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Episode 50: Frustrating Your Fans: Disney’s Annual Passes (Transcript)

Oct 26, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer as they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big-scale concepts to your own.

Yasmine (00:27):
Hi guys. Welcome back to another episode of Pixie Dust & Profits. It is August 31st, 2021, or we’re recording this and this is relevant because normally when Nicole and I sit down to talk to you guys, we’ve actually mapped out the episode in advance. Like we think about the topic we want to talk about what the business lessons are, do some research to make sure everything’s backed up with facts, and then really dig down into the business takeaways that you can apply to your business right today. We’re going to do something a little bit different because Disney just dropped something really huge yesterday on August 30th, and we have to talk about it. So if we don’t really follow our traditional format, bear with us, but I promise we’ll, we’ll hit up on those takeaways. So what are we talking about? Disney has brought back their annual pass holder program.

Yasmine (01:12):
Now benefits of an annual pass holder program is if you’re actually going to Disney more than 10 days in a year, it becomes cheaper. Basically means like every trip after that tends to technically be free because historically the annual pass was equivalent to a 10 day park ticket, a Disney trip. So you go regularly. If you’re a resident of Florida you are someone who lives close or does fanatics like Nicole and I, where you had to Orlando on the regular, as long as borders are open you have meal passes. That makes sense. Well, Disney has revamped their program. I think technically they’ve added in additional tiers and they’re charging more for less. So they’ve actually taken like perks that have historically been included with the annual pass. And they’re now out on. So let’s take a quick look at the four options available to us.

Nicole (02:11):
Let’s back up for a second though. Like let’s just talk about annual passes in general. Okay. So they’re not for every customer that you already have, like a set type of customer who is buying the annual pass. Like you said, usually break even was 10 days, but breakeven could actually be less than that. If you were taking separate trips because the cost of entry, the way Disney has always priced their tickets has been like it’s $200 for one day, two 50 for two days, 2 75. Like it starts getting to be like the price per day goes down when you stay longer. So if you were going to take two, four day trips in a year, an annual pass might make sense because that first, that first like, Hey, of the 200 or $300, it’s really, really rough. And so in the past, the annual pass holder program has been great, especially for locals and for people who go essentially more than once a year is what I would say. It was a good, a good plan. And we definitely took advantage of this because we would do things like go in January. And then when we would go to the next December. So it felt like a full year, but we were still using our same tickets. So we didn’t have to pay for tickets for both trips. And that’s why we’ve been able to go on so many trips at times we loved it. And now I don’t know how I feel about these changes.

Yasmine (03:32):
Yeah. And like the other thing to consider with annual passes is it came with perks. So one bonus that you get is a discount off a certain restaurants. So if you’re doing a table service restaurant, for the most part, you got 10% off your meal. That’s also included if you are a DVC blue card member you also got discount on merged throughout the park. So it ranged between 10 to 20%, depending on the location in store, they also included PhotoPass which, you know, all those photographers at the park who take your photos, all those ride photos that you get when you’re like on mine train and like space, mountain, pretty much everybody that had photos, all of those would go on to your magic band and you would have them to look up afterwards if you had an AOL pass. And the beauty of it is like only one person in your party really needed it for you all to have your pictures.

Nicole (04:24):
Yeah. There’s definitely times where I’ve had an annual pass, but my husband and son did not. And so I got all the pictures for everybody because I knew I was traveling for work or whatever other reason. And now Disney has decided has they have for quite a few other things recently that things like the photo pass, which made annual passes great because your pictures were included for all of the trips you’ve taken, it’s now an upsell it’s not included in the base level. So you now need to pay an extra $99 a year to have your photos from your vacation. And that I’m pretty sure $99 was how much photo pass was like per trip for other people. So that price is probably up to I just think it’s just, it just feels very nickel and dime me. I’ve always gotten the pictures for my trips and I will admit that we used to love taking pictures with the characters and everything when my kid was little, but as he’s gotten older, his tolerance for wanting to wait in line to take a picture with a character has dwindled to nothing.

Nicole (05:26):
So I don’t think I would pay the $99 a year extra to get my pictures because we get so just fewer photos in general than we used to. And then you’re adding on this extra charge. And the other thing too is like, if you want some cool PhotoPass photos, you’re waiting in a little line to get to the photo pass photographer, who’s taking the picture and they’ve, you know, laid off quite a few PhotoPass photographer. So there’s less locations. So not only are you charging me something that I got for free for very many years, but now there’s less locations. I have to wait in line for it. My kid’s not even interested in it. And all for that one magical shot. Like I it’s just not just feels not so magical to me.

Yasmine (06:13):
And then on top of that, like the base prices for the annual passes Nicole have increased. So let’s go back to what the options are. So there’s two Florida resident passes, which mean you have to live in Florida in order to be eligible for them. There’s a third pass that is only for Florida residents or Disney vacation club members like Nicole and I, and then there’s like the general past, which is called the Disney credit pass that like anyone who is basically Knopfler resident or DVC, my work can get. So the pixie pass starts at $400 for four residents. And it basically has like weekends blocked out in a lot of dates, blocked out. The Disney pirate pass has weekends, but a lot of like popular time periods throughout the year, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Spring Break,

Nicole (07:02):
I think all of Spring Break is, you know, marched, April’s blacked out of there, like mid November to New Year’s is blocked out. Which is probably great for annual pass people who live in Florida. They may not care about going during the really busy times of year. So those passes might still work out, but they’re still significantly higher than they used to be. I mean, the pirate passes $700. And I swear the first time I bought an annual pass, it was around that much.

Yasmine (07:30):
Yeah. And that was like the price that we used to actually be eligible for when we bought our DVC pass. And it basically had most states except the holiday season. So it’s interesting. I still have my annual pass that I bought like two and a half years ago that I never was able to activate because COVID happened. I was supposed to activate it first on a March 20, 20 trip with Nicole, if I recall correctly, remember

Nicole (07:57):
Yep. Supposed to stay at the Polynesian and do some podcast planning.

Yasmine (08:03):
Yup. Yup. And it’s honestly 21. Yeah. So yeah, there’s quite a few dates in October, November, like all of, pretty much December, like any race weekend or anything in January, man. There’s like a lot of days close. And then after that you have the Disney story.

Nicole (08:24):
Sure. Surpass, I love the new names. Okay. Like let’s give some prompts for some of the things they did. They did. The logo is just, it’s modern yet throwback at the same time. I love it. I, I want that magnet. Please send it to me whenever I renew, because I will renew, even though these prices are crazy, but you know, like I love that. I love the names that they’ve come up for the annual passes. So they did some things. Right. But yes, let’s get into Disney source or a pass. Okay. So this is hundred dollars plus tax it’s always plus stuff. They always tell you the price without the tax included. And then you get hit with another $70 on top of how much the product is. This one is, is I think it’s a new level. There used to only be two levels like Florida resident than Florida resident and D or DVC member.

Nicole (09:12):
And now there’s three members, three levels for Florida residents. The top tier is Florida residence or DVC. So this is probably the one that I would be interested in and it’s $900 and still has blackout dates during holiday periods. I haven’t actually gotten a chance to look at the calendar to see if they’ve extended those, but historically those blackout dates have basically been the two weeks of Christmas to new year’s and then usually like a week or two around Easter. But that’s it. So I haven’t gotten to see if they’ve extended that he asked me, do you know?

Yasmine (09:47):
Yep. So I just took a peak it’s basically Thanksgiving weekend. And then the holiday like Christmas from the 18th to the 31st of 2022. And that’s it. Everything else is open.

Nicole (09:58):
Well, that’s not bad because I think they know that one of the most popular times of year for DVC members to go down to Disney as the first week of December, the first two weeks of December, because there’s typically lower crowds, but the Christmas decorations are out. And the points for rooms are really low. Then they have adjusted that the P points have gone up to, to levels that they weren’t before. But I’m glad I was worried that they were gonna, you know, say this is for DVC members, but then block out our favorite dates here and then force you into the in credit pass, which is the past that’s available to everyone who isn’t a Florida residence or DVC member and taking this back a step. It’s not all DVC members either. If you buy your DVC real estate contract from a resale market and not from Disney directly, you do not have the ability to purchase the DVC perked, Pasch. So it’s not every DVC member that can even do that. So the vast majority of this offer is the credit pass, which is $1,300 plus tax for people. It doesn’t have any blackout dates, but it’s $1,300 in it still, it doesn’t include photos or

Yasmine (11:11):
Access to the water

Nicole (11:12):
Parks. Oh yeah, yeah, no water, but this is just the four, just the four parks magic kingdom, Epcot and walking through and Hollywood studios. And I think the annual pass before this, that, you know, non-residents would get was probably around that $900 mark. I mean, this is a significant jump up at least $200, maybe $300. And that’s for one person, when you start thinking about the typical people traveling, I’d say for kids, you know, for a family of four family of five, I mean, this is just a level of just, it’s just so overpriced. And I don’t want to say overpriced. It’s just very high it’s, it’s an investment. And then we talked about like photos aren’t included anymore. The other thing is they they’ve recently taken away the magic bands. And so you have to pay like 10 or 20 or $30 for your magic band, which, you know, as an annual pass holder, whatever, I have a closet full of magic bands.

Nicole (12:03):
So I didn’t always want a new one every trip and it is only $10, but it’s like, if it’s only $10, it probably costs them what, $5, $2 to manufacturer, just throw it in. When we get the annual pass, you know, we’re coming again, you know, we’re spending on all of your overpriced food, like throw us a bone, you know, we’re really, we’re your top paying customers. And then I will say it is nice that they now have this option to include water parks. You know, you can upgrade to tap your photo, but you can upgrade to include the water parks. I don’t know that that that’s technically worth it because I think a waterpark pass is probably around the $60 mark or a $70 on a hundred dollars a year for like unlimited. So you’d have to go to the water parks twice to, to use it.

Nicole (12:52):
And, you know, despite our best intentions, I think we only ever get to the water parks once. Every other trip, even though we love them. And that’s just because the weather doesn’t always work out the way you want it to, or you’re just tired and don’t want to be in the sun and the resorts have really great pools. The other thing that these passes have introduced, I don’t know if the park reservation system is sticking around after COVID, it’s clearly here right now. And if you don’t know what that is, basically, if you plan to go to a park, you need to have a reservation in advance and that, so they can do some crowd planning. If you want to park cop and go to another park at like, if you want to go to Epcot, after going to Magic Kingdom in the morning, you have to wait until after 2:00 PM and you have to have that park cropping past.

Nicole (13:39):
And so these annual passes now have caps on how many park reservations you can hold at any one time. So the lowest, the Florida resident only $400 a year. They can only hold three park reservations at a time. Now the exemption to this is that if you have, if you have resort reservations at a Disney resort, you can have Parker’s operations for the full length of your stay. So if you’re staying 10 days on Disney property, you can have park reservations for those 10 days, no problems. This is just a limit of, without reservations to their whose works. You can only book three park passes. So if you have an annual pass and you like to stay off site, or, I mean, I know people who have second properties down there or timeshares that aren’t Disney timeshares, and they’re only going to be able to book three days.

Nicole (14:35):
And so it goes all the way up to five days on the highest pass. So I think this is really interesting because we probably talked about this in a past episode where they started giving all these perks to being a resort, stay to area hotels that weren’t Disney hotels, things like fast passes being booked at 90 days out, which FastPasses, aren’t a thing anymore. We did last week’s episode talking about that, but you know, the fast passes, the park reservations, like restaurant reservations, they started branching out and letting area hotels get those same perks and started feeling like, well, why are you staying on Disney property? If you know a hotel at a quarter of the price is getting the same perks. Well, here’s why, because if you’re not staying at Disney property now, and you have an annual pass, you can only book three to five days of your trip. And then you can just cross your fingers and hope that you’ll get a Hollywood Studio spot, but you probably won’t.

Yasmine (15:31):
[Inaudible] On top of that. If you’re also staying on-site, they’ve added additional perks. Like you can go to the parks a half hour early in the mornings, and if you’re staying at deluxe resorts, you get an additional hour on select evenings at various parks. So they’re really trying to push people to spend more at Disney and like Nicole and I like Disney apologists to a degree, you know like we love Disney. But the takeaway here is that every business has to look at their business model and what they’re offering and increase prices at some point, because, you know, there’s increased cost of labor right now, Florida’s going through. And like a lot of the United States, they’re going through a massive labor shortage. They’re trying to hire for many spots. And, you know, in some cases paying a lot more hourly than they did historically before the pandemic.

Yasmine (16:26):
And I mean, that’s a great thing. People are getting living wages and you could argue, well, they’re still not spending more than they used to, but they’re still making more than they used to because they’re operating at limited capacity. They’ve been dealing with losses for several quarters because of shutdowns and the pandemic. So like financially, while Disney has a lot of money, like they’re not in the best place or not where they have been. And they need to deliver shareholder value and make sure the company is profitable and raise prices. And, you know, we look at this in our client’s businesses all the time shipping goes up for items. The cost of goods sold increases significantly because manufacturing costs have increased for their products. When they look at their services and their programs and courses, the amount of time that they’re investing in it to deliver the most value to their student students is a lot more than they originally anticipated when they price out the program.

Yasmine (17:24):
So, you know, it’s fair to charge for that value is Disney charging appropriately for that value maybe, but we’re just used to getting such a great deal that we’re going to renew, but we’re kind of doing it begrudgingly. And what we want to say here is like one year of reevaluating things, there’s ways to do it without necessarily off your most loyal customers. Let them know that this is coming down the pipeline and explain why with a few of my clients, when we had to increase prices due to just insane shipping costs and manufacturing increases, we’d let them know in advance. Like we gave them like 30 to 60 days warning that like, Hey, prices are going to go up in this timeframe. We’ve tried to hold off on increasing prices as much as we could, but we’re at a point where like, it’s just, it’s literally no longer when we’ve profitable for us to continue selling you the product at this cost.

Yasmine (18:18):
And we’re doing a marginal increase. Let them know, explain why. And for the most part, like people will understand if you give them a reasonable explanation, but you know, timing in there with radically increased pricing, shiny new brand, which is like fun. We love it. Okay. It doesn’t really sit well with your customers. And like I said, Nicole and I were, we’re going to renew it at the end of the day. It will still end up being more cost effective than us getting like individual tickets. Every time we go. But it’s like 20 Disney years for me.

Nicole (18:56):
Yeah. Well, and the hard part too, is that renewal is always one of those decisions that you sit there and you’re like, do I bother? Or do I not? Am I going to go? Like, if you don’t have a trip planned, you start questioning it. But the renewal price is $150 less than getting a new pass. So if you don’t renew, when you do go back and you have to go buy that annual pass, you’re paying $150 more for something you could have already had. And so it just gets to be like, I don’t want to do this, but I kind of have to, am I booking a trip in here? So I’m honestly going to have to look at, you know, my vacation club points, situation, my family situation, and see are we going to bother to renew? Because you know, we might take a six day trip next year, but my kids getting older, we have to go during school breaks.

Nicole (19:45):
Now it’s a completely different way of vacationing than when we used to be able to go on a whim because, you know, he was in daycare and not in school school. So we’re going to have to evaluate all that stuff. And I just think that we knew something was up with annual passes because we weren’t able to buy them. I, fortunately, was able to renew mine before it all went to a state of flux. So I still have mine active, I believe until like April and then I’ll be able to renew into this new program. And then like we do, it’s going to come back with a price increase. But I think the thing that really surprised a lot of people was that it came back not just with a huge price increase, but also with restrictions that didn’t exist before perks that you had before taken away.

Nicole (20:34):
And honestly, I’m a little bit worried now because all of the Disney vacation club, blue card perks, all the blue cards expire this December. And so like, what are they going to do to that program? And I know that you have never buy a timeshare based on perks or anything like that, and that the perks can go away at any time. But it definitely is like, okay, if you’re doing this to your annual pass holders, what are you going to take away from us? Like, I really love the 20% discount that I get for souvenirs in the stores. And you know, 20% adds up when you’re buying things here and there, it doesn’t really work for like that water bottle or anything. But we bought clue the last time we were there and we shopped at the, even the Lego store, even the Lego store in Disney Springs, you get a discount.

Nicole (21:17):
So not 20%, I think it’s 10, but the Lego store giving a discount. Yeah. Take my money. Are they going to get rid of that? I don’t know. I don’t really trust them right now. They’ve taken away fast passes. They’ve charged and they’re charging us for that. They’ve taken away, like PhotoPass from our annual passes that it’s just, I don’t know how I feel about all these nickel and diming. And so there’s something to be said. When you were thinking about your own business, do you bundle everything, you make it an inclusion or do you piecemeal everything and let everyone pick their own plan and try to market that as a park, like choose the plan that works for you. Okay. But that always ends up more expensive than if you just give me the bundle option. Right. So just think about these things as you’re building your offers and your products and the sales and types of promotions you have.

Nicole (22:08):
And also like I’ve talked to quite a few people recently who want to just double the price of their course or their program. And it’s like, okay, you might think that leads to more revenue, but stop and consider this from the customer’s point of view, like, what is your end goal? Are you trying to serve more people or you’re trying to empower more people? Are you just trying to get more money in your bank account? Because I don’t know that doubling the price of your product or program or course, or whatever is going to increase your revenue because your pool of people who are going to buy into it might shrink drastically that you’re actually spending as much effort to get a fewer quantity of purchases for this same revenue net in the end. And so those are things to consider while you’re thinking about this and you know, why am I am, why am I increasing the price? And what is the justification for this? We know because we follow Disney’s, you know, quarterly reports to investors that they’re down quite a bit of money. Cause they were closed for a really long time because of the coronavirus. So I understand that they have been losing money and they’re looking for ways to increase that, but don’t treat the customers like they’re dumb, like clue them in into that too. It’s something we try to put so much pixie dust on it that it backfires.

Yasmine (23:30):
Yeah. And like the other thing you need to think about is like, think about what changing your practices actually signals to your customer base. Like beyond the fact that, you know, they’re trying to make up for a rough year, really one comment that we’re seeing pop up time and time again in groups lately is that Disney is no longer affordable to the average American family. So they’re actually changing their target in some ways to go after more fluent customer base who will spend more on a vacation. And you know, they’re saying like, well, it’s going to be like less people are going to come to Disney. Well, maybe, but that’s actually a good thing in their eyes because they’re making, you know, maybe the same amount of money servicing fewer customers and that helps with capacity issues. Exactly, exactly. So that could be another way that Disney’s are going about things right now.

