Podcast Archives - pixiedustandprofits.com

Episode 65: Growing Your Business With Collaboration

Aug 2, 2022

Our Summer Series continues this week with another back-to-the-basics episode from Pixie Dust’s past! As you might already know, we’ve been spending the summer revisiting some of our favorite episodes and also providing some much-needed updates from a 2022 perspective! 

This week, we revisit Episode 014, where we discussed the successful collaborations that Disney has created — with some unexpected brands. We dig into Disney’s versatility and ability to leverage any and all opportunities, while also providing some insightful information about how to make brand collabs work for YOUR biz.

Minnie Vans: Disney + Lyft

If you’ve visited Disney recently, then you might have seen the world’s cutest car cruising around Disney property – the Minnie Van! These red buggies, decorated adorably with Minnie’s well-known white polka dots, are Disney’s answer to skipping long bus lines at the end of a long day and receiving faster transport back to your hotel.

But, no, it’s not actually Minnie’s car. The Minnie Vans are a collaboration between Disney and Lyft Services. Disney knew that they didn’t need to build their own proprietary system for this, but they also knew they had a really strong brand that could attach itself to something already established. Enter: Lyft! 🚗

But what’s special about the Minnie Vans? What makes them different? That’s where Disney’s brand comes in. The Minnie Vans themselves are owned by Disney, operated by Disney employees, and only run during park hours/on park property. This adds a level of safety and security to both Disney and their patrons. 

So really, the only part that truly uses Lyft Services is the app itself. This is how Disney maintained their high bar of quality/safety experience within the partnership. 

The Disney/Lyft partnership is an important example of how to be strategic in your collaborations. They recognized a pain point (people wanting a faster, safer way to get around Disney’s properties) and met it in a way that was mutually beneficial to both parties (Disney got what they needed, Lyft got more subscribers to their mobile app). 

How do you apply this to your business? Thinking about the collaborations or partnerships you can find even in the most unlikely places.

You find a brand that is complementary to your field/industry and leverage their audience to sell your product – Presto! You’re in a partnership! 

With a joint venture or partnership, the other person/brand already has credibility with their audience, and that trust they’ve built bleeds into your brand, increasing conversion rates and revenue. The percentage that you end up paying out to affiliates or partners is something that you’d be spending anyways in marketing and promos, but without doing all the audience-building work. 

If you’re thinking a collaboration might just prove lucrative for you, think about the right brands or people for your business. It’s not selfish to think about you, and make sure their branding and visions align with yours. Think about it like this: Even if you are a nutritionist who serves mostly moms, you can still pair up with a local bike shop if they want to help more moms get active. It isn’t necessarily the most logical fit (unlike if you paired up with a prenatal nutritionist, let’s say), but the collab still works — and can prove really fruitful!

Disney & Target: A match made in heaven

The Mickey Mouse clubhouse has officially moved venues – but don’t worry, it’s to another simply magical place most of us know and love: Target! 

In October 2020, Disney and Target worked together to launch 25 mini-Disney stores inside Target locations. They also launched this on their online stores so others in the U.S. and outside it could get the goods.

This was a seriously smart move for Disney. They ended up getting foot traffic that drive sales, but didn’t have to handle distribution, retail, or hiring new employees. They leveraged Target’s infrastructure and assets to sell their exclusive products. 

In return, Disney agreed to open a Target store in Orlando in 2021 on Disney property. For Target, this was definitely a win in itself. The added convenience of having a store like Target is an awesome perk for vacationers who don’t feel like having to go off-site of Disney property for much-needed necessities.

We all know the benefits of a good Target run, after all! 💓

How does this relate to your small business? 

This example is for all of our favorite product-based small businesses! Consider your platforms – do you sell your products on Etsy? Sell your designs to sites like Minted? Maybe you self-published through Amazon, it’s essentially the same idea! 

What you’re doing is taking advantage of someone, or some site, with a bigger audience and a larger platform in order to sell your product. They receive a cut of the sale, but you’re getting more visibility and more traffic.

If you were to have your own site, you have to do a lot of work to drive traffic there – they don’t just come because you built it! But starting on a bigger platform and working your way up is a good way to leverage an audience of your own. And you can always have both, too! So many product-based small businesses use one site to boost the other, like using your Etsy to drive people to your website. 

What’s changed: Exclusive episode updates!

Well, it’s pretty obvious that things have changed – remember that whole global pandemic thing?

Because of COVID, the Minnie Vans went away for TWO years! But don’t worry, they’re back this summer and Disney’s partnership with Lyft is still going strong. Disney also has maintained their collab with Target stores and has officially shut down a large majority of their standalone Disney stores.

But things certainly have changed for the…well, we’ll let you decide!

