According to an article in “USA Today”, the Walt Disney Co. will unveil a frequent-customer program this summer aimed at boosting brand loyalty from its theme parks, movies and toys to its broadcast and cable television outlets. Disney executives hoped to strengthen the brand’s relationship with its best customers by offering them discounts on home videos and other merchandise, access to preferred gifts, and preferred seats at its Broadway and theme park shows, the paper reported.
The company would also communicate with members via e-mail, send birthday and other personal greetings to members’ children and tell them about upcoming events, it said. USA Today said Disney was patterning the program after two affinity program pioneers, American Airlines and American Express.
“We have to take the best learning from these companies and apply that learning to our business and products to encourage repeat business and reward our loyal customers,” the paper quoted Peter Murphy, head of Disney’s strategic planning, as saying. Although Disney has a similar program for its theme parks, the Magic Kingdom Club, the new plan is the first to stretch across the brand. The nation’s No. 2 entertainment company has had two consecutive years of declining earnings. The past year, they dropped 22 percent to $1.4 billion, with four of Disney’s five main segments having down or flat years.
Details of the affinity program were still being hammered out, but Disney planned to issue wallet-size buying cards for members to present to get credit for a purchase. Customers also could get points by responding to questions after shows aired on its ABC, ESPN or Disney networks, USA Today said.