Yasmine (24:24):
And you know, now that the average family, or like the budget Disney family might not be able to afford to go with a lot of these changes and like they might not buying a passes. They might just like you to go for a four-day trip and buy their tickets. But ticket prices have gone up. We talked about Bubash in last season’s episode where the annual Halloween parties historically have been like 1 29 at their peak. And we spent over $200 per person for a different type of party. And after hours of that three hours, it doesn’t have all the like items and events and prays and fireworks. For our event in October, that’s twice as much for like technically like half the value, but it was something that we were really excited to try and do. Again, these events are now being priced out of what the average like family can afford. So it looks like with these changes, Disney is also trying to pivot their market a little bit to go after a more affluent customer base and probably help their capacity issues because frankly, the only way that they can serve more people is if they open a fifth gate, which we know isn’t on the horizon anytime soon, especially after what happened with COVID. So it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and what other changes are coming to Disney in the future.

Nicole (25:40):
Yeah. I just, my strategic thinker in me is just, are they thinking about the future of who who’s going to come here after the affluent, you know, to do all income child-free millennial demographic starts moving on, starts getting older. Like my kid has a love for Disney because we have gone so many times and because that’s our annual family vacation, but if you’re pricing him out of this, like, are you going to have another generation to pass this down to? And so I don’t, I’m sure they have brilliant minds working on all of these things. And I’m sure they’re thinking about that, but I think back to the Michael Eisner days where Disney wasn’t a cool place to be, it was like dad’s in grumpy t-shirts and Fanny packs and like millennials in some ways kind of revived Disney to be like, oh look, this fun, magical place.

Nicole (26:37):
Like I can disconnect from everyday horrors and realities and just like live in pixie dust and get some cool foods and just here’s an experience and experience it with me. And it did change the trajectory of who’s the target customer now. And I just hope they’re keeping that in mind with just Disney’s here for generations. And if you continue pricing people out, like, what is that going to mean for the future? So that’s probably too meta for a 20 minute episode, but we hoped you like this one, this was really off the cuff for us, but we started out originally going to record what we had planned. And then we were like, did you see the annual pass stuff? And it just turned out. Let’s just talk about it because we had a lot to say. So and join us next week for another episode. And if you are on Instagram, check us out there @pixiedustandprofits, we also have free goodies for you at, go check them out. We would love to hear from you and yeah, we’ll see you real soon.

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Episode 49: Building Hype: Disney’s 50th Anniversary Celebration (Transcript)

Oct 12, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer as they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own.

Nicole (00:26):
Hey, everyone, welcome to a new season of pixie dust and profits. And, oh my gosh. Do we have a lot of things to talk about? It feels like it has been an entire year with how much has been going on in the Disney verse. And first step is the 50th anniversary celebration, which kicked off just a few days ago. We are so excited because as of right now, we have the opportunity to go enjoy the 50th celebrations a few times and we’re looking forward to it. So we’ve been following it for months now. So join us today. As we talk about hyping up your products and making a big fanfare for a huge celebration in your business. And also we get to kick out about some of the Disney things that are happening.

Yasmine (01:09):
Yeah. So we are so jazzed for the 50th anniversary and it’s not because Disney seemed to be inspired by pixie dust and profits like branding when they came up with their colors. I don’t know if you guys notice that. But we, we knew that the 50th was coming and based on how they treated the 25th anniversary, we knew that they would do something really big. And you know, they did not disappoint. They have been teasing all of the fun stuff. That’s coming up for the 50th anniversary for several months. Now

Nicole (01:39):
It’s even like a year, you know, cause they had like construction updates and stuff while

Yasmine (01:45):
They painted the castle, like they updated the little like cones. Is there a proper term for that? The Tourette’s I think and painted them like a blue color in anticipation of the 50th a couple of weeks ago, the plaque went up and everything has this iridescence ear spelled E R no pedals movement,

Nicole (02:08):
Just everything has pixie dust. I was like gold sparkly. I am in love with the new castle. I know there were a lot of haters out there who don’t love the castle being changed if they think it looks too much like Disneyland’s castle, but I, my millennial heart is in love with the castle makeover and I’m so glad it is not the birthday cake of the 21st.

Yasmine (02:27):
That was interesting. Let’s let’s leave it that, but it’s, it’s so pretty. And like my glitter and sparkle loving heart is like here for all of the updates. So like even the cast member pans have like little like rhinestones in it. There’s lots of glitz and glam. And needless to say, if we are super jazzed, especially because we’re going to be at Disney for the 50th anniversary, which kicks off on October 1st, 20, 21 it’s going to be a year long celebration. So like, if you don’t happen to be there in October, don’t worry. You’re still going to get to partake in all of the amazingness. But

Nicole (03:02):
I think they said it was going to be 18 months. So yes, you absolutely have time to get there. And they might’ve extended that because of how long COVID is and that they had to have reduced capacity and all of those things, but you absolutely have the opportunity to take advantage of the 50th celebration

Yasmine (03:20):
This week. Like Nicole said, well, we want to talk about is the amount of lead-up that Disney has had to this event. They have done quite a bit, not only just actual like physical updates to the park, but they’ve been teasing the countdown. It is August 24th as of this recording. So we’re recording a little bit in advance. And right now there’s a countdown on the website, the sepsis actually going to be released after the 50th kicks off. And a few weeks ago they started teasing all of the merch. Like the Disney spirit sweaters have like glitter and sequins all over it. I need to get that. And like, everyone’s just so excited. They’ve added all sorts of like special events and parades. There’s going to be a new fireworks show magic kingdom.

Nicole (04:08):
I know I can’t wait for it. I mean, they took away wishes, which, you know, rest in peace. And then they gave us happily ever after, which is this projection show on the castle, which is fun. You know, it’s different, it’s not a huge firework show, but I am so excited for new fireworks. And I was actually really surprised because you know, some of the things we talked about before is Bubash, doesn’t currently have any plans for fireworks. So the fact that they’re, you know, unveiling an entire new show around the time that the Halloween party would be for the 50th is super exciting because we get to see a new show. But yet they’ve been leading up to this forever. It feels like, and all that does is build the FOMO, the fear of missing out. And even though it’s 18 months long, we’re going to be there in the first month.

Nicole (04:55):
And no that wasn’t intentional how we chose this trip for fixing us live event. If you want to go to the next one, make sure you get on the wait list at But, you know, we didn’t know that it was starting October 1st and we’re just super glad and lucky that we get to be there at that time. So let’s talk about celebrations in your business, launching new products, what we can learn from Disney and how they did this. Okay. So October is when it comes out, but they started showing all the merchandise in August two months before he can buy it because all the Instagrammers are wearing it and looking forward to it and sharing the pictures and planting the seeds in your head. Because when you go to Disney, you’re going to bring that budget up a little bit higher, so you can get the special ears.

Nicole (05:43):
And Disney does a really good job about their branding in general, but there’s different sub brands every single year. Every time we go, because we go often, there’s a different theme for the year and a different color at so earlier this year we were there and it was color blocking and very eighties inspired. So I got a sweater. Well, I’m going back in October and I’ll probably buy another sweater because it’s a completely different theme now with the 50th anniversary. So when you’re thinking about your business, thinking about it in terms of seasons, I mean, we did that with the podcast. We have different seasons for the podcast and our look changes a little bit in between those episodes in between those seasons. We think about like, what, where are we heading now? What, how are we editing our brand a little bit? How are we elevating what we’re doing?

Nicole (06:31):
And so thinking about that in your business too, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean the colors you’re using, but it could be what you’re talking about. When was the last time you updated your content pillars? When was the last time that you looked at the pictures on your feed and felt like, do those really align with like, what’s going on in the Instagram world right now? You just need encouragement for that. But yes, sub brands are so important because the 50th anniversary is almost like its own product at this point, just like star wars, just like Hollywood studios, just like Epcot. They all kind of have their own sub brands. And it’s really important that each standalone, because that’s that much more money people are going to spend.

Yasmine (07:10):
It’s also like a great visual identifier of like the different products that you have on your suite, whether they’re like service based products, info products, or physical products. So this brand that I’m gonna reference isn’t by any means a small business, but like bath and body works releases the same sense pretty much every year. And every year they update like the design and theming of the stickers. They put on the candles and on the little so bottles and stuff. And like, I look forward to, I just want to see what’s going to be their interpretation of like Chris full morning, this year from a visual standpoint. And they even actually like have different designs. So depending on like your aesthetic, you can probably find that like popular candle scent that you love in a different bottle design. So it fits better within your house.

Yasmine (08:01):
And Hey, if you don’t want the sticker showing at all, they got little holders for that. But think about how you can make things stand out visually because you can sell the same thing, kind of like over and over again, if you have a physical product, if you put a twist on it, we talked about like repurposing things in your business. In a previous episode, you have a shirt design that’s super popular, release it in two or three different colors and see how that performs. Sometimes people love something so much they’ll buy multiples of it. Or it actually,

Nicole (08:33):
It got worn and it was their favorite shirt and they were like, I need another one because you get to a certain point in your life where you don’t want to think about next outfit. You just want to buy the one, you know, already fits.

Yasmine (08:44):
Yeah. And yeah, we we’ve been there. So making it easy for them and letting them get like a little updated design is perfect. Cause they have an old favorite, but it feels like something new. So think about how you can use branding and colors that pull from your either original brand or Disney’s case. They sort of went with the theme that, you know, pulls away from the standard, Walt Disney world logo, branding, and colors, and they’ve created something completely unique that really signifies the 50th anniversary. So you can add hype, dazzle and pizazz to really anything in your business and it’s worth celebrating each milestone or product as if it’s something really special. Cause it is

Nicole (09:30):
Yes. Yeah. And milestones could be, you know, obvious ones like hitting 10,000 Instagram followers. So you can get the swipe up feature or they could be less obvious. It could be something like, Hey guys, I finally, you know, made it an entire summer with summer Fridays where I didn’t work. Like that’s a milestone you can celebrate and share to you know, how many orders you’ve had on your site. Or this is the first time in the summer that I had orders every single day. Like you can make milestones that feel maybe small or innocuous, but they are big milestones for you and where you’ve come in your business and then you can celebrate them and bring your audience in for the celebration with you because they’ll feel a sense of ownership to making that success happen. Right? So there’s also a lot of other stuff going on with the 50th anniversary.

Nicole (10:20):
So there’ll be increasing capacity this fall, once the 50th anniversary starts. And in order to keep order, I guess they have announced some pretty big changes that I’m sure we’ll talk about in another episode, but fast pass, which is a special lane that you were able to book 90 days before your trip to quickly get through the lane, you get to choose a couple of rides a day will no longer exist. Now fast pass has been closed since COVID began because they wanted to control how many people were going through the lions. And it just made things easier from that standpoint and in its place. We now have Jeannie plus Janey plus is going to be a service that helps you kind of plan your itinerary throughout the park. And again, we’ll have a whole episode on DV class, but the important thing here is that they know that the 50th anniversary is coming. They know more people are coming because they’ve been building that FOMO for so long.

Yasmine (11:17):
It’s super cool how it works. So there’s been a lot of controversy because again, it is replacing FastPasses, but genie plus is great for basically people who aren’t Nicole and I who might want to go a little bit more with the flow. Don’t create spreadsheets, the plan, you know, every day of their trip. So they can be as efficient as possible and maximize how many rides that they get on. And it actually looks into real-time metrics of the park and sort of gives you an itinerary as you go. It takes preferences into consideration. So what rides are like must do’s for you. And based on that, it’ll like, give you suggestions, like, Hey, now’s a great time to go on like mine train because it’s the lowest weight of the day. And it’ll actually predict like the expected wait times throughout the day.

Yasmine (12:02):
So they put in a lot of data analysis into this. So what does this have to do with FastPass? Well, you no longer actually get free, fast passes with your stay. So as Nicole said, you could book 90 days out previously, if you’re staying at a resort 30 days out, if you were offsite or an annual pass holder that is gone in order to get sort of like advanced fast passes or access to the lines, you have to pay an additional $15 per ticket per day for genie like plus. And what that does is it works similarly to max pass at Disneyland and that’s going away and being replaced with G plus two. And what it does is it actually lets you like book a fast pass one at time. So no more advanced bookings, like you book your first one first thing in the morning, and then once you use it up, then you can book another one and you do it all through your phone.

Yasmine (12:57):
So you don’t have to like go to any kiosks or stalls, like get your fast pass ticket. You do one at a time, which in theory should give you more than three fast passes a day because you’re able to like book them in quick succession. Again, if you’re a planner, could make things a little bit tricksy because you know, you might want to eat somewhere, but then go on a ride that’s all across the park and have to hope it all the way over there. But the other thing that they did was add in the lightning pass, which allows you to pay an additional fee to ride two top tier rides in every park. So for example, my train that we referenced, that’s rumored to be one of the rides where you would pay like an additional amount to get like a fast pass to that. And you can only book two per day. There’s only two rides in every part that will be eligible for this. People are because frankly like this was something that they saw or saw as included with their tickets in the past. And now it’s an additional fee. So you’d be paying $15 at minimum to book your FastPasses sort of, as you go and then, you know, potentially an additional 15 to $50 because it’s going to vary depending on time of year and how busy the parks are for the additional rides.

Nicole (14:14):
Yeah. And I mean, I see both sides of it. Disney is already a really expensive vacation and now you’ve added another layer of basically pay to play and pay to play really only hurts the people playing. You know, we’ve seen this with my gamer communities and things like that. And it’s on a whole nother level when you bring it to theme parks. That said though, the other theme parks in the Orlando area already have paid things like this. And so it was without fail. You know, writing was on the wall that this would probably happen at Disney world. My hope is just that it disperses clouds. And when we go back to, you know, our very first episode about the power of magic bands and we talked a lot about FastPasses passes and dispersing crowds throughout the parks you know, this is just an update to that.

Nicole (15:01):
Now we talked about magic bands of bringing them, the technology of them, being able to see where people are in a park at any point in time. Well now they can use that data and the genie plus system to disperse crowds even further. So they can pull right up and say, oh, Hey, you’re in, you’re in the central, you’re near the castle. How about you go to adventure land and here’s the next ride you should go on. And then five minutes later, someone’s in the exact same spot in front of the castle and it tells them to go to tomorrow land. And so they can kind of disperse crowds with it. So hopefully even though this has an extra cost, the experience for all Disney goers, including those who didn’t buy it and who are in standby lions have a better experience because you know, you’re not standing by for three hours because all of the FastPasses have arrived together.

Nicole (15:52):
You know, we can just hope for the best and we will be experiencing it on our trip in October and we’ll report back with how it works. But I just want to highlight the reason we’re talking about this now is that because with the 50th anniversary, they needed to find ways to get more people in because they’d been hiding it for so long. In addition to everyone being cooped up from being home for so long, they have pent up demand for vacations already, and now you have a limited exclusive event opportunity. And so demand is going to be really, really high. And introducing this at the same exact time, I think has a pros and cons list for Disney. So pros being, hopefully it can disperse crowds, obviously they’ll make a little more revenue. And all of that, I think on the content, we’ve talked about some of the struggles that we have with Disney it, and I am just hoping that the Disney or the genie service actually works as intended when you were, you know, both launching a whole new, a 50 year product at the same time as you’re launching a genie class product.

Nicole (16:56):
That’s a lot to take on even for a company as big as Disney. So it remains to be seen how successful it gets rolled out. But I’m just going to use this as a word of caution for you when you were looking at developing new products or new approaches in your business to maybe not take on two really huge things at the same time, especially when you’re a small business owner, because the more divided you are, the longer it takes for things to get out there. And the easier it is to overlook things that might’ve been solved if you worked on them separately. So I’m going to go with my risk averse hat there and say, maybe you shouldn’t try to, you know, do all of these things at once.

Yasmine (17:38):
Yes, we know how poorly that typically ends. And we don’t want that for you. Well, thanks again for joining us for this new episode. I know there was a lot to talk about and like it’s been insane this summer with all of the Disney updates. So stay tuned for future episodes. As we dive into more of what Disney has done over the summer and have coming up and the lessons that you can learn from them, if you don’t follow us on Instagram, please do we share you know, exciting Disney updates there. And we go a little bit deeper into certain elements of the Disney experience. You can follow us @pixiedustandprofits.

Nicole (18:14):
And if you want to text us, it is us who answer. So ask us a question and we’ll get back to you real soon. I it’s 2 0 7 2 0 3 6 7 6 9. And we would love to hear from you, see you real soon.

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Episode 48: Disney+: Behind the Attraction (Transcript)

Jul 13, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer as they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own.

Yasmine (00:26):
Hey guys, and welcome back to pixie dust and profits. We are here with our last episode of the season. I know, I know I’m crying too. But don’t worry, Nicole and I are planning a ton of great content to come back to you within the fall. Right? Nicole? Yes,

Nicole (00:42):
I can’t wait. And we have some Disney trips planned, so we’ll get more inspiration for new content as well.

Yasmine (00:49):
Yeah. Yes. We’re so excited to go back to the magic. So this week we want to talk about something that Nicole and I get really excited about. So we’ve mentioned before that, like we love Disney because it’s magical. It’s fun. Nicola is taking her kiddo there. I’m excited to take my kiddo there and experience that magic through her eyes. But our love of Disney is also intellectual. Like we love the machine and everything behind the scenes. So when Disney plus, you know came online and released the Imagineering story a few months, weeks and years ago,

Nicole (01:23):
I might’ve been like right when Disney parks came out. I remember watching the first episode. I think I had just landed in Boston and I was taking a bus from Boston to Maine. And I remember watching that first episode and just really geeking out about it. And I have since rewatched it multiple times.

Yasmine (01:40):
Oh yeah. It’s like just fascinating and exciting to see them sort of pull the curtain and see how the wizard makes the magic happen. Right? So we love that show. And while there’ve been other like little documentaries and stuff on Disney, there’s been a hole in my heart for behind the scenes Disney content. And when they announced behind the attraction, which is going to launch on July 15th is coming out, which is basically, you know, behind the scenes story of the beloved attractions at Disney Atlanta Disney world. We were jazz. Like not just jazz, like super excited because the rides are fascinating. They’re fun. But like the story of how they came to be and evolved over time is super duper interesting. And you know, that got us thinking like it hasn’t aired yet. We haven’t seen the first episode, which is going to be on the jungle cruise, which we’ll talk about a bit, but it made us think like men just see as really smart, you know, they’ll create something and then use that intellectual property in a number of ways. So we thought, why not talk about how you can take ideas and concepts in your business and recycle them, repackage them. We’re all talking about just bundling products, but actual ideas and concepts and like

Nicole (02:56):
Themes kind of like if you sell t-shirts right, like holding t-shirt up to a black light and doing like the inverse of it. Yeah, exactly. You know, selling that to it. It’s just, so I think we kind of have a preview of what the behind the scenes is going to be, because a lot of the things they’ve mentioned there is going to be jungle cruise. There’s going to be this says the star wars rides and Galaxy’s edge area. And the castles, the building of the cow

Yasmine (03:22):
[Inaudible] tower terror. My favorite.

