Jul 8, 2021
Have you ever been to Disney World and wondered why the employees are called “cast members” and, well, not employees? Because Walt Disney started in the movie industry, he used movie industry terms for everything in the parks.
Park attendees are not called customers, they’re called guests, as in guests of a show or performance. Onstage areas are areas in the park where cast members interact with guests, while offstage areas are employee-only areas. Every Disney term is carefully chosen to create a specific mood or experience — a unique world. You can use the same tactic for your small business and create your own world.
If you’re a diehard Disney fan like us, you know all those key insider terms. Like “rope drop” is when they physically let people into the parks at opening time. Join a Disney Facebook group or meet another Disney super fan, and you’ll probably both speak the same language.
What does this mean for your business? To attract new customers, you want to use language that they already understand. Avoid using words and phrases that are unclear to the average person. But once a customer is through the door — or through the looking glass — you can use specific, specialized language to create a custom branded experience.
Take your website. You need to clearly communicate what you do and what you offer. This isn’t the place to use jargon or industry speak that a casual reader wouldn’t get. But once you’ve hooked a customer or made a loyal fan, you can start peppering in your own unique language, because they’ll know what you mean.
How can you use specific language to create your own world? Let’s use us as a quick example. If we were explaining Pixie Dust & Profits to someone who has never been to Disney World and isn’t super into Disney (yet), we would avoid saying, “this is your 180 day window to get things done.” They wouldn’t know that that is a Disney-specific phrase.
Instead, we’d say something like, “you have 180 days to take part in this offer.” See the difference? It’s more clearly written for a broader audience. But once this person knows our brand and is a new Disney fan, we can use fun phrases like “it’s your FastPass Day!” It makes sense once they’ve entered your world.
Here’s another example of someone who knows how to create their own world. Reina Pomeroy is an amazing coach for busy creatives who is so easy to connect with. Once you’re “in her world,” you start to speak her language. Like calling networking “social glue,” or using the term “dreamies” instead of clients. Reina’s language is more friendly, fun and creative. It puts her unique brand on ideas to make them more powerful and memorable.
We all know that Disney spares no expense when putting on a show for their guests. They clean every inch of the parks every night. They don’t cut corners. They polish everything so that it shines for their guests the next day.
You can use a similar approach to the customer experience for your business. Audit your website to make sure every link works properly, every image loads, or every piece of information is up to date and accurate. Review your customer journey to see what needs tweaking and perfecting.
Look, you’re a small business owner, so don’t feel bad if things need improvement. Sometimes things get lost in the process, or we take shortcuts so things get done. And we think, “I’ll get back to that and fix it soon,” but we never actually take that step to do it.
Think about the show that you’re putting on for your customers, and see where it can be spruced up or fixed. Yes, done is better than perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t periodically optimize your customer experience.
If you’ve ever had the chance to go on a backstage tour at Disney to see what it looks like as a cast member, the experience can be eye-opening. Everything is about form, function, and efficiency. Compare that to the front-facing areas that are bright and shiny and polished, and it’s incredible.
The same goes for your business. While you should look for ways to improve the customer experience, you don’t need to have everything perfectly polished on the backend. The backend operations of your business should be, first and foremost, operational. You can be organized and bare bones, but nothing needs to be fancy. It’s for your eyes only, anyway.
To create your own world, you need to view your biz from your customers’ shoes. You need to look at your business from the perspective of a totally new potential customer and a loyal customer, and tailor your brand messaging to the two audiences. That’s how you attract new customers and keep them around.
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