  • We’ve noticed that Disney’s collabs have become a little more expensive than in the past. Disney has partnered with high-end brands, such as Gucci and Coach, to sell Mickey & Minnie-covered purses and apparel at super high price points. They even recently collaborated with Drake (yes, that one!) to create a collection for his OVO Fest called the “Nostalgic Capsule Collection.” It’s an interesting choice, but it’s definitely getting the Disney brand out there, and making it accessible to people from all walks of life. Disney is becoming chic, trendy, and desirable, all at very high price points.
  • Another new brand collab technique that Disney has been sporting is the renovated Disney Springs outlet. Downtown Disney has officially been reinvented into a high-end, more luxurious-styled boutique waterfront outdoor mall. What this does for Disney is that in order to have a store in Disney Springs these high-end brands (think Lilly Pulitzer) need to be onboard with Disney’s technology (think Magic Bands, Disney Gift Cards). There’s certainly value on both sides, but Disney continues to elevate their brand status! 

Now think about the potential collabs you can have: are they pretty casual? High-end? Both? Look at opportunities from all sides. Ask yourself: How can I serve both our audiences best and how will it benefit everyone involved? There may be different audiences you can reach with a higher-end collaboration, while you may be able to reach even more people with a more casual connection. It’s all about assessing opportunities to see what’s beneficial for everyone.

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Episode 64: Disney+ Lessons Learned for Your Next Launch

Jul 19, 2022

We’re continuing our Summer Series this week. As usual, we come to you with ideas from the Mouse on how you can better run your online business, but this Summer we’re spending some much-deserved quality time with some of our older and most popular episodes.

This week, we’re revisiting In Episode 012, where we talked all about the launch of Disney+ and one of Disney’s biggest Hot Mess Express launches. It feels weird to think about planning movie nights without the platform now, but during the launch, things got tricky, especially for Canadian streamers! But what that experience did provide was a pivotal example of what a launch might look like (read: not perfect), and the benefits of offering bundles while launching. 

The benefits of bundling 

When Disney+ was preparing to launch, they began sending their target audience (Disney pass holders/vacationers/club members) emails to build excitement and pre-pay for the streaming service ahead of launch day. This was a risky move because, well, there wasn’t even a full or verified list of what was going to be ON the service yet! 

But, that didn’t stop a lot of people from signing up – and that’s because Disney sweetened the deal with exclusive bundle offers that made it pretty impossible to say no. 

Bundling, or stacking offers, is about paying attention to what people on your list are willing to buy that you can pair together for a better price point. The Disney+ subscription had two different options:

  • The Disney+ standalone option for $6.99/month
  • The Disney+/Hulu/ESPN bundle for 12.99/month 

This was a smart bundling move on Disney’s part because ESPN is already under their ownership umbrella, and Hulu was a popular streaming service with an ever-growing streamer base. Plus, the bundling option saved streamers 33% if they had all of those three services on their own, so the possibility of cutting costs or saving that money was a big draw.

Proof that launching isn’t perfect

The most important thing to remember about launching is that your initial launch plan is a guideline — and not everything will go as planned. There are always going to be things that happen that are out of control or that you didn’t expect, and all of this is okay! You need to learn to be flexible and open to learning something new every single time you launch something. 

Let’s go back in time – to 1955 – when Disneyland first opened its doors to the public. 

It was a MESS! 

Guests at the gate tripled expectations, people were making fake tickets to try and sneak in, rides were breaking down, and on top of all of that, Walt Disney was in a dispute because of a plumbing strike! 

He had to decide the day it was supposed to open whether or not the park was going to have working water fountains OR working bathrooms. He chose bathrooms and was criticized for doing it just so people would be forced to buy drinks. It was not smooth sailing.

Cut to 2019 and the Disney+ launch. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, either. In the United States, those who pre-purchased and even those who paid on launch day experienced a TON of tech issues on the platform, including not being able to set up profiles and content being unable to load. In Canada, Disney fans were never even given the opportunity to pre-purchase, so everyone was forced to pay on launch day. They too experienced long wait times for the platform at significantly slower speeds. 

Our point? Disney’s launches have been bumpy, too. We’ve seen ALL types of launches, and hiccups happen! It’s frustrating at the time, definitely, but you learn from it and you optimize for next time, you don’t give up. 

What if Disney decided all those difficulties were too much and he decided to not open Disneyland? The horror!

Learning from the past 

When you’re going through your next launch, think about the fact that Disneyland didn’t have working fountains on the first day, and nearly didn’t have working toilets! Disney+ had tons of streaming issues. Nothing was perfect. 

For your launches, it helps to know that something is GOING to happen, and it’s how you turn it into a learning experience that matters.

We recommend, above all else, having a post-mortem after your launch day. Which is when you sit down post-launch and review what went well, what didn’t, your successes, challenges, and what you can do for next time. 