Nicole (03:26):
So some of these things came up in the imaginary story. So I imagine they were shooting footage at the same time and tried to look at all the different ways they could use this footage. So we can use it for a behind the scenes about the ride, but we can also use it in the Imagineering story when we’re talking about this, because I mean, they went into detail about the new rise of the resistance, right. And the types of challenges they had and, you know, basically they were like, oh, we want to feel like we’re free floating. So what kind of mechanical thing do we need to build to make that feeling happen? And, you know, same thing with tower of terror. Like they, they use technology from tower of terror to make rise of the resistance. So, you know, so it, I mean, they were already doing this in the engineering world.

Nicole (04:08):
So now they’re doing it with the content world. And, you know, Bob Iger talked a lot about this in his book where he talked about, that’s why they bought star wars. That’s why they bought Marvel because as long as they had characters, they could do any type of storytelling they wanted. And that is still a variable. And that comes back to like that intellectual property thing. And I dunno, we’re really excited for both behind the scenes, but I think it’s also really fun to talk about just how innovative it is to rethink of something that already exists. I mean, we can get into the whole live action discussion today, how they keep remaking things like Cinderella and the lion king, like who thought that you could remake the lion king as a live action

Yasmine (04:50):
And not use actual animals.

Nicole (04:53):

Yasmine (04:55):
Like they’re all CG,

Nicole (04:57):
It’s just mind boggling to think about. And I am actually, I think there’s like two schools. You either love the live actions or you don’t like them. And I am team loved them because I feel like they bring a new spin to these old classics and they modernize them quite a bit. Like I love all of the messaging and the new 11. Mm.

Yasmine (05:17):
Yeah. Especially like Jasmine’s role in how she’s really you know, not just the damsel in distress. Yeah. Like she’s not just like, sort of like waiting for the men to sort it out. Like she’s standing up for herself and wants to be Salton, which I mean, back in those days probably would never have happened, but I’d love the message that Disney’s putting out for little girls and everything though. Sort of an as an aside, I wonder how that translates to the cast members who play those characters at the park. Right. Like when it’s a cartoon, it’s like, you know, th that can really be anyone, but like, if you see you know, the actress that plays Jasmine and then the actress in the park does a look like her as for kiddo. Is that weird? I don’t know. Probably not. They’ve likely thought about this, but yeah,

Nicole (06:03):
They do a pretty good job of keeping the cast looking pretty close. And I think kids know it’s not the exact, but it’s so authentic, especially when you talk to the characters at Disney. And I think that’s a difference between Disney and other places where you’re no, I don’t even know if Chuck E cheese exists anymore, but when you go meet a mouse at Chuck E cheese, like the difference is that, you know, they do have a script they stick to, and they do go through a very rigid training to be the actors and actresses behind those characters at the park. So that if a kid asks them about, you know, gosh, I remember meeting Ariel and she was like, your hair is so pretty. I have a Dingle hopper for that or whatever. And, you know, they’re so in character, whether they’re talking to an adult or a child, and I think that’s, you know, the Disney magic difference. But yeah, getting to them re-purposing stuff. Okay. Let’s make a list of like, the ways Disney has very recently been re-inventing things with stuff they already had. Right. So we talked with the live action movies.

Yasmine (07:07):
Yeah. I mean, they’ve also taken rides and made series out of them, parts of the Caribbean that wasn’t like a movie or story that they turned into a ride that was a ride. They turned into a franchise, which is like insane.

Nicole (07:21):
Yeah. And I mean, and it gets kind of meta because it’s like, they took the ride, make this blockbuster movie series, and then they went back and changed. The,

Yasmine (07:31):
I tried to match the series with, because at the end of the ride now. Yeah, yeah.

Nicole (07:38):
So interesting. I think they did try it with haunted mansion and it wasn’t as successful.

Yasmine (07:42):
That’s true. They’re doing the jungle cruise. It’s going to be a movie. And that wasn’t originally like based

Nicole (07:48):
That is on my weekend list this week. I need to watch that movie. I love the rock. I need to see this.

Yasmine (07:53):
I’m, I’m excited for it too. It’s actually one of my favorite rides. I know. I said, Tara, Tara is my favorite ride, but it’s one it’s up there. And just like a fun fact for you guys, they might mention this in the show. They might not, I hesitate to call it a fact cause I could be wrong, but I’ve heard that back in the day at Disneyland, the skippers were actually comedians who would test out their material on the ride. So they would just like make jokes as they’d go along. And it wasn’t necessarily the jokes that we all know and love. And like, I can, I think I’ve heard them all like half a dozen times because I been on the ride so much, but after things got maybe a little, not so Disney friendly, they were all sort of told that they had to skip to the S stick to the script. So you’re not going to see many of them veering off of the approved jokes, but that’s okay. Cause they’re still super funny.

Nicole (08:40):
I don’t know if I’ve been on the jungle cruise when it’s the regular jungle cruise. I feel like I’ve always ended up on it when it was the jingle crew.

Yasmine (08:49):
I’ve done that too. And yeah. It’s I’ve done. Yeah. Both of them. They’re girl funny. I mean,

Nicole (08:56):
I mean, just right there, they’re, re-purposing jungle cruise to incentivize people to go to the slow moving, you know, water ride during the holidays and the holiday parties and stuff just by changing it up from, you know, dad jokes to holiday Dutch. Yes.

Yasmine (09:13):
And they do that with the haunted mansion too. They have the like nightmare before Christmas version of the haunted mansion. So again, that’s something where they’re using like movie IP and then skinning a ride to walk you through a different experience and like the actual haunted mansion.

Nicole (09:29):
And then when you think of things that they’re doing recently, like chlorella just came out last month and you know, we all know 101 Dalmatians, but they were looking at everything they have. And like, you know what, we haven’t told the story of Corolla, what’s her backstory. Why did she even want to kidnap these puppies? And then they did it in live action of course. And you know, made this beautiful, stunning movie that I have yet to see, but have heard amazing reviews on. And it’s like looking at that in your business, right. Where do you have some existing, I mean, they could be with your content. It doesn’t necessarily have to be with the product, but what stories are you telling and where can you make us spin off? You know, like if you have this origin story about why you started your business, maybe there’s like another path you can take with that to share with people that you haven’t shared before or divvying it up. So it’s like, oh, this was a YouTube video. Let me just cut it a different way and put it on Instagram TV and just thinking about things like, how can I reuse this in new ways? I can tell the backstory of chlorella who would have thought 25 years ago when you first watched 101 donations that twenty-five years later, not only would this movie still be like relevant and you know, we’re making completely new movies about it

Yasmine (10:47):
And, and Disney has placed like the seeds for that. So they deal with Melissa sin, but now they have like the Disney villains of after hours party. So they’re even like sort of seeding the idea of diving into these character backstories and more detailed. So I can, like, I bet my left kidney that they will come out with more movies about Disney villains and telling me more like the backstory. So you almost like empathize with them a little bit. Right. Because it makes them not seem like the villain that they are and it makes them seem like more of a well rounded person.

Nicole (11:18):
Yeah. So they’re making these movies with the villains and then they bring it to the park to resell you on another experience that has to do with the villains. I mean, it’s so it’s so complex and brilliant, and I’m sure behind the scenes, this isn’t easy to pull off. You know, when they’re, when they’re have a production team filming, both the Imagineering story and the behind the scenes of the attractions tour, they need different cuts for different reasons. I, I know operationally how the back office is probably much different, but there’s building future opportunities. And then I also wonder, like, I’m not a lawyer. I also wonder like what this to the intellectual property we’ve talked to recently in an episode, I think two episodes back about risk management and your business and risk tolerance. And does it extend the 101 donations IP, if they bring Corella out?

Nicole (12:09):
You know, I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer. I don’t play one on TV or on podcast, but some of these things that they’re doing could continue to keep their company valuable because it’s keeping their content protected underneath their umbrella and brand for even longer. So those are all interesting things I think about. And I mean, the other thing that I know that they do do, I think it’s brilliant because you know, teenagers probably have like checked out of the magical Disney princess, get dressed up. When I go to the park stuff, I think it’s better than it was when we were kids, because there is so much more for people to do. That’s outside of, you know, the baby rights, but they have a whole line of young adult fiction books that I’ve seen in the stores. I have not read. The one that caught my eye was called like conceal don’t feel.

Nicole (13:02):
And I was like, what if Ana and Elsa didn’t know each other? And so I picked that up because I was like, what is this? It’s kind of like fanfiction or, you know, 50 shades of gray. Is this a spinoff book, but no, it’s actually Disney, licensed young adult books that are kind of like the dark side of like, let’s tell this story in a completely different light that’s maybe darker or you know, just beyond the simple superficial that we get when we watch the film. So just brilliance and how they can use characters in so many different ways. I know my husband reads almost every single star wars book that comes out because I see the pre-orders come through my inbox and you know, he’s always talking about, oh, they keep changing cannon. Cause they like got rid of all of these things and I need to reread this one. And so he’s talking about that, these worlds that they’re making. So I know that he wrote a book and then Galaxy’s edge is connected to it. And he wrote another book and it was a 20 minute scene in the last star wars movie. And so they just have this really nice flow of, we have this audience over here that can get more backstory through our books and we have this audience who watches our movies. How can we, you know, keep making money, right. And goal.

Yasmine (14:21):
And again, leveraging that same IP. They’re not coming up with necessarily all brand new characters or anything. They are taking a concept they have and just repackaging it and in different mediums too. Like it’s not just that they’re making a new movie. I mean, w like we talked a lot in and how they changed Jasmine’s character. Well, they also added like Dalia her handmaid and that wasn’t even in the existing movie. Right. So they’re constantly changing things up and keeping it, and as consumers, we love Disney. We love this story. So we keep buying and consuming it. So very interesting,

Nicole (15:00):
Certain safety and like watching something you’ve watched before. And it’s just a little twist. So you’re not like fully putting your hands around, committing to a whole new thing. It’s like, okay. I I’m not committing to a whole new world. Like that’s what popped into my head. So, you know, you’re, you’re feeling comfort in the things you already know, but you’re expanding those horizons a little bit.

Yasmine (15:25):
So Nicole let’s summarize like he action items for listeners, how they can leverage our IP in new ways. So we talked about with creative, like you get a shirt where maybe you sell like the inverse of that image. So you have the creative, you’re just making some tweaks to it. And you have like a different sort of spin on it or a different color way. That’s definitely one way that you can do it, especially with the bestseller for our service based business owners. I mean, you have frameworks that you apply to the work that you do if you’re growing in your businesses growing, and your audience has growing with you, how can you take that framework and put a little bit of a different spin on it? So it serves your client at the next stage. I mean, Nicole and I say this all the time to each other, our clients that make like millions of dollars a year at the end of the day often have a lot of the same problems that our clients that might make, like, you know, a hundred thousand dollars a year at the core of the problems are the same.

Yasmine (16:21):
The solutions might be a little bit different, but the frameworks still apply. Like the steps that we go through are similar a lot of the times, so we can take a framework and really make it work depending on the scale and size of the business. And that’s how we leverage our IP in new ways. Heck we took a podcast and turn it into a business. I mean, we talked about Disney because we love Disney and we love the business side of it. And as our audience grew as a podcast grew, we realized that there is a need to maybe take this knowledge and insight in terms of taking big business ideas and applying it to your small business and an actual strategic way and support small business owners, which we do with the party. So there’s many ways that you can take what you have already created and just package it up in different ways.

Nicole (17:17):
Yeah. And if you need help thinking about your things in a different way, you know, you can speak to your spouse, your friends, they can give you some insight keep in mind that they don’t know your industry or audience as all as you do. So they might have pieces of feedback that you can say yes or no, to take it to a mastermind. And I don’t mean that you have to go pay for a mastermind to get feedback from quote, an expert or whoever else. But if you have any connections who also have businesses, you don’t start a group chat and just be like, Hey guys, this, this is hard alone. Some times let’s try and figure some stuff out together, but can I get your feedback on this? And, you know, I used to do this in person with other people who had businesses and as I’ve had my business for six years now, I have my online community.

Nicole (18:07):
Mostly people I’ve met at conferences or people I’ve worked with, with other clients who are also back office people. And, you know, if he asked me and I didn’t go to a conference, we’ve said this before this podcast wouldn’t exist. And we wouldn’t have her businesses where they are because people feel each other and push each other along, even when we feel that imposter syndrome, even when we’re creating new products, even when we’re trying to write a sales page for ourselves. And so get feedback from other people, get feedback from your audience. Just maybe take a break or maybe you go watch a movie, you go watch Cruella. And then you come back to your business right after watching Cruella. And like, let me, let me look at this as if I’m Cruella, what would she say about this product? And it’s, it’s kind of a silly exercise, but it can help you re just feel differently or look differently at what you’re doing.

Nicole (18:59):
So a new lens to your business. Yeah, exactly. I do this sometimes with this exercise. My negotiation professor taught me like seven years ago where I look at like the lamp in the room, I’m like lamp fire, light high. And then I look back at whatever piece of content I was trying to write. And I’m like, okay, hot fire. Let me write, rewrite this with that lens. And it can be just enough of a spark to help get me going on, whatever it was working on. So it’s the same thing with your products. You know, it’s not like someone walked in a room and was like, Hey, let’s make a movie on Corella. There was probably a set regimented process of, okay, we, you know, have this budget, what movies were really popular, what things can we update? You know, they probably had 20 sticky notes on the board and they came down with, okay, let’s make the order.

Nicole (19:51):
Same thing with the Marvel characters. I mean, they bought Marvel and who knew when they bought Marvel that they’d start making movies about like ant man. And, you know, it’s just one of those things that whoever, I don’t know, whoever goes back and looks at the Marvel deals and be like, wow, you’re way undersold. Because you didn’t think that these lesser characters, these background characters could have full-blown movies and, you know, merchandise and all of that. So you look at those little things in your business that you keep putting to the back or the side, or you hide, like, is there a potential in any of that? All right. So if you took any tips out of this episode, let us know, send us a message. On Instagram at @pixiedustandprofits, or better yet text message us at 2 0 7 2 0 3 6 7 6 9. We will answer, we love your feedback. If you have ideas for episodes for the next season, text them to us. We would love to experience Disney through your eyes and get that little filter that we were just talking about and apply it to next season. So we hope that you have a wonderful summer, that you were able to enjoy the outdoors and maybe even sneak in your own trip to Disney. We’ll be back this fall. And in the meantime, join us on Instagram @pixiedustandprofits.

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Episode 47: Boo Bash & Busy Signals (Transcript)

Jun 29, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer as they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own.

Nicole (00:25):
Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. Today, we’re going to talk about something really frustrating, and I know we share a lot of pixie dust moments and all the great things we love about Disney, especially what they do with their operations, but there is nothing that frustrates us more than trying to call them and not being able to get through because we know what we need to do. We know we can’t do it ourselves on the website because that is always the first option retry, and we actually need their support. We can’t even talk to them. So I’ve had this frustration in the past, but he has men’s right in the thick of it. So I thought it’d be fun to do well fun as long as it can be a rant about Disney to do an episode this week. That’s really top of mind for both of us. So yes, we can just share a little bit what we want to do. Oh. Before we start, if you were joining us for pixie dust and profits live, just, just skip ahead or just get to the next episode or the past episode, because we don’t, we don’t want to hear, we don’t want you hearing any of this. Okay. These are surprises for October. If you’re thinking of joining us for a different pixie dust slides, go ahead and listen, because you’ll learn about how we get to treat our guests. So go ahead. Yes, ma’am

Yasmine (01:34):
All right. So as Nicole mentioned, we have our upcoming pixie dust and profits live event happening at Disney world in October. And we are so excited for it because we have literally been planning this retreat for like how many years, like three years I feel like, and it’s been canceled because of the pandemic. And we haven’t been able to get together with our amazing pixie dust family and see them in Orlando. So we’re super jazzed. This is happening in the fall and the way that Nicole and I like to roll well, we like to sprinkle some pixie dust on everything that we do. So when we found out that Disney is doing away with the you party this year and opt-in into the boo bash, which is an after hours event, it’s very different from one of the typical parties in the sense that the parties typically start earlier, they have like parades and special fireworks shows and all that jazz. The after hours events tend to be more focused on giving you limited capacity access to the park in the sense that there aren’t that many people there. So wait times for rides are really low and they happen late at night. So it tends to start at seven or you get in at seven at magic kingdom, but the event really runs for three hours from like nine to what does that bring us to midnight? 11? Yeah.

Nicole (02:57):
I want to say that I’ve only ever done extra hours event. It was the Mickey’s very Merry Christmas party and made some mistakes with the date choice. And it was the day we were flying in. And you know, that parade that they have is really, really fun to watch. But when you’re with kids, there’s just a different strategy to after hours events, you have to watch the first parade. You probably leave before it ends. And this is where the magic comes in when you’re on an adults only trip because the park starts and the park is already pretty empty because it’s an extra ticketed event, but then you get access to all these rides and then the families start leaving because the kids have to go to bed. So if you can make it to midnight, you can probably do so much in the park that you couldn’t do previously. Well, actually we went to an after hours event with one of our clients, and that was our experience. I remember running from big thunder mountain railroad, all the way to the seven doors mine train, just to try and get on everything we could. And we did send the doors, my train twice that evening. Right. Yeah. Which is unheard of during a regular day. Yeah.

Yasmine (04:03):
It’s, it’s so fun. And one of the bonuses that they have with these events is that first of all, there’s like unlimited like popcorn, frozen treats. So like, if you look at Mickey bar, you can have as many of those as your heart desires. And because this is a Halloween event, they have candy and soft drinks, which is normally included. So when we found out that this was happening on the last, like, sort of full night of the trip, I told Nicole, I’m like, we have to do this for the girls. Like we have to show them what Disney is like after hours. And not just because it’s a cool like, event that gives us access to the rides and everything. But because the business lesson here is that it shows you that you can take your exact same product, package it up in a different way, charge a premium price by limiting access and make a bunch of profit off of it.

Yasmine (04:51):
Like Disney can have the parks run from the opening time to 11:00 PM on a regular day. But no, those last three hours are just for people who are buying tickets to this or that much. Another thing that we’ll point out before we get to the frustration of Disney call centers is much more expensive than they have been in the past. So yeah. Ticket prices for this event, I think range between like 150 to $200 per person. Now a one day ticket to the park is like, I think $110 right now for like a single, yeah. It’s

Nicole (05:24):
More expensive than one day of the park. It’s less time. And I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that they have to extremely limit capacity in the parks, just because of the pandemic and all of that. But it’s definitely the most expensive after our event type scene. And I’ve done some I’ve done some dessert parties, which I mean, and when you think about it, like they’re giving popcorn away and soft drinks and those things are pennies to make. And, you know, you’re paying a couple hundred extra dollars for it. It’s for the access and for, for Halloween, it’s the characters in Halloween costumes that you get to see too, because those, those aren’t out during the regular days.

