Why Disney “Must” Nurture Trust

More than just co-creation for the benefit of the brand, co-creation for the immediate benefit of families has become a compelling force in nurturing brand loyalty. The ability to shape a brand’s image, within real-life experiences, creates a personalized extension of the brand.

Brand personalization isn’t new, but is occurring more frequently and is now far more social…with or without brand encouragement.  Coca-Cola has more than five million fans on Facebook, each more enthusiastic than the next.  Just a brief look through thousands of fan images, reflects a strong connection to Coca-Cola and extreme instances of personalization.

Companies are learning the value of entrusting their prize possession, the brand image, in the hands of people.  Exploring what’s behind this repositioning; technology is certainly the instrument of change, but the adoption of social connections is the motivation.

Technology allows people to make the brand their own; access to content can easily facilitate creativity at every turn. Families that bring the brand into their lives through personal events are certainly attached to the brand at a personal level to begin with, but the relationship doesn’t have to end here.

People love to create original content to fit within their distinct objectives. Brands that create flexible content, products and services are in fact helping People to mass-personalize. It is important to identify these naturally enthusiastic advocates and their behavior.  Understanding and nurturing their actions offers a sustainable source of insight, TRUST and resilient connections.

Case Study: The Co-creation of “My” Content

Maggie’s little boy was turning three and all that he wanted for his birthday was to be on a team.

Mission: “I’m on a team” themed birthday party

Disney should be thrilled to be a part of this experience.  Maggie is creative, a resourceful Mom, and a huge Disney advocate; but the selection of items to purchase were limited and not really what Maggie was looking for.

It would be easy to search online and say “okay, I’ll use the Toy Story plates”, but to this type of  Mom being “real” is important…Authenticity


“Some of the items you can purchase are honestly corny”

“Every single person uses these items”

Maggie set out to create a baseball themed birthday party that included her little boy’s favorite characters… Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

–          Teams were created – Space Rangers and Deputies

  • shhhh…downloaded images were reformatted to offer the desired look for team t-shirts

–          Pizza boxes fitted with Pizza Planet logos

–          Water bottles with personalized labels.

–          Cupcakes and decorations

“Oh that’s cool”

Maggie knew that an original look and feel of the party was important. Knowing that she actually took time to plan and offer party goers a great experience was rewarding to Maggie, her little boy and to family and friends.

ADAPTABILITY Encourage families to share their ideas and experiences

Creative families need the tools to make something cool on their own.   Simply having the chance to download several different Toy Story images would have been a welcome time-saver.

Disney could look down upon these efforts, stating copyright infringement etc… or they could applaud and spotlight the ingenuity, perhaps also creating similar products for the families of other three-year olds that love Toy Story and just want to be on a team.

A Swish, a Swirl or a Buzz Lightyear…

Brands need to worry less about the trademark and more about the experience. Given the need for all-things-me, controlling the use of brand images can be perceived as domineering.

By allowing families to create and share their ideal version of the brand, people are likely to shape more loyal connections.  And while yes, we understand that disappointing circumstances could come about, ultimately the good experiences will overshadow the bad.


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