If a launch doesn’t go well, or as expected, there are ways to redeem your offers: 

  • Market your offer some more!
  • Tweak aspects of your offer that might not be working as expected
  • Start collecting more testimonials to build credibility/social proof
  • Get feedback on offers to make improvements
  • Bundle what you can to offer deals 

Looking forward: Episode updates!

There were so many great lessons to learn about launches from Disney+, and now, 3 years later, we’re definitely able to see that despite the hiccups the platform is seriously successful! 

Things that have stayed the same: 

  • Disney is still very much pushing their Disney+/Hulu/ESPN bundle. They began referring to this package as “The Disney Bundle” in order to make it more enticing for potential customers, despite the content on these platforms not being exclusive to Disney. 

Things that have changed: 

  • The obvious first change is the price, which has increased to 7.99/month, 79.99/year, and 19.99/month for the Disney Bundle. These price increases do reflect the inflation of other streaming services, and the bundle still saves you about 32% if you were to have each subscription separately.
  • Something else Disney+ changed is reducing the delay from getting something that was in theaters to the platform. It’s now only 45 days. (Remember having to wait MONTHS for this??) Reasons for this could be because viewership at cinemas is still low due to COVID, but also Disney is benefiting from building off the hype of the theatrical release, boosting engagement and subscription rates (because you’ll be locked in, not just a one-time payment for seeing a movie like at a theater). 

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want Disney+ in 2022? With all the MCU exclusive Disney+ shows, the lowest turnaround time from theaters to your living room (for Turning Red it was only 3 weeks!), and they even gave Jeff Goldblum a show for him to talk about…literally whatever he wants! If you’re not tuning in, you’re probably experiencing some definite FOMO. 

Stay tuned as we cover the rest of our Summer Series and revisit some of our best episodes!

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Episode 63: The Importance of Data in Your Small Biz

Jul 5, 2022

The nostalgia is REAL this week, folks! For the continuation of our flashback Summer Series, we’re taking it as far back as we can this week with our FIRST. EVER. EPISODE! 💗💛💜

Episode 001 aired all the way back in May 2019 when we were just two Disney lovers with a dream for this podcast. To recap: Episode 001 talked all about Disney’s data collection skills using their Magic Bands and how our favorite place on earth makes something like *shudders* metrics actually FUN and interesting to study! 

We also pivot from Disney to discuss how YOU could use measurements to grow and understand your business.

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Episode 62: Meeting Clients Where They Are

Jun 21, 2022

We’re back with a little help from our former selves to recap and revisit another popular episode from the past! 

Episode 007 (not to be confused with Bond, James Bond) aired almost two and a half years ago. In Covid years that must be something like a decade, right? This episode was so important to us, and to all of you, because we talked all about meeting your clients where they’re at and the steps to take to ensure equal presence and opportunity amongst your client base. We want to recap and also feature some new, exclusive content for you all to expand on these super important ideas. 

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Episode 61: Slow Seasons in Business

Jun 3, 2022

It’s so weird listening to episodes that aired in “pre-COVID times.” Episode 13 aired over two years ago! It seems like so much of the world, and how we work within it, has changed. We wanted to revisit this important episode, and the tips we shared in it, to remind you and ourselves that maybe things aren’t as different as they feel.

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Episode 60: Make Your Business “Stick(y)”!

Mar 15, 2022

Inspired by our last trip through the Orlando airport, we were blown away by the effort Disney made to ensure their 50th-anniversary “sticks” in the minds of visitors and, honestly, anyone who travels through the Orlando airport. 

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Episode 59: Small Shop Safety with Misty Henry

Mar 1, 2022

If you’re a small shop, you won’t want to miss Misty’s golden nuggets on compliance and consumer safety laws, especially if you sell goods used by children. As a member of our Profitable & Productive Party, she also shares how she’s seen incredible business growth and an increase in revenue!

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Episode 58: Do the Pre-Work

Feb 15, 2022

The importance of doing the pre-work before you make your trip to Disney and how you can apply this to your business launches. If you have launches coming up, or you’re planning for major growth this year, you’ll want to tune in!

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Episode 57: The Endless EPCOT Construction

Feb 1, 2022

We were shocked by how much construction was happening in full view of the park goers! It made us think about small business owners, and how they often are a “work in progress” in full view of their clients and customers. If you’re always working on something in your business, and it’s affecting the experience people have when they visit your site or buy from you, it’s time to get focused!

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Episode 56: Take Advantage of Your Existing Technology

Jan 18, 2022

If you are thinking about starting something brand-spankin’ new in your business, listen now to hear how you can use things you already have in your business instead. This way, you can stop chasing the “new and shiny,” and instead get results for your audience and your bottom line.

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