Yasmine (06:02):
Yeah. And they’ll have like Calvin kids, but not that the standard parades happening at this event. So it’s a premium experience. We didn’t budget for this, but when it happened, we had to do it. And the only way to get tickets right now they opened up recordings on June 8th is to call member services. If you have a resort reservation, which we do. So member services opens up at 9:00 AM. I’m calling at 8 55, I’m calling at 8 50, 6 57. You get it right. Keeps telling me we’re closed right now, call back at eight fifty nine fifty nine call through busy signal. So I was like, okay, this is normal. Then I call again and again and again. And finally, after like 15 tries Nicole, I get through only to go through the whole rhythm or mall putting like my membership number in choosing which department I want to talk to, to be told that all of their cast members are busy right now.

Yasmine (06:57):
And I need to call back later. They didn’t even put me on like a four hour hold, which was much more frustrating for me because I kept having to call back. Before we hopped on to record this episode, I call member services like 121 times I just checked my phone 121 times since 9:00 AM this morning. It is 10:30 AM right now. So I gotten through a couple of times only to be hung up on. And this is incredibly frustrating as a member, because one of the things that happened as a result of like the switch and the pandemic is does he have to let go a lot of cast members and getting through to member services in the past prior to the pandemic, like you you’d be on wait, but it was like 30.

Nicole (07:36):
Yeah. Yeah. I don’t think that was ever waiting more than like 30 minutes. That would be, that would be because I called on a Saturday morning when no one’s at work. They’re all calling Saturday mornings.

Yasmine (07:46):
Exactly, exactly. So, you know, that’s a long term I’ve ever had to like wait before, during the pandemic, I have been on the phone literally for two hours on hold, waiting to like combine reservations for this upcoming pixie dust trip that we’re going to do. And thankfully I really liked Disney music. So I just like pop in my AirPods and just like clean or do whatever and listen to it as I’m waiting. But I know some people probably go crazy after hearing VR guests for the 17th time and that’s okay. We can still be friends, but I didn’t get like the luxury of being put on hold. I’d just keep having to call back. And the reason why that’s such a mad rush is because these tickets are limited. I don’t know how many other people are trying to get the date of our event. And we needed like eight tickets for our party to go. So it’s not like we’re trying to get like one or two.

Nicole (08:39):
I mean, I hate the way that they just set this up. It’s just, I don’t know. It’s kind of meant to fail, right? Email us. They build all this excitement for this event. They say, oh, tickets are going on sale in June. They don’t even tell us which day. And then they finally tell us which day, and they say, okay, you have to call member services in order to get these tickets. And we can buy it from the website, put them on the website. Yeah, we had to call. But when you call, they don’t have the infrastructure to, and we know this technology exists. And I think this is what is so frustrating as a customer is that we know that there is technology out there that if you call someone, you can leave a phone number and they will call you back. We know that we know that you can have estimated wait times that isn’t even new technology, having an estimated wait time.

Nicole (09:28):
It just lets me know like, okay, if this is four hours, I’m going to hang up. If this is 25 minutes, I’m willing to put that time in. Right. And if people are willing to hang up because it’s four hours, then that takes people out of the queue and more people can get through it. Like it’s not new technology. So it’s extremely frustrating. I have the experience about two months ago where I needed to renew my annual pass, but Disney isn’t selling new annual passes because of the pandemic. They S they shut that down, but I needed to renew mine. And so I had to call and all of this stuff, I waited for hours to get through to member services for them to say, oh, we need to send you over here. Then I waited two hours for the other department and then had to go back to member services after.

Nicole (10:10):
And it all got sorted through, but that was with like six or seven hours of my time. I usually tried to call him a Sunday, just so it wouldn’t interrupt my Workday. And I could have one earbud listening to be a cast, but it’s extremely frustrating. And I think that this is just a lesson in your business. That what experience are your people having? If you’ve drummed up all of this excitement for something, or even if you haven’t, what frustrations are they hitting when they interact with you? Is that so difficult to get their email address on your email list? They don’t get their thank you confirmation email, whatever it may be. I mean, I help my customers day in and out with this with client experience management. And, you know, we’re like on top of answering emails within 24 hours, even when we have an event with 50,000 people going on and it’s live and we’re broadcasting and streaming, we are still responding to requests within minutes of getting them.

Nicole (11:06):
And we have a small team of one, and I’m not saying that like Disney can’t like Disney has to do this, or I expect a response right away. But with the amount of money they have and the amount of capital they have, the amount of technology they create, like they’re not even like buying other technology. They probably have the expertise to create something that works. And instead you’ve got every single person calling at the same time for limited event tickets. And then on top of that, this really hurts the people who are currently on site who need help right away. You know, especially with the pandemic. People are canceling their trips last minute. If someone, you know, has the sniffles and they decide, oh, you know what? I don’t want to come. It’s not safe for me to fly or whatever. Maybe they need to get through immediately, like I’m onsite now.

Nicole (11:55):
And I know from calling their other 800 lines that they do have that question. When you call dining reservations, it says, are you in Florida right now? Press one. So you know that it exists in other parts of their business, but it doesn’t exist over here. And that makes it extremely frustrating. I also know because I’m going to an event that is hosted at Disney it’s through their, you know, their corporate event area that I could call and get an instant pickup from an actual person. When I call about that event that I’m attending. So on the one hand, you know, I’m waiting five, six hours to spend. I don’t know how much is it like $200 times, eight, $1,600. I’m waiting four hours to spend $1,600. And then the other hand I’m like, Hey, I just need the name changed on my reservation. Again, an instant pickup, because it’s a corporate event that doesn’t feel very good as an everyday person. I understand why the corporate events need that, you know, white glove service. But gosh, just tell me the wait time. Yeah.

Yasmine (12:56):
And like, I would argue that in some cases we can be Disney apologists because we understand the difficult decisions that come into like certain business practices. Like sometimes you have to like weigh the, you know, the pros and the cons. And it’s not ideal for everyone, but we can understand what the logic behind that. So I took a second to think, Nicole, like, why would they even do this? Like I know that they can estimate, wait times, I’ve heard that before, like your call will take 45 is relatively

Nicole (13:26):
New because I had a concert earlier this year and they didn’t have that. Exactly.

Yasmine (13:30):
And I think they incorporate that as a result of the increased wait times. But one thought I had is maybe it’s because they know the wait time is going to be so long and people are going to get so off that it’s easier to just like, hang up on you, then tell you you’re going to have to wait like five hours to get through to someone. That’s the only thing I can think of, but still either way, it’s a frustrating experience. And I think I would rather hear that it’s going to be a long wait time and understand knowing that if I didn’t want to listen to be our guests 271 times,

Nicole (14:01):
I could, well, it puts the choice in your hands exactly. Then taking the choice away from you. Right. And I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t matter if it’s about the iced tea that I’m drinking or the phone way at time or the clothes I’m wearing. Like the choice is mine. And I want that choice to walk away to be mine. And it’s extremely frustrating if you’ve entered digits, you know, it’s one thing, if you get the busy signal, okay. Too many people are calling at once or you get the busy signal or pre recorded message. And it says, you know, we’re, we’re currently fall hang up. But when you sit there and you tap two and you listened to this and you’ve tapped for, and you get to the place you’re going to be like, it’s just very frustrating. And on top of this, we are Disney vacation club members.

Nicole (14:40):
So we pay dues. So every single point we own has a dollar value associated with it. And most of that goes to the upkeep and maintenance of the resorts, but a piece of that is for operations. And so this entire section of the business, it’s not like we’re freeloaders. We spend lots of money at Disney and we’re trying to buy tickets to a private event that is not very cheap and we pay dues. So on top of that, you’re you have this feeling of like, they’re taking our money and they’re, they’re doing something with it that isn’t benefiting us. And it’s, it’s kind of a phrase in the Disney vacation club community, whenever something looks a little like suspicious, my dues, you know, like that’s where our money is going. And you know, I’m not here to nickel and dime it, pick how they spend the dues, because I do think there’s a lot to operations that, you know, that aren’t public facing.

Nicole (15:35):
There aren’t fun things. So, you know, you don’t want to talk about investing and inbox management. You know, that’s not something like people find interesting, but it does improve their experience and makes them happy to be sending you their money every month or year or however you pay your dues. So anyway, we thought we’d share this episode because there are things about Disney that frustrate us, and it’s not all pixie dust at all times. And we just want you to take this away and think about, you know, what points do I have we say this all the time? What points do I have with my customer and where are they experiencing frustration and how can I make that better? And, you know, in this perspective, we are long-term customers. You’re going to continue being customer. So they probably did a cost benefit analysis. Does it make sense to spend money, to get more cast members, to help these phone lines for vacation club members?

Nicole (16:25):
You know, they’re really frustrated, but we know they’re going to keep coming back. They have 50 year contracts with us. So we know that the bottom line, I think maybe it frustrates us even more because we do understand the bottom line and that we, that we probably aren’t a return on investment for them compared to hiring people in other parts of their business. So we understand, and I think that also leads to some of our frustration, but think about that in your business, you know, are you setting aside or treating your existing loyal customers differently than you are the brand new person? Are you constantly chasing that new lead or that shiny new product or whatever it is that you’re, that’s new and bright to your business and leaving aside, these people who have been with you for years and, you know, are the ones talking about your offers or sharing them, or, you know, buying any of the things you put out there.

Nicole (17:16):
We have super fans like that. Every single client I’ve worked with has a couple of people where you can just blurt out their name. Yeah. This person, she buys all my stuff and she’s great to have in my programs. I love her, you know, are you hurting those people in favor of new people? And you know, yeah. There were waves of your business. You’re sometimes you’re going to focus on new clients and centers. You’re going to first focus on your existing audience, but you know, think about it intentionally, maybe every single month. It’s like, what’s the one thing I’m doing for new people. And what’s the one thing I’m doing for existing people or thinking about it quarterly if monthly is a little bit too much.

Yasmine (17:55):
No, for sure. And a great example, like just to a real life example of this, like if you have a membership, which like we do, and we try our very best to take good care of the people in it. And as a result have like a really low churn rate, but I’ve had clients who’ve just been focused on like just growing memberships, growing memberships, growing memberships, without thinking about the infrastructure challenges and what they need to do to keep their current members happy. So every time they added a member, it was to replace like 1.5 that was leaving and their numbers never rose because they weren’t addressing the core issue. So take a look at those trends, take a look at that data. And before you start like chasing new members, because you’re having a churn problem to refill you know, the capacity that you lost in your membership, see if there’s anything you can do better to serve those people because, oh, it’s more

Nicole (18:41):
Expensive to bring you in than it is to just treat your existing people. Well, and I think, and this online industry, I do think that there’s a certain level of I’m bored of the product that I’ve put out there, or I’m bored of the people I’m serving or the thing I’ve been talking about these things for so long, I’m bored of it, that they just kind of abandoned the thing that they created in favor of getting new people in or starting something new. And, you know, that’s an, a good place to be an either. I mean, imagine if I say Nike a lot, but like, imagine if like McDonald’s got tired of serving hamburgers and fries every six months, like, you know, they probably go out of business because that’s what they are. So, you know, at some point it’s not always fun and it’s not always going to be like thriving and personal fulfillment in your business. And I think there’s just some toxic messaging out there that if you don’t love it, you, you shouldn’t do it. And that doesn’t necessarily build sustainable businesses, but we could have a whole other episode on all of that.

Yasmine (19:47):
All right. So if you’ve been with us this long, thank you for joining us on our little vent session about wait times at Disney. If you are interested in maybe joining us in person at an upcoming pixie dust and profits live event, because, you know, we like to sprinkle pixie dust on our people just to make the experience oh, so magical. Then you can sign up for the We haven’t announced the dates for the next retreat, but it is in the works. And we are excited to get together again in 2022 to enjoy Disney and talk biz strategy. All right.

Nicole (20:24):
And if you aren’t already following us on Instagram, follow us @pixiedustandprofits, and you can text message us. I promise there isn’t a wait time for that. We will actually respond to you. It’s 2 0 7 2 0 3 6 7 6 9. It is us answering no wait times. We’d love to hear from you. CRLT.

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Episode 46: Safety & Risk Tolerance in Your Business (Transcript)

Jun 15, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer as they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own.

Yasmine (00:25):
Hello and welcome to another episode of Pixie Dust & Profits. Today, we’re talking about Disney’s public image because one thing we know is they are very protective of how the mouse is portrayed. In fact, we talked about this on a previous episode with Christina Scalera of The Contract Shop® and of how Disney has been one of the biggest influencers of copyright law in the United States. In fact, Steamboat Willie, the first like sort of, or the most iconic caricature of Mickey mouse in history, I’d say that’s the first time you think it was a third Disney movie, but it was like, it’s like the one that everyone thinks of everyone knows that everyone has scenes during the show. Exactly. Right. So Disney has extended the expiry of that until 2025 and think it should have been in the public domain like years ago, but Disney kept fighting and finding it. And I think it’s gotten to the point where like, lawmakers are like, okay, Disney, like that’s enough now. So 2020 probably. I

Nicole (01:29):
Don’t know enough a lot, but it’s like, it’s derivative content. Right? They are still making things with that. So it’s exactly,

Yasmine (01:35):
Exactly right. So it’s not going

Nicole (01:38):
To be a live-action Steamboat Willie remix.

Yasmine (01:42):
Oh my gosh. I’m going to pass them. But like, they’re so protective of their image that they’ve literally influenced copyright law to protect the image of Mickey mouse. So Nicole, you’re going to talk a little bit about how Disney is protective of their image and other ways based on your experience of the keys to the kingdom tour.

Nicole (02:01):
Yeah. So w it’s no surprise if you’ve seen any cast member language, anywhere that they have key pillars. In fact, they just introduced a new one. And so they have these keys as cast members and one of them is safety. In fact, the most important one is safety. And it’s the safety of the guests, the safety of cast members, the safety of the brand, all of this stuff. So when you’re in the parks, everything is designed with safety in mind, which is, I think why they’ve had the type of response they’ve had to COVID in general is just where they need to save, you know, keep people safe in their parks, but they also need to keep their brand safe. And so one of the most like tangible examples I could give of that as a guest that you probably don’t notice when you’re going on rides is just, you can see how there’s always a flow to entering and exiting and that no one should be trampling over each other.

Nicole (02:51):
There is very clearly marked exits everywhere, and there’s bathrooms like every few feet, you know, they, they try to make sure that things set for safety and just flow because they know they have big crowds. You know, this was more explicit on the backstage tour that I went on. And there was one point where we were in basically the, the area where they fix and do maintenance on all of the rides. And, you know, every horse of the carousel has a maintenance schedule. The trash cans have a maintenance schedule. We actually got to see parts of the Ratatouille ride. And this was like two years ago. So they were working on that awhile ago. And, you know, we were in this place that had a lot going on. And at one point we got to see an audio animatronic and it was one that they had retired, but you could like take a picture in front of it or something like that.

Nicole (03:42):
And we had to wear safety goggles throughout the whole place, and they take pictures on their own camera. They would not let us use our cell phones during this. And they take pictures in front of the animatronic and then they would send them to us after the event. But they would not, they told us we will not send you these pictures if you are not wearing your safety goggles. So they are holding onto the images of you because they don’t want something to get out. That makes it look like they are not doing safe, like OSHA safe practices in their, in their employment areas. And also they do this on rides. If you’re on splash mountain and you’re doing something unsafe or you’re holding up a sign or anything like that, pictures not getting released. So, you know, they they’re very much in control of their brand and the perception of their brand.

Nicole (04:30):
So, you know, if you take this in a small business format, you have to think about like, what are you doing to control the narrative of what your brand PR portrays and what are you doing to protect and keep your brand safe to keep your customers and clients safe. Yes. but, but importantly, your products, your sustainability, your, your scalability, are you thinking about your business and that way, and I know it’s kind of a big concept and if you’re a short term thinker or, you know, you’re not very future paced, it might be something that’s a little bit foreign to think about. What am I doing to protect my business? And yes, we’ve talked about Christina and the contract shop. You can go back and listen to that episode to learn more, but there are other ways to think about like risk and your business and being safer.

Yasmine (05:22):
And it’s not like even just, you know what you’re saying online, right? Like when people think of like your brand’s image supplies, we think of like the actual, like brand aesthetic, like is everything cohesive. But then there’s other considerations where, you know, like I’m going to get political for a second, but over the past, like couple of years, like we’ve seen businesses get torn down because of like the opinions of others. So, you know, when you get to a certain point, like you have to think about what you’re putting out there, and it’s not necessarily a matter of like censoring your opinions. We’re not saying it’s just being conscious of like the implications. If you, you know, blast another business like that can come back and reflect on you, depending on, you know, the situation, how you phrase things, the words that you use.

Yasmine (06:11):
So definitely think about that. But beyond that, like, let’s go back to the actual, like structure and organization of the business. Like the products that you put up, Nicole, you shared this quote with me. So I’m gonna give credit to Nicole for this, but it’s simply a matter of fact that like, when you are starting up and when you’re launching your business, you might make a lot of really quick changes and pivots. Right? we’ve all been there. I’ve been there, the business that I thought that people expected from me and the business that I have now are two completely, like, not completely different, but they’re different things because the service that I originally thought my ideal customer wanted, wasn’t what they needed. So I switched gears and then my business sort of took off and here I am today. But as you grow in your business and as you get bigger, those constant changes can be detrimental. Nicole, tell us a little bit more about that.

Nicole (07:05):
Yeah. So, I mean, if you think about your business and you’re thinking about when you’re in that startup beginner phase, you’re probably thinking I need more customers and more clients and get a product. I need to scale it. I need to get all of this stuff in place. But once you have the products in place, once you have the customers in place, you know, and you’re just focusing maybe on lead generation, because you’ve got a stable base, do you now need to shift your focus? Your, your number one needs to be safety. It needs maybe not number one, but it needs to be in the list of goals that you’re thinking about. It can’t all just be about revenue and, you know, growth of how many people are in your programs. It also needs to think about safety because that’s where you get sustainable. So, you know, you don’t want to be throwing spaghetti at the wall, launching new products all the time.

Nicole (07:53):
You know, sometimes it’s easier to steer the ship by moving slowly, right? So if you think about your business as like, okay, you’re just in a schooner all alone or a kayak or something, and you can control the flow. But then when you add a whole bunch of people on the ship, because you’re a cruise ship, now it takes so much more time to pivot a cruise ship than it does to pivot a kayak. So, you know, you need to slow down, you need to build what you have to be. Long-Lasting to be impactful and to be something that people want for, for sticking power. They want it longer. They want it. They want to be able to come back to it later. So you need to start thinking about saying no to things, you know, not taking on big risks because the cost will be higher because you might just service people already in your audience or something like that.

