's World: She’s Going to Disney World

Print reigns. When a client is investing in a high-margin product or service, only the best will do. Disney knows this. Do your customers?

September 1, 2015
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Jana Tarazi has made a career outfitting the graphic arts with digital imaging machinery, or solutions, as she would probably prefer I say. Having worked for Xerox, Canon and Ricoh, she’s been indoctrinated with the benefits of personalization, variable data, one-to-one marketing and digital printing. She’s made a living sharing her passion for these concepts with you and me.

Jana is also a wife and mother. Like so many others parents, she has taken many a vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida. Fun for the kids, yes, but she enjoyed her stay at the magic kingdom herself. Enjoyed it enough that, as the kids have grown older and moved on to other interests, she and her husband Martin planned a getaway for two to Disney World. No kids, just couple’s getaway.

And therein hangs a tale. A mouse tail, if you’ll forgive the pun.

Jana made her reservations for their trip, which included picking their favorite Disney characters to adorn their trip materials, which would be mailed in advance.

Martin chose the Pixar-created super-family The Incredibles as their theme characters and soon enough a package arrived in the mail from the mouse factory.

The box was festooned with graphic images of The Incredibles and adorned with clever slogans playing on the Incredibles theme. Disney could have used generic mouse and duck graphics but instead they went the extra mile by customizing everything with Jana and Martin’s selected characters.

The package contained their magic wristbands (which are high-tech Disney version of tickets) and promotional material for Disney’s Memory Maker product, by which they peddle the digital photos that they take of you everywhere in the park.

The Memory-Maker promo was filled with photographs of couples having a good time at Walt Disney World. Yes, couples. There isn’t a child in sight. Someone at Disney figured out that marketing materials could be versioned to reflect the makeup of the customer’s family unit.

There is no spurious use of variable imaging, just a subtle touch. Who would have known Disney could be subtle? Pictures of similar people may actually be more effective than pictures of Martin and Jana themselves, and less invasive in this era of privacy concerns.

The feel is comfy, not creepy. Rather than flaunt all of the personal data about Jana and Martin that they have collected, Disney made Incredibles jokes and puns. By modeling adults without children acting like, well, like adults away from their children, they project a comfortable, inviting, and reasonably accurate image of the upcoming vacation.

Do you think Disney is making some money from Martin and Jana’s visit? You bet they are, and Disney knows the value of loyal repeat customers. That’s why an exquisitely designed and custom printed package was mailed to deliver the wristbands, and why a versioned color promotional booklet was also included.

Jana and Martin were already sold. Their Disney vacation had been bought and paid for. A perfunctory email receipt with pdf tickets could have been used, but a golden opportunity for upselling would have been missed.

Print reigns. When a client is investing in a high-margin product or service, only the best will do. Disney knows this. Do your customers?