Nicole (08:43):
You need to protect the assets you’ve made and you need to, in order to scale or to grow, you need to stop trying to change those assets that you have. So, you know, Disney thinks about safety in a lot of ways. I think, you know, this is why, when things unfortunate things happen, like the little boy who passed away with the alligator accident at the Grand Floridian, this is why, you know, there were lawsuits and uppers and stuff, and, you know, Disney prioritizes safety. Yes. Because it’s a good thing to do. But also because they don’t, they don’t want to be associated with events like that happening. And they immediately implemented some measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again. And they don’t, you don’t want any customer to have some sort of event like that with you. And I’m not saying that we’re in positions, but you know, things like that can happen, but you never know what’s going to happen.

Nicole (09:38):
And so if you think about things in terms of like, is this safe? Is this a good choice? Is this putting myself at risk? Is this putting my next offer or promotion at risk? Let’s say you have, you know, a sale coming up and you decide to say yes to something a month before your sale. And now all of a sudden you’re asking people to buy something and then you’re asking them to buy something for your sale. You just cannibalize yourself. Like, is that a safe choice? Is that something that is risky for my business right now? What’s the opportunity cost. And so I think, and this episode, you know, I really just started thinking about how they wouldn’t even release a photo of me wearing my safety goggles. And someone might call that censorship, you know, but for them it’s a core value to who they are. And so just think about the things you put out there before you put them out there. Yes. And your messaging, but also think about, and how you design your products and how you plan to have some staying power for the future.

Yasmine (10:34):
And the key takeaway there is sometimes it’s just easier to tweak an existing product that you have to address some of the pain points or to inject something new in it there, because let’s face it, entrepreneurs get bored. They do, we we’ve seen it time and time again, they get bored of like what they have and then they want to like burn the whole thing down and start a new, but that’s really, really risky. Take a look at what you have and see what you can tweak and modify. So, you know, you can steer the ship a couple degrees, not do a full, like 180 in the other direction, fashion to a reef.

Nicole (11:06):
Yeah. And it’s okay to feel bored with what you’re doing. Yeah. But find something else that’s fulfilling to do on the side. Right. You know, you don’t have to destroy the thing that’s working and bringing in revenue and customers and all of that to do something more fulfilling. You can, I, it’s really hard for entrepreneurs to understand this, but you can have a hobby, you know, like not everything needs to turn into a business. And I mean, I say that tongue in cheek, because you know, when we go out and do something, I’m like, man, I couldn’t get a better website. I could, I could build this business better. You know? So

Yasmine (11:40):
It’s definitely, we took our love of Disney and turned into a business tickle. Right. You know? Right.

Nicole (11:45):
You know, our hobby is a podcast, right. So, you know, you can keep the business sustainable, you can get the product, moving, can do those tweaks and not pivot as much. And maybe you have side thing. That’s just like, you could set a budget to it. You’re like, this is my play money to do whatever I feel like is like risky. But it’s a, it’s a controlled risk when you do that, when you stop and look at your whole budget of time of resources of money. And then you’re like, oh, okay, like, I’ll set this aside for playing money. I mean, it’s like investing in the stock market. You know, some people have different risk tolerances and some will take $10,000 and go lose it all. And some will take $10,000 and put 8,000 in the bank and play with 2000. Some might put 10,000 in the bank, like that’s up to you, but you need to stop and take a moment to breathe and think about, okay, I’ve got this thing.

Nicole (12:35):
That’s moving really well. That ship is steering forward is going to get to port. We’re not worried about it. And then over here I can have, you know, my little play island that I’m going to do some fun things with and see how it goes. Maybe it’s an awesome experiment that you ended up scaling up and make a second business and you sell your first business, who knows. But I think it’s important to play and explore like, you know, being a kid again, right. It’s important to play an Explorer in your business, but it’s also really important to keep that safe foundation. If you want to be sustainable, if you just want a business for a year, go ahead and keep changing direction.

Yasmine (13:09):
For sure. It’s like, just going back to your stock market analogy, you should never invest what you cannot afford to lose. Right? So if you can’t afford to like burn up all the income you have coming in from your current sustainable business for something new, then set a budget in smaller ways. All

Nicole (13:27):
Right. Well, we hope this episode got you thinking about risk and a new way. I know it’s something that people can often run away from, but stop, take a moment. Think about all the things in your business and, and you know where you’re going to get a return on investment, but include risk in that assessment while you’re doing it.

Yasmine (13:45):
So thanks again for joining us. If you are not following us on Instagram, please do we share a lot of really fun Disney stuff and updates there. We’re @pixiedustandprofits. If you are stuck and not sure if you need to pivot or tweak, text us, we are your business fairy godmothers waiting, just sprinkle some magic on your business. You can reach us at 2 0 7 2 0 3 6 7 6 9. And yes, it really is us answering. We’re here to help you out. So thanks again. And we’ll see you real soon.

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Episode 45: Diversity & Inclusion at Disney (Transcript)

Jun 1, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer as they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own.

Yasmine (00:26):
Hello and welcome to another episode of Pixie Dust & Profits today. Nicole and I are talking about some recent changes that Disney has implemented both in the company when it comes to diversity and inclusion and some changes they’ve actually made for cast members in the parks. So if you haven’t heard Disney has relaxed the super strict dress code that has actually been in place. I think since the parks opened with walls, which meant all the men had to sort of be clean shaven. There were only certain hairstyles that were approved for women.

Nicole (01:00):
Oh, tattoos, visible, visible skin covered. Basically

Yasmine (01:05):
They even have restrictions on terms of like nail polish makeup, all sorts of things like that. And as a result of wanting to step towards being a much more inclusive company, and we’ve seen this happen in a lot of the changes that Disney’s implemented on Disney plus for example, you’ll know that certain movies that were made, you know, back in the day where certain things that are deemed like unacceptable and super racist. Now we’re kind of the norm. They’re going to call that out. And while they have come under fire for, you know, pushing like politics to the forefront of children’s movies, I think it’s important that they’re acknowledging these things. So the big change that they’ve made is they’re actually removing old gender specific dress code. So if you know you, whether or not you identify as male, if you are male passing in the past, you would have had to wear a man’s costume. And now they’re actually letting people dress how they identify, which we think is super forward, super progressive, and a positive step that Disney is taking as a company. Other ways that they’re really trying to be a lot more inclusive is looking at diversity and representation at their company level. Nicole, do you wanna talk a little bit about that?

Nicole (02:21):
Yeah. So if you go to, it’s their investor shareholder site. And we like to go there because we like to get their quarterly reports and things like that, but they also have a lot of information there about the things that they’re working on for, you know, social justice, but also environmental and all these other areas. And so they have a diversity and inclusion section and they have a dashboard that they publicly put out there to show the makeup of their workforce. And they don’t just say, Hey, our workforce is 51% female, 46% people of color. It’s broken down by the level. So they have executive manager below manager. And I think that this is a really fabulous way for them to be accountable to the public, to their shareholders, to themselves that they’re doing this work. And, you know, especially in a company like Disney, they’re all, it always comes down to the numbers, right?

Nicole (03:20):
You can say, we’re trying to be more diverse, but like this can actually prove that they are because you know, that that figure shifted from 22% to 23% this year. And you know, of course like every other huge company out there, they are overwhelmingly white male in the executive suite, but this dashboard shows us that 42% of the executive suite is female. 22% is people of color and that number keeps increasing. And so hopefully my hope is that we would start to see this look like it does in the population, right? 50, 50 male, female, you know, 15% African-American or black, just it should resemble the population. And Disney actually does a really great job with their reason why they’re doing this. And I think that it is very much Disney. You know, Disney is all about being storytellers. And so I just love this phrase.

Nicole (04:18):
I’m going to read it. And it basically capitally encapsulates why they are doing this work, right? So stories are better when the storytellers represent the vast experiences of the people who will hear them at Disney, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to create authentic unforgettable stories, experiences, and products that capture the imagination of generations, of people around the world. We are committed to doing that in a way that counts everybody in. That’s just an amazing statement, right? It is so Disney. That was the mission and purpose 50 years ago. And it is the mission and purpose today. But trends change. People change society changes and Disney is changing with it. And that is, what’s kept them here for the long haul. And what’s going to keep them here for even longer, even through global pandemics and other catastrophes that might happen in the next year.

Yasmine (05:17):
Yup. So you might be thinking, well, how does this apply to your business? Well, we have a few takeaways and a few different ways. You can look at this change of disease making and applying it to your own business first and foremost is, as you are growing your team, take a look at who you’re hiring and does it represent the population that you live within? I know that that’s been something super important for Nicole and I on the teams that we’re on, where like try to make sure that we are giving an opportunity to candidates of all backgrounds, because regardless of where you’re from, people have different perspectives and that allows them to add value and refreshing insights into problems that your business is happening, that you might not have considered because you’re looking at things from just your worldview and your viewpoint. So,

Nicole (06:01):
I mean, we’ve kind of talked about how this industry can feel so stale at times, you know, people regurgitating water down versions of someone else’s formula or framework and, you know, just putting a new name on it and selling the same thing, thinking about problems in the same way, with the same solution and the easiest way to overcome everything being the same is to get a group of people in a room together and say, here’s the problem? What do you see? What do you see? What do you see? And start pulling all those ideas together. And you can actually brainstorm into something even better than any of you individually could have thought. And so it’s not only important from a social perspective, it’s important to the healthiness of your business and products and offers and the way you market yourself and the way that your business will last for generations. So get more people in the room to ask questions, but that’s the reason you joined masterminds, right? When you join a mastermind, I encourage you to look for one that’s a little bit different than the one that you are most drawn to, or the one that looks like everyone, and here’s a copywriter and I’m a copywriter. Let me jump right in, go somewhere. That’s a little bit different and I’m sure you’ll see it start seeing things in a different way and start thinking in a different way.

Yasmine (07:18):
In fact, that’s the best sort of business lesson that I’ve learned is look at other industries and see what you can take from how they’re doing things and apply it to your own business. My background was in pharmaceuticals and like pharma technology, that’s completely different from selling like online info products, but there’s a lot of lessons in terms of just the processes and things that we did that I was able to pull and you know, bring to life in the strategies for my clients that have been successful. So always look outside of your box, so to speak. And I’m not saying that in like the cliche business way, but yeah, there’s so many like interesting lessons out there. And Nicole, you make a really good point about maybe not joining a mastermind with just copywriters because that, you know, puts you further into your little box in your little world.

Nicole (08:08):
I think here is just, you know, having the mission statement. And I know sometimes mission statements can get kind of Lulu. But it is like the first step of the business plan, right? And the most important thing here is what’s the why behind you do it, why you’re doing it and how does it actually connect to the vision you have for your business? And Disney did a really great job here with, with their statement about why this is important. So even for the naysayers who were saying Disney is part of cancel culture or whatever they’re saying, you know, Disney can stand here and say, look, we are storytellers. And that is what we have always built our brand around. And there’s a lot of opportunity to tell better stories, more fulfilling stories, stories that connect with more people. If we do our work and do our job to bring other people to the table.

Nicole (08:57):
So I just think that it’s important to think about that. Why when you’re doing things and review your old policies, look at you, look at the stuff you’ve been doing for years. Look at the questions you ask when you hire or your job description or where you’re posting your job description, look like who your relationships are with and see if you can bring in one new person, two new people to just expand your bubble a tiny bit and a new way. So that way you can, as a business owner, this is part of your responsibility to forge relationships with other people. So that way you can grow your business and they can grow their business. And you know, Yasmine and I were talking a little bit earlier about mentorship, right? This diversity inclusion. Isn’t just having people at the table right now. It’s a holistic system that you need to embrace as a whole.

Yasmine (09:49):
Yeah. We have worked with so many people over the past few years that we’ve known each other that have grown their businesses. They’ve gotten to new levels. I think that’s fricking amazing. I mean, one of the things that I love about what I do is as you know, a female business owner, I get to employ other female business owners. And I get to like that like economy that we’re creating, it gets a spread and touch others’ lives and make actual changes. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I moved away from Harper. It was because I wanted to help people, not like these massive businesses that were like faceless identities, right. And seeing that growth, it’s just been phenomenal. Like I get so excited when I see like a contractor that we hired, you know, for the first time, years ago, grow their business and now have a big team of their own, you know?

Nicole (10:41):
So it was a little sad because that means we need to find someone new and, you know, cultivate that relationship and train them up. But honestly, for me, anyway, the biggest thing about what I do is that I can make an impact beyond my own home. And I never felt that level of fulfillment when I worked in corporate back office at a bank looking through how we can improve the process of foreclosures and collections calls and all sorts of things like that, not fun conversations, not fun things to, to work through. And I was impacting the bottom line of the bank. And right now I’m impacting the bottom line of, you know, the person who helps us get our show notes up and, you know, has a one-year-old and I’m impacting the lives of someone who’s teaching other, stay at home moms who, you know, make products on the side, how to make their products like safety compliance.

Nicole (11:37):
So that way they’re not getting into trouble or, or hurting someone’s baby by making teethers. That just aren’t right for safety reasons. You know, and it’s just one of those circles that keeps getting bigger. And I think if we want to change some of the landscape of society and how women and minorities are not as represented in the corporate America, it’s we need to do it ourselves. You know, we’ve, we’ve tried to let them play the game for a while and change things. And it’s great that they’re starting to make those steps, but, you know, as a small business owner, I have more impact that I can do. It’s smaller. It’s not, you know, we’re not talking about 20,000 for, let’s say we’re here. Disney has a 200,000 employees worldwide. No, my scope isn’t that big, it’s more like 10, 20, 25 when you start, you know, taking everyone circles even further, but we can do this work. And if 2000 of us do this and our circles are 20 people and we impact or lift up or mentor someone else to do this work in the future. And then they grow, they grow out of being able to support us anymore. When we find somebody else to help, you know, it’s just going to keep this industry growing and keep that impact moving, which is what it’s all about. And it

Yasmine (12:55):
Makes us as impactful as Disney at that number and that scale. So yeah, we, this is definitely something that we’re super passionate about in case you can’t tell and something that’s very near and dear to

Nicole (13:06):
Us. So if you’re not already thinking about diversity and inclusion in your business, I really encourage you to do that. Follow people outside of your orbit, look at how your hiring practices are looking at who you’re mentoring or not mentoring right now. And just find ways to increase your circle and think about things in a new way. So if you want to talk to us more about this topic, then please send us a text message at 2 0 7 2 0 3 6 7 6 9. It is actually us. We will respond to you and we are happy to talk about this or any episode if you’re not already on our email list, make sure to join at and head over to Instagram @pixiedustandprofits. We love to talk to you there too. Thanks for joining us today. And we’ll see a real bye.

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Episode 44: Musings on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (Transcript)

May 18, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer as they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big-scale concepts to your own.

Nicole (00:26):
Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of Pixie Dust & Profits. We are going to forewarn you. We might get a little bit geeky on this episode because may the fourth just happened and with a Kmart slew of Star Wars information, but only bite-sized information. So we are going to go into speculation and have a bit of fun today talking about the brand new hotel, the Star Wars, Galactic Star Cruiser. And yes, that is the name of a hotel. We got like a little teaser on may the fourth about what these rooms look like and what the experience is going to be. And we are so excited to probably spend thousands of dollars to go do this. So, yes. When do you want to share a little bit about what it even is and why it’s different than a normal hotel?

Yasmine (01:16):
Yeah. So as you know, if you go to Disney, you can book a hotel site and really what that gives you as a room, this new Star Wars Galactic Star Cruiser experience that Disney has put together is kind of more akin to a cruise ship on land. So in the sense, It’s all-inclusive, right? Like you buy your ticket, you aboard the ship and then that’s where you have all your experiences. And that’s what they’re doing in this hotel. It’s a completely immersive 360 experience. You sign up, you go and you’re basically characters in a story, which is super duper cool. Everything that you do in literally the hotel, I’m assuming you don’t leave during the entire time that you’re there.

Nicole (01:58):
Yeah. They have like an outdoor area, you know, just like an extremely themed outside areas. So you do leave, but, but you’re supposed

Yasmine (02:08):
To be in space. So like, if you go outdoors and Spacey had you die. So to send somewhere, yeah. Maybe they have their own version of Castaway Cay, which is Disney’s private island in The Bahamas. So maybe we go to a planet, hopefully not Hoff, cause it’s really cold there. But anyway, it’s super cool. And you’re there for three days, two nights you stay in a room with a family and pricing is still sort of like TBD. There’s been speculation that it’s you know, like $1,500 per person. There’s been speculation that there’s a flat fee for a room that can accommodate after five people in a family. So we still don’t quite know how much it’s going to cost. But I think you’re looking at like around five to $10,000 for this like two night experience, which is a pretty penny, but knowing Disney, it’s going to be like unexperienced that you’re not going to forget.

Nicole (03:08):
Yeah. When you look at like the cruise prices, right. Cause I, my husband never wants to go on a cruise, but I have still searched that website to see how much a Disney cruise is. And they’re pretty pricey. It can, for people who even go to Walt Disney World all the time, the curses can feel expensive. But you know, we had an episode last week where we talked about just the differences between a Disney cruise and a regular cruise. And it really is in the guest experience and the service and the magic that’s all around. And I think this takes that to another level entirely where they’re, you know, basically making you a character, like you said, in a story and the story evolves over time. So it’s not that you can arrive any day you want and stay two nights, everyone who’s staying on the galactic star cruiser together arrives on the same day and leaves on the same day.

Nicole (03:57):
Just like it’s a cruise ship because they contain the story. Right? So I think this is even set up to be that every time you go, the story might be different. So even if you’ve done galactic star cruiser before, you might still want to go again, because the next time you go, the story’s going to change because the people on the ship are different that time. So it’s really interesting to see them basically pull their stage show and, and, and make it the whole experience. So while we don’t know the pricing, I would say at least a thousand dollars to $1,500, $1,500 a night per person sounds probably along the lines that we’re looking at here. What’s really interesting. And what I can’t wait to see is this plot of land where the Galactic Star Cruiser is, is right next to Galaxy’s Edge. So I’m wondering if there’s a way to see Galaxy’s Edge.

Nicole (04:51):
They were talking about having like projections on all of the windows in the hotel. So you kind of look like you’re looking out on space, so you won’t even know you’re in Florida, I think for a couple of days. But I’m wondering like what kind of experiences are they going to have to tie it in to Galaxy’s Edge? Do you know? They intentionally chose to build it right next to it. Is there, I know, is it going to be two days, three nights? And then on your day that you leave you, you land at Galaxy’s Edge and you get some exclusive experiences. And I don’t know that, that sounds really cool to me.

Yasmine (05:25):
Yeah. We’re, we’re both like super excited to test this out and go. I know Nicole, you talked about maybe going without your son and going with just your husband.

Nicole (05:36):
Yeah. My son can be a little bit of a worrywart and it takes a lot of convincing to get him to go, even though I think he might like it while there he had done some of the star wars riots, and he was really little and loved them and we couldn’t get him off them. But then as he got older, he was just, I don’t know, it’s inside. It sounds like it might be scary. So still we’re still working on getting him to be all in on the star wars friends. We, my husband tries it every opportunity, but it’s a slow journey we’ll get there.

Yasmine (06:09):
And Dylan and I are like patiently waiting for our daughter to grow up so we can like take her on this experience. But you know, it seems so cool that I’m just trying to convince him to go as adults because like, obviously with Disney experiences, like you can enjoy them as adults. I mean, we do, we’re both in our mid thirties and we freaking love going to Disney, but star wars, isn’t a like franchise that was originally tailored towards youngins. And I imagine that there’s going to be like a lot of like grown-up experiences. Like I’ve seen talks about like the bars that they’ll have on the ship. And yeah, I’m curious to see how they’ll be catering to you know, adults attending or flying, I should say without kiddos.

Nicole (06:52):
Yeah. Well, before the pandemic hit, we were able to take a trip to Disney world and go seek Galaxy’s Edge. And you could tell that even though it was child-friendly, there were so many nods and elements for the adults and the long-term Star Wars fans, and just the interactive experiences. You could have your phone out and play this. I don’t even know what it was. I was, I was in charge of watching our kid while we were in Galaxy’s Edge. So my husband could run around having fun. And he was showing me this app on his phone. It’s a game where you go collect loot from different crates all around the place. And you know, I’m looking forward to actually being able to play that the next time we go. But you know, it’s really, it’s, it’s really just immersing people in an experience. Right?

Nicole (07:35):
And we talk about this all the time on Disney does it really well. And we always bring it back to your business where we talk about how it’s important to make sure that when people are in your brand, they’re in your brand, they know who you are and they know what you’re about. They know what kind of products or services or support that they can get from you. And it’s completely immersing them in that. So how can you keep people in this bubble? How can you get them to arrive, you know, at valet and then put them in an elevator, send them to the star cruiser and make them believe that they’re in this star cruiser for three days, right? How can you keep people in your bubble? The other thing that like is really important, I think to mention about this whole experiment, cause this is an experiment I haven’t heard of other places that have themed hotel experiences, but the other thing to keep in mind here is that they didn’t reinvent the wheel.

Nicole (08:28):
They didn’t go back to the drawing board to find out, okay, we want, we know we want to do a star wars hotel. What do we do? They have significant experience in the cruise ship industry. They, they thought of this model that they already have in a different line of an, a different revenue stream and thought, how can we apply the same concept to something that’s on land? And I think that’s such an innovation. You know, we talk a lot about innovation and creating new products and thinking a new way, but there’s so much beauty in the simplicity of seeing what works and how can I just twist it a little bit? You know, it’s an elegant form of innovation that I think it’s overlooked often in favor of when we throw more spaghetti at the wall and start from scratch because nothing worked, which is hardly ever true.

Nicole (09:21):
You know, if you ever have a launch or a product that seemingly flops you know, I think product sellers can share a lot of their experiences with you about creating some new card or t-shirt or something. And that just didn’t take off, like they thought it would. So they kind of take elements of that and use it later. I mean, even graphic designers, right? They send four concepts to a client and the client loves or hates them. And they reuse those concepts that, you know, got to know for the next client that it seems like it might be a really good fit for. So there there’s a simplicity in innovating through what you already have versus, you know, starting from zero.

Yasmine (10:06):
And one other thing that they’re probably leveraging from that, like cruise experience is the incorporation of premium experiences on board. Like, so if you go on a Disney cruise, like yes, your food and your stays are included, but there’s a lot of extra things to pay for. Are there restaurants on the cruise that are adult only, and that you have to like actually pay to like order from there are the alcoholic beverages, again, those aren’t included in your stay, where in, I think a lot of other cruise lines like alcohol is included, there is a spa that’s onboard. And then of course the experiences, if you’re actually stopping anywhere that that Disney has. So it’d be really interesting to see what they’ll do with the galactic star cruiser and what premium experiences you can purchase there. But when you think about applying it to your own business, I mean, just because someone buys your product, or course that doesn’t mean that the sale necessarily has to stop there.

Yasmine (11:02):
Sometimes you can layer in things like additional support, like a bonus coaching call or one-on-one time that they can pay maybe a discounted price for it. Or maybe there is an additional experience that they can attend, like an in-person retreat. That’s an extra hard cost because they’re physically getting together. And obviously that has expenses with you. There are always ways that you can enhance the experience within, you know, something that’s either like low cost already or already premium, like this Disney experience is, and still provide that support and keep people in that bubble while generating some revenue for your business and for my product based business owners out there, don’t worry. We got you too. If you have a subscription, for example, like you can always add in these upsells or add ons to your subscription, which, you know, encourages people to spend more and buy more, but still keeps them in your bubble, right? You’re you’re offering the things that they need.

Nicole (11:54):
I think we kind of get a glimpse at what one of the upsells will be for the star cruiser, because the video that they released on may, the fourth was of you know, re holding a light saber and pressing a button. And, you know, the hologram comes out of the lightsaber and it actually works. Like it it’s an actual video. It’s not CGI. Like they’ve had their imaginary is working on making real lightsabers. And so I wonder if those will be purchasable and if so, I am sure my husband will want one. We, we made droids at the Galaxy’s Edge. We did not make a light saber. So maybe he was holding on to that request for when they had the real ones. So that’s like an that they’ll have, but you know, going back to what you can do in your business, I think about stuff like, gosh, like HelloFresh, I use that for a short time and moved onto something else, but I was looking for local options that were similar, where like a chef makes meals to help us like figure out the whole dinner situation, which I think is the hardest part of the pandemic so far is figuring out what’s for dinner every day.

Nicole (13:06):
But you know, they have their standard, right? You’ve got three days or three evenings of meals. Do you want more meals? Okay. You can go up to five days. Here’s, here’s an extra, like $20 you need to spend or, oh, are you getting steak? Okay, that’s going to be an extra $3. So sometimes we think about things as fixed costs, especially as small business owners that, you know, we can’t ask for that little bit additional, but next time you’re at a restaurant, go look at the menu where it says, right there, $2 for cheese, one slice of bacon, $3. You know, if these restaurants can do things like that, you can think about it in terms of your brand too. I’m not saying nickel and dime your customers, but think about, okay, well, if they’re already ordering a subscription box for me, then what, what can I include with this subscription box to make it more premium?

Nicole (13:55):
So is there one more item I can put in and they can opt in for that one item or not. So it kind of puts things in line with what the person’s budget is and what they want from you. And you already have their credit card on file, or, you know, they trust the stuff that they get from you. And I think that’s the biggest thing is that they trust what they’re going to get from you. So it’s easier to get that resale. And that’s why it’s so much more expensive to bring in a new customer than it is to sell to an existing customer because the level of trust in each of those audiences is significantly different. So I don’t know when we’re going to get to go on the galactic star cruiser. It sounds like it’s opening in 2022. There are no details about when we can book.

Nicole (14:40):
And so maybe our next episode on this will be from the Star cruiser. I don’t know, we’re really excited about it, but we thought we’d share with you just some of thoughts we’ve had in our head about, you know, the elegance of simple innovation and using things that, you know, work and twisting them to your new need, to upselling wherever possible and in an ethical way, of course. And again, immersing people in this experience that I am pretty sure this is going to sell out no matter what its price point is the day it goes live. You know, this is, I mean, how many people have been, I don’t know, Comicon and star wars for the eight days seemed like they weren’t that long ago, but it’s like 40 years ago. So there are people who’ve been into this world, their entire lives, like this is going to be really cool.

Yasmine (15:39):
Yeah. Definitely cannot wait and hoping that like I personally don’t have to wait until my kid is old enough to enjoy the experience to go. Cause yeah, like just going back to what you said earlier, Nicole, like I think it absolutely makes sense. They’ll have different experiences that you could buy into similar to how they have different cruises or cruises.

Nicole (16:00):
It’ll be, you know, how you have like the private captains quarter on a cruise ship, like by that level, are you going to be, I don’t know, like a rebel general, like, are they going to treat you differently or are you going to like have to go into battle? Like, I don’t think that they would do that based on the price of the room, but I don’t know, maybe like a certain room level. It means like you’re with the Stormtrooper,

Yasmine (16:29):
I’d be interested in that you can choose, maybe you can

Nicole (16:33):
Choose. Cause my husband would totally choose to be with like the first order or he would be all over. Like they were just trying to bring order to the galaxy. So when we did the Star Wars rival run, I was running with the heroes and he was running for the villains. And like, it’s just, it’s kind of fun. It’s fun between us. Cause I was like, just have hope.

Yasmine (16:54):
Awesome. Well, we we’d love to know if you were excited about this upcoming experience at Disney, do you want to go or are you even a Star Wars fan? As you know, you can always catch us on Instagram, let us know what you think @pixiedustandprofits, or you can interact with us in a brand new way. Why don’t you just give us a text? You can text your business fairy, godmothers. That again is me and Nicole. And tell us what you think about this episode. You can catch us at 2 0 7 2 0 3 6 7 6 9. Again, it’s 2 0 7 2 0 3 6 7 6 9. Yes, it is us on the other end. So give us a text. And in case you didn’t catch the number, we have it in our show notes. So we look forward to hearing from you and yeah. Finding out what you think. See you real soon.

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Creating New Products With What You Already Have (Transcript)

May 4, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.

Nicole (00:25):
Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. We are super excited to have a guest interview. Today. We are joined by Diane Barrow Smith and she is a strategy and planning manager by day at her corporate job. But by night she’s taking those skills to Disney fans like us to help them plan their extended Disney world vacations. And this has because she’s in the UK and in the UK, they take their holidays a bit differently than we do. We don’t typically go for three weeks at a time. We go for me one weeks, tops. I think my longest trip to Disney world was, was it like six or seven days with you Yasmine? Yeah,

Yasmine (01:05):
That was two years ago, right?

Nicole (01:08):
Where we went with. That was, yes. Well, we’re going to have to take another one of those trips soon, but seriously, six days felt like a really long time for me. And I know that we came back to family and business stuff piling up. So I can’t imagine the amount of planning that needs to go into a three week vacation. So luckily you have Diane here to help you with that. She also makes stationary to make the planning process even more smooth. So this is our love language, Disney operations strategy planning. Love it. So today she’s here to talk to us a little bit about some marketing activities and some products that Disney is offering overseas, and we don’t usually get these types of advertisements. So it’s really fun to learn about the things they’re doing in other places. So Diane, can you tell us a little bit more about these UK staycation cruises that Disney’s offering?

Diane (02:00):
Yeah, sure. So they the UK does new staycation cruises. They released them which was a whole summer’s worth of shot two to four night cruises from four different parts in the UK. So we normally only get maybe one or two cruises each year that leave from the UK. They tend to be longer form cruises. So seven, 10, even 14 night cruises. And actually them leaving from the UK. They tend to leave from Dover and they, they’re not very frequent. And also they’re really expensive because obviously they’re longer cruises. So if you’ve never done a Disney cruise before they can look really pricey. And if you’re wondering what the value is, they can be a bit daunting. So what they’ve done is they’ve brought the Disney magic ship over and they have launched I think there’s like six weeks or so maybe a bit longer. I think originally was a little longer these two to four night cruises that are literally leaving from these ports looping around, floating around in the sea and then coming back to that part. So they’ve called them Disney’s magic at sea. And they are literally staycations that don’t leave the UK. So there a really interesting way of getting a new audience interested in something and utilizing an asset that they already have floating about doing nothing at the moment.

Nicole (03:27):
Yeah. I’ve never been on a Disney cruise. And I admit that, you know, even as a vacation club member who spends quite a bit of time at Disney, the cruises have a pretty big price tag that can be a deterrent to especially new new audiences, right? So a Disney cruise is typically for someone who’s been to Disney world knows what to expect. Usually families there, they expect characters, they expect shows it’s, it’s different than a typical cruise. And so there’s a price tag that comes along with that entertainment level. And I, I think it’s such a smart move for them to, you know, deal with the risks right now with the Corona virus in a way that first of all, it makes us more accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise afford a Disney cruise and, you know, just builds the trust and makes them feel safe. Because like you said, they’re not leaving the UK, they’re going from one port and sailing around and coming right back.

Yasmine (04:26):
And what’s really interesting is Disney sort of implements a slightly similar model when they’re departing from the U S so they actually have like two to three day cruises that go through The Bahamas. They don’t stop at Castaway Cay, which is, Disney’s like private owned island in The Bahamas and just like loop back to what does it celebration? No, not celebration. It’s Polk enough roll

Nicole (04:48):
In Florida. Yeah.

Yasmine (04:51):
So they just loop back to port Canaveral in Florida. And you know, when we think about going on cruises and going on those trips, you typically think of those, like multi-stop you know, vacations where you’re, you know, doing a little day trips at all these different ports, but Disney does their cruises a little differently and they have a ton of entertainment on board. Dan, can you tell us a little bit about like what makes a Disney cruise a little bit different from maybe your standard fare from like Royal Caribbean and other competitors?

Diane (05:21):
I mean, I could literally talk about this for like an inquire day. I absolutely loved Disney cruises. We’ve, we’ve been to all the parks bar Shanghai, and that was only because Shanghai opened late. I might add I was over there when they were meant to open and they did it. I was devastated. So the, the cruises are actually one of my absolute favorite things to do because the service level on them is absolutely incredible. So if you think about the service level that you get from the cast members in particularly Disney world it’s that of service and then some like the service level is incredible. Like I’ve never seen anything like it. They’ll cut up your kids’ food for you so that you don’t have to do it, which is incredible. I’m like, yeah, sure. You can do that.

Diane (06:11):
You go ahead and they remember what drinks you like so that they come to you, like on your second or third night with, you know, would you like that drink that you had last night? The, they, they follow you around. So your, your serving team follow you each night. So they know they get to know you, they get to know your likes, any allergies, dislikes, entertainment wise, there’s like Broadway or west end, wherever you’re from level like that kind of caliber of shows. So it might be tangled or beauty and the beast, or there’s like specific Disney, like the Disney dream you’re selling me here. Oh, that’s so good. It love them. They’re amazing. And then there’s obviously all the characters and there’s some really rare ones. They have seasonal ones. So the Halloween on the high seas is an amazing cruise. And they have like a big tree that grows pumpkin’s in the atrium and

Nicole (07:03):
They have the eyes of an adult and a kid.

Diane (07:09):
And then on that, from that perspective, like there’s a nursery and kids clubs as well. So if you want to have a family holiday, a family vacation, that you can have a bit of both the time for both separately, there’s an adult pool. And so if your kids often the kids club meeting bell or doing a slime creating activity or something, you can go to the adult pool and they have these like really nice lounges with like comfy cushions on them. And there’s a bar and you can get cocktails and there’s no children. So it’s an amazing balance of, that’s why I love them. Like, there’s just so many positives to a Disney cruise. They’re incredible. And yeah, I could go on about them all day long. So

Yasmine (07:55):
It’s actually gone on a Disney cruise. Like I have been planning to go on one, but one of the common themes that we talk about is how me getting pregnant, ruined all my Disney plans. And I had a trip where I was supposed to go to Disney and do a cruise with my mum in like December of 2019, but, you know, had a baby instead. But one of the things that I really liked about the cruises and it’s one of the things I like about Disney is the different dining experiences. So they actually have like different restaurants on board with different vibes and like feels and stuff, which again is really exciting for kids and adults who are children at heart like me.

Diane (08:30):
Oh yeah. The Tiana’s one on the wander. So there’s like, they’ve made Tiana’s restaurant on the wonder. And they have a band playing and Tiana goes around and meets people and they do like a Mardi Gras festival with a parade in the restaurant. And you get to join in and they give you the beads and the crocodile goes around and you get to meet the crocodile it’s so it’s such good fun. I absolutely love it. It’s like, and the food’s amazing as well. So you kind of adding all the best bits of Disney, putting it on a boat and getting to see amazing places, normally amazing places as well. So yeah, absolutely. My favorite Disney trip, I mean, I mean comes close second, but yeah, well

Nicole (09:15):
This all sounds amazing. And of course, we’re all going to go look and see how much a cruises is when they’re reopening over here now. So as of the recording of this, the staycation cruises are not yet able to be booked and they’ve only been marketed and put out there. So is there any information about how it’s going to be different from this traditional experience that you’re describing here? I know it’s going to be shorter, but are there going to be, you know, characters out and about right now and the parks, there are it’s, they’re kind of at a distance and a conclave of cars. So have they talked about that at all? They

Diane (09:50):
Have, but the information that they’ve released at the moment is minimal at best. So, and obviously they are adapting to the information that the UK government setting out for them, which is obviously changing frequently as it is across every country in the world right now. There’s not even any information on masks or whether you need a vaccine or not. It kind of just says there will be COVID restrictions and these will change, and some things may be closed or different from normal. So they’ve made it quite clear that it’s not going to be what it would normally be. Obviously as there always is in the Disney community, there’s rumors all over the place. But there’s nothing set in stone because I, I’m not convinced that they are set in stone like that they have set that in stone yet.

Diane (10:46):
And I think there’s a lot of things that they need to iron out with regards to that, because in, so in the UK, our vaccine program is around age 45 ish. You can get a vaccine 45 plus or underlying health conditions. Which means that kids are a long way off that yet. And obviously Disney’s target is families with young children. And by some others there’s no guarantee that kids would have been vaccinated or whether they will be. So I think they’re still sort of holding back on some of those decisions, not even the information, just making those decisions closer to the time. So it’s definitely all a bit up in the air at the moment, but there’s a lot of noise about it and everyone’s really excited. So, yeah. Interesting strategy for sure.

Nicole (11:32):
It’s interesting because you know, they’ve put this information out there, they kind of outlined dates and told people, you know, this is coming, but Ben intentionally vague. And this reminds me of all the times he has been, some of our clients have, you know, pre-launched something where they’re kind of just saying, Hey, you know, this is coming put in your deposit and it’s very vague, but you know, you want it. And so there’s this demand to get out of the house, to do something relatively safe, but you know, enjoyable and entertaining. And, you know, people have been cooped up, especially in the Northern regions. Winter’s just ending, we’re getting out of like the always cold weather. It’s starting to get sunny and that itch to leave. Our houses gets even bigger. And so, you know, they’re marketing these things, but like you said, the product doesn’t seem fully fleshed out yet. You can’t book it yet. You’ll be able to book it soon if they don’t move that date, which will be very interesting to see if they do. And can you talk a little bit about just how many dates they’re offered and how this has changed since it was announced?

Diane (12:41):
Yeah. So this was announced a couple of weeks ago and it was the whole season. So I think the first one was that the 11th of June and then the last one was the 1st of September or the 3rd of September, the beginning of September. Anyway. and then today, literally today, maybe like two or three hours before I jumped on this they have pulled essentially six weeks. So two parts worth from the website. There’s no message about it. There’s no, there’s nothing. So it may well just be a technical glitch. It could be that they’re just updating something or they could have literally canceled half of the cruises. And if, if they have there’s so many reasons why they could have done that and everybody in the Disney community, in the UK, that it was looking at these as kind of going, oh, what’s happening? Like what is going on? Yeah. Right. They

Nicole (13:38):
Had a little bit of excitement built up that they’d be able to get their Disney fix and, and now half the dates are gone and there could be any number of reasons, like you said, and, you know, you talked about, there was demand for this. They started marketing it early. And so, you know, we’re kind of speculating. Are they trying to build some scarcity around these dates? Are they just trying to play it safe and see, okay, how many of these are actually going to get booked? Like people might say they’re excited, but when you have to put a deposit down and it involves travel even within your own country, which has permitted, it might still not be a time where people feel safe enough to do that. So maybe they’re doing it for data. Maybe they’re maybe they only have one full crew and you know, their second or third crew, they haven’t been able to get all of the things they need to have that crew in place. I mean, there’s so many races and when it comes to Disney, it could literally just be an it pixie dust issue. I think we’ve all been there.

Diane (14:41):
Yep. And I think that’s kind of what everybody’s hoping for because they’ve pulled two of the, like, it looks like they pulled two of the parts and one of them’s London, like and the other ones Newcastle. So those two parts, like Newcastle’s the Northeast. And obviously London’s London. So they’re, they’re big old parts and they’ve, they’ve kind of done them from like the four corners. So they’d done one in the Northwest. They don’t want in the Northeast, they’ve done London and then they’d done south Hampton, which is the very bottom. So it’s kind of like to pull London and new castle there that like, you know, they’re big parts that there are big bunch of people that would have been considering those. So, yeah, it’d be interesting to see a, if they have pulled them and B why, if they have what, like what the reasoning is, and if they’re going to tell us, like, is there anything yeah. And

Nicole (15:34):
Disney doesn’t always reveal their secrets.

Yasmine (15:37):
But one thing we do know about Disney is every decision they make for the most part is pretty calculated. And there’s a lot of thought that goes into it. So it’ll be really interesting to time to learn later on again, if they ever do reveal their secrets, like Nicole said what the reason behind all this is,

Nicole (15:54):
I think that’s a really good segue to talking about what small business lessons we can learn from this launch. That’s miss this mystery, this new product testing, this new audience testing. Because I mean, we, we hear respectfully on the strategy behind the pixie does, but we don’t know. And so, you know, it’s, there’s so many different ways. I think we can take this. So Diane, I mean, what do you think is like the biggest thing you can learn from this as a small business?

Diane (16:25):
So Mike kind of thought on this was about the way that they’re using the assets that they already have. And they’ve kind of gone at the moment. We can’t cruise in the U S which is obviously where most of the, their cruises originally go from. So that, I think they’ve kind of looked at it and gone, right. Let’s work out how we can use this asset for a different audience. And in this instance, they’ve kind of gone. Where’s another audience that lines up with our current audience that we know we already have a base. And obviously the UK generally is one of the biggest international, I was going to say non domestic, but no international travelers over to Walt Disney world or to Disneyland Paris. They already have a huge base here, but they’re not really the, the audience that is tapped into these cruises.

Diane (17:13):
So to come and bring those over to this audience, get them interested in it. Not only does it currently use the asset that they’ve got, but also then encourages them to then book into the future without actually impacting the audience that you already have over in the U S so I think my thought was for small businesses looking at the assets that you have available and all the audiences that you could potentially tap into and how to match those things up. So not necessarily whether it’s a tangible asset, so, you know, it doesn’t need to be a millions of dollars cruise ship, you know, we could be talking about a skill or a product or something that you have within your business, and then other audiences that that could map to, I think that was my first thought around how you could utilize that strategy in your own small business.

Nicole (18:07):
Yeah, definitely. I mean, just thinking about you have a product line coming out and it’s, well, first of all, tell us about it and what you’re releasing, but, you know, I think that’s related to what’s inside your head and you just realize that there’s another way to put this out there. This is an asset I have that’s intangible right now. Let me turn that into something tangible.

Diane (18:30):
Yeah. So I always wanted to do the itinerary planning for people and I love doing it and I’ve done, I’ve done quite a few of them now. But then obviously to do that, I use I use a load of tools. I use a load of like, you know, draw my plans out, my spreadsheets, all that kind of thing. And I did originally think, oh, maybe I could sell the spreadsheet. And then I thought, no, it’s really specific to the way that I plan. And it’s got a lot of formulas in. So what I’ve done instead is designed stationary that allows people to do their own way of planning. So to start with, I’ve got to Disney themed wall planners coming out for people to just plan what they’re doing this year. Like not even Disney holidays or any holidays, you know, kids’ football games or whatever it is. But it kind of brings together those worlds of planning and Disney. So it brings those things together. And I’m very excited to launch them then. Yeah, I can’t wait

Nicole (19:29):
Kind of a sneak peek, sorry guys. You’re going to have to check out her Instagram, which we will link in the show notes and to get your sneak peek too. It’s super cute. Thank you. You know, you’re welcome. I

Yasmine (19:44):
Mean, who, doesn’t love a little bit of Disney magic when they’re planning their day. I mean, it definitely makes the less boring, but that’s for sure. Sure. I mean, I work from home,

Diane (19:51):
Obviously it’s most of the world does right now. If they have like office jobs and my entire office is completely Disney themed in the direction that you can’t see. So I have a really like very professional strategy job where I have to be very professional at the same time. I’m just looking at a whole

Nicole (20:08):
Wall. So fun. It’s funny because my office is the opposite. I’m staring at all the diplomas and stuff on the wall, but all the Disney stuff is behind me. Yeah. So at wallpaper, oh, that’s so fun. I have honestly considered painting a purple wall in my office because I think that would be really fun. Endless Instagram opportunities. Yeah. Yeah. You can take your own selfies in front of my office and instead of going all the way to really know. So one of the things that I have been getting out of like this discussion we’ve talked so many times about Ascension models and our audience is probably like, they keep talking about Ascension models, but it’s so important. Yeah. And I just think like, you know, Disney is doing this, they’re trying to kind of reach a new audience, like an opportunity here to reach people who, again, like Disney might be something that was out of their price range, especially the cruises.

Nicole (21:13):
And they know once they get that hook of pixie dust in, and you can experience the level of the guest experience and the level of customer service and especially in a cruise or it’s like all inclusive. So you already, it’s built in that. You’re going to have to do less and do less planning when you do, when you’re actually visiting the parks. You know, it’s kind of a lower priced option, a new demographic and getting, getting them in, getting into that first level of your Ascension model. And then hopefully, you know, law of large numbers, quite a few of them will return the next time you have a cruise in the area or decide they should take their next holiday overseas and come to Walt Disney world, or even just taking that quick weekend trip to Disneyland Paris. So I feel like this is also a discussion that we can get into about Ascension models and moving people further up until they become vacation club.

Yasmine (22:10):
For sure. Then like the other way that you can look at it. And Diane mentioned this it’s through purposing, an asset that you already have and leveraging it with a new audience. So like yes, Disney had the cruises, but this model is something that they already worked with in The Bahamas, right? Like they already did these like two, three day cruises that had no stops. So they’re moving it over to the UK, to an audience who they can engage right now, because there aren’t any restrictions around cruising in the same way. There are in us and Canada. And they’re basically like, you know, identifying like their secondary audience for this. Like we say, every business, you have your primary audience that you speak to, but you can’t forget about your secondary and tertiary audiences they’re there. And sometimes it’s just a matter of taking an asset that you already have and packaging it up to speak about it in a new way to serve them.

Yasmine (23:00):
And that’s exactly what they’re doing in here. They don’t call it staycations in the states, right? It’s a, three-day cruise in The Bahamas, but here it’s a staycation. And that appeals because it adds that like element of safety that you talked about day in and the security that comes with knowing that you know, you’re just limited to fellow travelers from the UK, which I don’t think we mentioned, but you, you had said that only UK residents are able to go on this trip. So, you know said America is not letting in any north Americans right now, but we can’t just hop over and jump in on the staycation just because we’re going through Disney withdrawal.

Diane (23:37):
It’s definitely just UK residents. Obviously we can’t go over to Paris at the moment either because the board is just with us from a UK perspective, obviously there’s loads of people that have, you know, what Disney world annual passes that live in the UK, or that have Disneyland Paris passes that again, live in the UK and are desperately missing every form of Disney and our shops have been shot over here since Christmas. So we can’t even get to the Disney store like this. There’s no way other than the TV right now to get your, your Disney fix over here. So everyone is really excited, but yeah, UK residents only which, which never happens for us, we never get you can eat Disney only thing. It’s, it’s kind of like what you’re doing, what frauds shore, how much money do you want? Take it straight.

Yasmine (24:27):
As a fellow member of the Commonwealth, I am super jealous right now because we’re literally just north of the border in the states, but with the border restrictions and everything you can’t go and yet Disney’s shops are closed because we’re in another lockdown in Ontario. And it’s basically just like online TV. And my favorite way of getting my Disney fixed, which is buying yours from Disney small

Nicole (24:48):
Shops. So we talked about like tweaking your product for a new audience and also tweaking it for the environment right now, right? The COVID restrictions are still very much in place. And so when you’re looking at your own assets and your own programs and products and services, maybe if something’s not selling, it’s not because it’s not a good product, which I think is where entrepreneurs often throw their, their, their little, a devil shoulder goes right to this. This product is not good. That’s why it’s not selling. And maybe you need to look at the environment it’s in, look at your product description page and how it’s being described. And, you know, especially if you have something that people might worry about in this COVID world right now, tweak it a little bit, make it sound safer, make it sound more trustworthy. You know, we have previously talked about product safety and like, how can you make people feel more secure in their purchase is always a good strategy to take when you’re in business.

Nicole (25:51):
So I think there’s just so many lessons here and we didn’t even touch on the scarcity of them taking away half of the dates, right? I mean, they took away half the dates. Why did they do that? I mean, there’s so many reasons they could do that, but you know, our last episode, we talked about making scarcity if demand is high and you don’t have as many dates, you’re going to get those booked up. And maybe they’re doing this just to see how many they’re even going to book, how are they going to sell out a ship? Who knows

Diane (26:19):
It will be really interesting on booking day as well, because they haven’t released the pricing, which is standard for Disney cruise. They don’t release until platinum day, but it’s, it’s gonna be really interesting because it’s a new market for them. It’s only people that have done these cruises before that understand how much they’re probably going to, but, you know, they’re still not going to be cheap. But by doing themselves two or three days that tweak to, to do as short form cruises allows it to be more appealing. But at the same time, they’ve kind of then added this pricing aspect of a complete unknown. Is it going to be, is it going to be really cheap to try and get people in and interested or are they going to go well, we’re at 35% capacity or whatever the lower capacity is. We’ve had our ships, you know, in dry dock for a year, we need to recoup some of this money. And actually you’re getting the Disney experience. Our competition is minimal because you can’t leave the country. There’s not much else going on and are they going to hike those prices up? So it’s a really interesting way of launching a product or service, however, you’d classify. How would you classify that?

Nicole (27:25):
Yeah, it’s a, I guess that’s a service, right? It is a product, but if it’s a service, it you’re buying the magic and the getting away from the house. Yes.

Diane (27:37):
And is it still snowing here? Occasionally it was literally snowing yesterday which is very rare in April in the UK. You know, th the, the demand for them is incredible, but yeah, it’s definitely, they’ve definitely done both. They’ve tweaked their usual service and created this scarcity, whether they intended to or not. Whether, you know, whether it’s a technical issue or a legislation issue, they’ve definitely created some of that scarcity if they’ve canceled half of these cruises. So it’s, and then they’ve put in this pricing aspect, there’s just so many things that they’ve done which is why I messaged you guys going, I’ve got an idea. We definitely need to

Nicole (28:14):
Talk about this. Cause it’s, it’s

Diane (28:16):
Very, very clever. It’s a really clever way of doing it

Nicole (28:20):
When, you know, you run your own small business, right. And sometimes you feel like everyone else has it figured out, and you looked at like places like Disney and you think, oh, they’ve got everything under hat. Well, first of all, they have way more employees than you do to like sit in a boardroom and come up with these decisions and ideas and get them executed. But you can, we can clearly see that this is a brand new product that they have experience implementing products similar, but they’re, I don’t want to say they’re throwing spaghetti at the wall because I think every decision they make that gets to the point where the public knows about it as a very intentional, and it gets released when it was meant to be released. But, you know, you can kind of see that they’re playing with us as they’re doing it.

Nicole (29:05):
And so I think it just gives permission to small business owners. Like you don’t have to have it all, figure it out. You can kind of shift with the seas and, you know, make things as your, as it unfolds, right. Seeing what the demand is, seeing how things need to change. And, you know, there is a part of business as much as we love our planning on our spreadsheets and our strategies and all of that. There is a part of business that is the visionary, that is the CEO, and that is there just like the gut feeling and, you know, going for it. So we always say like, take that feeling and evaluate it for if it makes sense. And if it’s something sustainable and something you can scale, but you know, that gut feeling needs to exist somewhere. So I am so appreciative of you coming and bringing this topic to us. And I think it’s a really fun case study for small business owners in so many ways, because I mean, we talked about everything from audience, audience targeting to product creation, to shifting when times are crazy to scarcity and selling. And I mean, it touches on so many things. And it’s just one small example of the massive operation that is the Walt Disney world company, that

Diane (30:21):
Piece about it gives you the kind of permission to realize actually, things don’t always go to plan as well. Like so as a planner, as a strategist, I sit there with my own small business and I go, right, this is what I’m doing. I’ve planned my roadmap for the year, and this is what I’m going to launch now as, and when, and then obviously these cruises came out and I plan itineraries. These don’t need itineraries, but I, you know, my positioning is Disney expertise, travel, support, that kind of aspect. So I immediately then had to shift to this and at the same time was then planning my launches for my, my wall planners. And it all got a bit crazy. And I sat there going, well, maybe this isn’t the right thing to do and questioning myself because it wasn’t along my perfectly lined up plan, which as you can imagine, was color-coded and well laid out. And actually stuff like this when they do these kinds of things and they launched something and then they pulled stuff and then there’s stuff that’s missing from the information. It kind of reminds me that actually not everything does go to plan that as a small business owner, that actually being able to shift with those changes and being able to realize that actually things don’t have to be perfect every time because they can’t be is, is a huge thing for a small business owner that has a perfectionism streak.

Nicole (31:40):
Well, and we’ve talked about this before, where like one of the biggest strengths of being an entrepreneur or small business owner is that we are more nimble and flexible. No, we don’t have the mighty team behind us, but things can move faster in a lot of ways because we don’t have the bureaucracy and the levels of approval that you need to have. And so there’s always strengths and weaknesses to every type of business. And I love that you brought up that even as a planner, you have to kind of roll with the punches that Disney sends out and shift gears. And, you know, even if this product gets pulled, I mean, we’ll see it’s supposed to go for sale in a few days for bookings. And, you know, even if this product gets pulled and they decide not to do it, they’ve created people who are very interested right now in getting the Disney fix. And so maybe that means they start planning their 20, 22 trips. And you’re, you’re busier than you were before because you stayed involved in this conversation and continue to like read up on it and help past clients or talk about it with potential new clients. And so being immersed in these things is still going to serve you well, even though you can’t actually help with the planning aboard the ship because it’s, the itinerary is already completed for something like that. So it’s just interesting how everything ends up relating. Thank

Yasmine (32:57):
You guys again for joining us for another episode. And Diane, thank you so much for joining us to talk about this interesting issue and thing that’s going on in the UK. So if you want to follow Diane, you can find her on Instagram @sixcastlecompany, which I’m guessing is because there are six Disney castles right on the ticket. Okay, awesome. And if you don’t follow us on Instagram, you can find us @pixiedustandprofits. And if you haven’t joined our mailing list where we do send out super fun episode recaps there’s lots of interesting gifts and sometimes surprises. I mean, those are, those are always a reason to subscribe. You can join our mailing list at Thank you again for listening and we’ll see you real soon. [inaudible].

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Episode 42: How Urgency and Scarcity Boost Sales (Transcript)

Apr 20, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.

Yasmine (00:26):
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of pixie dust and profits. So today we’re going to talk about something really interesting that happened to Nicole and obviously it’s Disney related and what you can learn from it as a small business. So as you know, if you are a Disney fan, or if you’re planning a Disney trip, you need to reserve a park pass to go to a park on a given day, even if you have tickets. So if you’re an annual passholder, you can’t just like stroll up to magic kingdom and expect to be let in in order to control capacity, Disney has implemented the park reservation system and you have to book which park you’re going to well in advance in order to have admission. And, you know, as Disney trip planners, that’s not really that much different from, you know, thinking, Hey, if I’m going to be magic kingdom on Monday, I’m going to book magic kingdom restaurants, right?

Yasmine (01:17):
Like you have to make your dining reservations 180 days out in the past. Now it’s 60 days because of the COVID changes, but you know, planning is a normal part of a Disney trip. What it sucks for is the people who like to plan last minute trips and, you know, go to the parks and have fun or locals. They can’t just, again, like do it at the very last minute, because due to the scarcity of availability, people are just like booking out their spots further and further in advance. And Disney’s like most current popular park and believe it or not, it’s not magic kingdom. Hollywood studios is actually booked out until June 19th. So if you want to go to Hollywood studios, you can’t go until like June right now, which is crazy. You have to plan your trip at minimum two and a half months in advance at present, which great for people who are used to planning well in advance, not so great for people who live to finalize details a little bit closer to their trip. And Nicole, you recently had to sort of pull the trigger on buying tickets because of this very reason. Why don’t you tell us a bit

Nicole (02:18):
About that? Yeah, so we have a trip planned for June. That is a rescheduled trip from last June. My son’s birthday is happening and we had planned to go to Disney for it last year, obviously didn’t happen rescheduled. He’s been excited for a full year about this trip. And, you know, we had no idea it when vaccinations were happening, when it would be safe to travel so up until even a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know if we would be taking this trip. And it definitely put a damper on how I felt about planning. You know, Yasmin mentioned that if you’ve gone to Disney at all, you’re, you have to plan ahead. And so every time I’ve gone to Disney, I have probably had the plan signed, sealed and delivered at least six months before, because you needed to book your dining reservations that early.

Nicole (03:08):
And I kind of felt like I was getting down to the wire. I mean, it was March and I had three months until the trip and I still really didn’t have anything booked and truth be told, even though we have this podcast, I haven’t kept up to date on what their COVID policies are at the parks, because I feel like it’s just an ever-changing target. And so this past weekend, I said, you know, we actually have an appointment for a vaccination. Now we’re getting to the other side of this. We’re going to be vaccinated. We’re going to be able to go. This is going to be amazing. So I started pulling out all of my old spreadsheets for tracking for Disney trips and realized I had to book a park which I didn’t think was going to be the holdup. And I sat my son down and I said, Hey, what do you want to do on your birthday while we were at Disney world?

Nicole (03:58):
But one thing, do you want to make sure that we do? And he just kind of looked at me like, well, I’m going to be at Disney. I don’t know what else. And so I had to explain, you know, in six-year-old terms, well, if there’s one ride that you want to make sure you get on, on your birthday, what ride is it? And he goes, oh, toy story. That’s my favorite ride. So he’s talking about twice. Do I mid midway mania, which is something that we always had to fast pass to make sure we did for him. Fastpasses don’t exist now. So you’re going to have to be standing in line. And so I said, okay, so that means on your birthday, I need to book Hollywood studios. That’s where toy story mania is. We’re going to make sure we get that part for you.

Nicole (04:36):
Went to the website, pulled open the park reservation system and saw, oh my goodness, Hollywood studios is completely maxed out until just two days before our trip. So I need to book this now, before it’s not available on his birthday. And I fail which I’m pretty sure my kid would still be happy that we’re at Disney world, but, you know, I wanted to make sure he got on his favorite ride on his actual birthday. And so I dropped the $800 to buy tickets for my husband and my son that morning, even though I hadn’t budgeted for it until a few weeks later. And so I, I bought the tickets and I booked the date just to make sure that we had it. So this scarcity urgency being able to see the calendar right there, red, yellow, green, it was definitely a driver and a decision-maker for us because if I hadn’t seen that, I would have said, oh, we still have a little bit of time.

Nicole (05:31):
I can do this next week. But as more and more people are getting those vaccination appointments, I think they’re getting excited to travel. There’s hope again. And with Hollywood studios being so popular with, especially the new star wars expansion, it was just going to be the top park. And I’m glad we got it. I’m glad I noticed this past weekend because I would have been really bummed if we didn’t get to go there throughout our entire trip and, you know, toy story for him about my husband loves the star wars area too. So he would have been disappointed as well. And I think after a year of all of this, if I can get the two of them to get their favorite pieces of the Disney experience and I will be happy.

Yasmine (06:10):
So, Nicole, it’s really interesting that you mentioned all that because we’re seeing the exact same thing with reservations as well, but fast forward to October where Disney’s having their 50th anniversary celebration. In fact, we are going to Disney for pixie dust and profits alive from October 20th to 23rd. And we booked out the event. If you want to know more about the next one, hit us slash live. You can get on the waitlist. And yeah, we had to like, sort of get everyone like, you know, signed up on board and book our reservations for hotel rooms. Cause literally day by day, we were seeing that they were like disappearing and we want to make sure everyone was like staying at the same resort, staying together. You know, to really have like the best experience overall

Nicole (06:55):
Minimize works that haven’t traditionally had problems with availability. You know, the resort you can always count on as being available disappearing right before our eyes. So Saratoga

Yasmine (07:06):
Springs, I have a family vacation that I’m going on. Like literally the week after I am seeing that availability is running out for the rooms that I wanted to book for that trip. So that’s like getting me kind of like anxious and being like, oh gosh, I have to actually finalize this trip so we can get like a bigger room that will accommodate my entire family that’s coming with me.

Nicole (07:26):
So this is like, you’ve got so many things that are like factoring into this scarcity, right? You’ve got the Disney planners who have had to cancel their trips for at least like a year now, more like a year and a half. You’ve got people who are getting vaccinated and, and getting excited and ready for vacations again. And then you have the 50th anniversary, which is supposed to be like this big blow up. Like hopefully they have fireworks again, there’s new parades. There’s a whole new show that’s supposed to happen at Epcot. You know, all of this excitement after so long of being home and you know, not taking vacations, it has led to extreme scarcity and the urgency gets thrown in because there’s only a limited number of spots because they’re still throttling how many people can come and Disney world because of the pandemic.

Nicole (08:15):
So it’s just created this bubble that at some point we it’s going to topple over, right. There’s going to be nothing available. Prices are probably going to go up because they can charge more with the demand so high. And there’s a lot of business lessons to be learned here. I know that you, this is kind of a pressure cooker situation. You can’t replicate some pieces of scarcity and urgency. Like you, can’t all of a sudden have a 50th year anniversary if it’s your first year in business, obviously, but there’s still lessons here that we can learn about. We can always think about the things that we’re doing in our business in terms of like, why is this offer right now? Like why do they this right now? What makes it urgent for them? What makes it scare us for them to get? So there’s just a lot of things you can think about when you’re talking about product launches or restocking on your website.

Nicole (09:09):
We just recently sent out an email saying, Hey, we stopped to the t-shirts on our website, go to pixie dust and and you’ll find them. And you know, that was a scarcity tactic too, because we, we don’t order bulk quantities of shirts. I don’t have the space to high, have high inventory here, but we do love our shirts and you guys love them too. So just kind of letting you know they’re available again, but they won’t be for long because we don’t keep a ton of them on hand. And you know, it was really helpful for you, but also helpful for us. So that way we can plan ahead and it’s kind of like open cart, close cart situation.

Yasmine (09:47):
Yeah. So like Nicole mentioned for all the product shop owners out there, whether it’s even, I think this could work for a course too, depending on how you set things up. But letting people know that you have limited inventory tends to drive sales because they know that they can’t sort of sit on it. If they want to get the product, they gotta like whip out their credit card, letting someone know something is limited edition for products. Again, if you create something that’s sort of like a one-off and won’t be restocked again, that also creates some urgency because it’s a now or never situation. Another thing that you can do is if you’re launching a product for the first time, we see this a lot on the digital product and education side with courses, you have a launch price, you discount it off the regular price and let people in at a certain price point.

Yasmine (10:30):
And then the price goes up after a certain date. Like again, throwing a lot of things at you, but a final thing that you can do for all you product owners out there. And I do this quite a bit with my product based clients is we do pre-orders for items. So a, it helps us determine demand B. We offer a pre-order item at a discounted price to just drive that urgency. And we close pre-orders after a certain date. So we have literally a cart close period. And what we do is based off of those numbers, we always order a little bit extra, you know, just for the people who missed out, because we know that demand is going to be there, but we charge them like our regular retail price. We remove the discount and then it stopped in the shop and it’s a limited quantity and they go pretty quick.

Yasmine (11:10):
So key takeaways here are, if you want to push a product and move it fast. So people don’t just sit on it because the thing is, is if you don’t really have urgency to get something, a lot of the times they’ll just buy it later. It’s like, how many times Nicole, have you seen an ad for something and thought, oh, that’s cute. I’m going to buy it later because I don’t have my credit card near me. Or you know, there’s something that you want to get, but then you just like keep forgetting and you sort of like, sit on, sit on. And then it gets to a point it’s like, yeah, I guess I don’t need any way as a seller. Like, that’s the worst thing that you want people’s experience. You want to make it super easy for them to make that decision to purchase.

Yasmine (11:46):
So to recap, you can call something limited edition. It’s a one-off and it won’t be back. You can let people know if limited inventory is available. And what I would say is be very honest with this. Like, don’t say like, oh, I only have like a limited item of everything. Cause after a while that song gets old and people will sort of like figure out that you’re probably lying. If, and like never lie to your customers again, you want to be super honest. The third thing that you can do is offer them a discounted launch price or a discount for a certain period ended after a while. So the price goes up and the fourth thing that sort of relates there is just do the pre-order for a certain products again, to anticipate demand, to give the people who jumped in early and who were waiting a little bit of a discount and order a few extra at regular retail price. So you can capture all the people who come across a product a couple of weeks later, they’re like, oh man, I missed out. Then you got, you have happy customers there too.

Nicole (12:39):
And I know we talked a lot about product sellers specifically, but if you’re a digital product seller where you sell templates or PDFs or anything like that, courses, that type of thing, some of the things that you can do are a bonus that’s only offered for that short period of time. You often see this with people who are selling their books or pre-ordering their books. You know, pre-order my book now and get access to this live training. So that’s something else you can do where you can say, okay, if you buy the course within this 48 hour period, I’m going to have a group coaching call, you know, 30 days from now. So that way after you go through the materials, you can ask me anything. And that’s something that’s not offered if you buy this and it’s evergreen format where it’s always available to you.

Nicole (13:24):
So there are things like that that you can do. And again, reiterating like, be honest with your customers, don’t create false urgency. You know, if the price is going up, the price is going up, but don’t, you know, lie about it. No one feels good about that. And if your customer finds out about it afterward, there, it’s just not a good customer experience. And you know, of everything that we talk about customer experience is always number one, because that’s what keeps people coming back, right? And if you’re a service provider, something that you can do for the urgency limited edition feeling is just being honest that, you know, I can start working with you now, but my schedule is very booked or I have a vacation coming up and I don’t want that to get in the way of the work that you need to do.

Nicole (14:09):
So the earlier we start, the better we can be. When that period comes, you know, just being really honest about your time, because you are a service provider is another way to, you know, create the urgency, but also, you know, get them to make a decision because sometimes it’s a really hard investment for them to make in a service provider. And you can say, you know, here’s the results I’d expect. Here’s what I think the first month would look like if you started now. And so if they can start envisioning themselves and what that future state looks like, it’s a real, it’s much easier for them to, to jump in. Then if you’re just saying like, yeah, I can start Monday. It’s different than saying, yeah. You know, if we start now, then by May 15th, I can imagine that this would be done and that would be done. And I take that off your plate. It’s a different conversation when you frame it that way with them to say, imagine what it will be like if you hire me right now versus, you know, kind of telling them what they get.

Yasmine (15:06):
Absolutely. In fact one of my sort of favorite tactics, so to speak and to all my clients who are listening, I apologize is on like sort of discovery calls if I really want to work with someone, but they’re not even if they’re not sure, but I always sort of close the call with, you know, if nothing changes in the next, like six months to a year, how would you feel? And you just get them to think about the future state, where everything is the same and they still have those same frustrations, that’s urgency, right? They don’t want to feel that way anymore. They want to experience change now. And that usually helps them make their decision a little bit faster. You know, whether they do want to work with me or not. Yeah. There’s lots and lots of takeaway from this. Again, urgency is often seen as sort of like us scummy like very marketing salesy tactic, but I don’t think it has to be that way.

Yasmine (15:57):
It’s all about how you present the information, how honest you are with how you’re selling your products. There’s nothing wrong with having deadlines for when people can get it on offers. You can’t support discount forever. There’s nothing wrong with creating limited edition one-off things, because you know, you’re doing something special and you can only stock a certain inventory or maybe that’s your business model. You just create sort of like one-off items and smaller quantities. Cause you’re a small batch creator and that’s okay too. But we hope between everything that Disney is sort of not like forcefully doing, but benefiting from definitely with Hollywood studios, the park pass reservation system and the 50th anniversary that’s coming up, which mind you is actually running for like a year and a half. So if you’re not there in October, you are not missing out. You got some fun takeaways about how you can implement their strategies in your own business.

Nicole (16:49):
So if you want to learn more about our next live event, you can go to and sign up for the wait list. If you want to buy a t-shirt from our shop, you could go to But if none of that applies for you, no urgency intended. You can just send us a message on Instagram because we love hearing from you. We’re @pixiedustandprofits. We will see you real soon at our next episode.

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Episode 41: The 3 Types of People You Need On Your Team (Transcript)

Apr 6, 2021

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.

Nicole (00:26):
Hey, everyone, welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. This week, we’re talking about team building and it’s really relevant because we’ve been doing a lot of this with our clients lately. And I think this is just something that happens in the course of businesses at the beginning of the year, you have all of your plans for the year, but then you need to evaluate, okay, what team members do I have, who can actually do this work and what team members do I need to bring on to get it all done. And so we’ve been having this conversation with a lot of our clients lately, and we’re excited to bring it to you. Some of the terms you’re going to hear today might be a little cringy. And that’s because it’s from our MBA days and our corporate days, and we’re going to modernize them up with a little bit of pixie dust as we do. So really what we’re focusing on here are the three types of people that you need in your business, on your teams. And they’re called the finders minders and grinders, and Yasmin’s going to go over how we’re pixie, testifying those terms.

Yasmine (01:28):
Yeah. So you’ve actually probably heard some of the terms that we’re going to use in our industry right now. So the finder is the person who sort of seeks out the opportunities who identify sort of like where to kind of steer the ship, right? Like they’re finding the path that you’re going on and you might know them as a visionary. Again, they’re the ideas person. They’re the ones who sort of see the big picture, but what they need is someone to help them bring it all together. And that’s a minder or an integrator is another term that we hear a lot. In fact we, we just prefer to call ourselves like operations specialists. But yeah, I think consultants, yeah. It’s someone who can manage all those big ideas and actually bring them to life. So it’s overseeing the internal team it’s overseeing you know, the project plan and really looking at what the objective is and making sure that everything makes sense.

Yasmine (02:24):
And you’re not just like doing something for the sake of doing something, because again, we love her finders that we work with. AKA are visionaries, but they have a lot of big ideas and it’s our job to take those big ideas, identify which ones make sense for the business. Again, we only have so many resources, right. We want to make sure we’re moving forward with what is strategically like probable possible for the business, with what we want to achieve and we make it happen. And then the thing is, is like, you can’t make things happen without grinders, which this is a term I, because it just like, sounds like you expect someone to like give everything that they have for their job and

Nicole (03:05):
You’re turning. Yeah, no,

Yasmine (03:09):
No. And we think that there’s so much more to, again, life than just the work that you do and that you treat your team members really well. We have several episodes on this that we’ll link in our show notes below, but these are the doers. These are the people in your team who actually help you get stuff done because you know, it’s great to have all these ideas and it’s great to want to do it all yourself, but sometimes that ain’t possible. So you bring on people who are really great at their job they’re specialists at what they do, they’re subject matter experts and they can help you get your project from point a to point B or C D and beyond. So we like to work with visionaries, which are often like the CEOs or the owners of the business, the integrators, which is sort of like where we come in and where other management roles on teams also come into play here. And the doers AKA the grinders. These are the people who will actually help you get things across the finish line. And we see these trends over at Disney too. I mean, yes, Disney is like a massive corporation with tons of different levels, but you can kind of, you know, segment the broader corporation into these three categories too. Right? Nicole. So obviously at the very top you have like your Walt Disney’s you’re Bob Uyghurs now you’re Bob Champex. They are the finders, AKA the visionaries. They are the ones who are the ones

Nicole (04:31):
That are like looking for opportunities or, you know, just making magic out of nothing and making closing deals that didn’t seem possible like Disney with Pixar and apple and Marvel and star wars, like things that a visionary can see as, you know, the biggest thing ever. And it needs to happen. And the, the minders, the managers, the integrators, you know, our brains don’t work that way. We might not have ever explored that as a potential, but as soon as our visionary brings it to us, we say, oh, okay, these are the steps to get there. So we might not have ever seen the dream, but we know how to get from where we are to the dream. And so this is exactly why you need all of these different types of roles on your team. Right? You’ve got the visionary who can see just the big picture and the, the sensation, right?

Nicole (05:26):
And then you’ve got the, the integrator can help you bring it to life, but they can’t do the work. They’re, they’re busy managing your dreams and the action plan and all of the resources. And so that’s where the doers come in to help you get it done. So I really want you to look at this on your team. Like if you have a team or even if you’re a team of one, you can look at your business and say, okay, where is it? Who’s my visionaries here, who are my integrators, who are my doers? And you could list yourself under all three of those categories, but I want you to think about which one is your zone of genius and which one, maybe you’re, you’re not so great at. And think about that when you’re making your first hire on your team or your sixth hire on your team.

Nicole (06:16):
Yasmine and I are fortunate enough to work with a lot of clients, some of them together, some of them independently, but we could very easily be each other’s competition and step all over each other in the roles that we have, because we are both the integrator manager type. And instead we work together to say, okay, you’re the marketing and promotion side. I am the operations procedures, customer service side. And while we can do each other’s jobs, which is great for taking vacations and coverage we do it that way. So we don’t step on each other’s toes. And I have definitely run into situations on teams where there are way too many visionaries or way too many integrators or way too many doers without anyone leading the way. And so that’s why you actually need one, at least one of each of these people, these types of people and workers on your team. Because if you get too many visionaries in a room, there’s a lot of ideas, but who knows, what’s going to get implemented. If you get too many managers in a room, there’s going to be a lot of project plans and not a lot of dreaming. We

Yasmine (07:22):
Have too many doers in the room. What ends up happening is you’re the one who’s managing them on top of like ideating things, which can, you know, lead to a bit of burnout in some cases, depending on how much is going on, or your doers are sort of do sitting around twiddling their thumbs.

Yasmine (07:43):
Thinking about like strategy as they’re doing things, because they’re just like checking off a task and you know, they’re doing what they’re told, but they need a little bit more guidance in terms of how to do it as part of the bigger picture. So make sure that again, as you’re growing your business, or if you already have a business with a team in place that these roles are checked off and like before we kind of like wrap things up, I want to talk about my favorite doers at Disney and their cast members, because they are the people on the ground who are making the magic actually happen. Like, yes, there’s strategy and big plans that happen behind the scenes, but they’re the ones who are having the most impact in your business and you know, have direct contact with the customer. So it’s really, really, really important to treat your doers well, right? Because it reflects on your business. This is why I hate the term grinders, because it just has such negative connotations. And that is not what you want out of the people who are making the magic happen on day-to-day basis on your behalf. So absolutely you want to use viewers

Nicole (08:44):
Powered. You want them to know what your vision is. You want them to know what their task is. You want them empowered to be happy and, you know, serve your customer as well, and, you know, get their job done with the least amount of roadblocks possible. So, you know, they really are some of the most important people on the team. Otherwise, some things would never get out the door. So yeah, take a moment to think about these three roles consider, you know, what exists on your team right now, what you’d love to see exist, what holes you’d love to see filled. And I think you’ll really see team growth when you bring some diversity in how people think and how people work onto your

Yasmine (09:24):
Team. All right. Thanks again for joining us for another episode of Pixie Dust & Profits. Again, if you are not following us on Instagram, please do so @pixiedustandprofits. And we want to know what’s the next hire you’re thinking of making on your team. Are you looking for a vision? Well, you could be the visionary, but you might want a visionary. Sometimes visionaries hire like coaches and consultants to come in and help them with like the big ideas too. Are you looking for integrator or are you looking for more amazing doers that can help bring the magic to life? Let us know on Instagram, if you’re not on our mailing list, join us That’s where we share a lot of fun tips and let you know about any cool events we have coming up. Thanks again guys. And we’ll see you real soon. Wow.

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