KATHMANDU: One of the world’s most popular and valuable brands, Mickey Mouse is to the entertainment what William Shakespeare is to the literally world — a defining existence without which the entertainment industry would certainly have had a different DNA.
The mouse: Mickey Mouse is a brand that is also the product. Every move the product makes, every dialogue the product speaks and every smile the product gleams reflects on the brand. A very scary thought because there is little or absolutely no margin for error. It is essential that the product delivers its value, satisfying ‘entertainment quotient’ which is an irreplaceable experience for the consumer. The
product is expected to deliver a sort of escapism and bring a smile, if not laughter to
the consumer. The success of
the brand is based primarily on the ability of the product to fulfil this aspect for the past eight decades.
The story: The brand of the lovable Mickey Mouse requires a marketing strategy which may be the most difficult one to frame and implement. Every visual portrayal of the product is marketing. The key for marketing the Mickey Mouse brand lies in being able to balance the elements of free consumption with revenue generating consumption. One must remember that revenues from the brand can only be earned if the consumer pays for the experience. However, given the nature of the product — which is literally just a visual creation — the risks of letting the consumers enjoy the experience without having to pay for it is very high. The brand has to market itself in a manner that even if there is a ‘free’ consumption, it is able to somehow generate tangible ‘revenue’ from its consumption.
The reach: Created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, the brand Mickey Mouse is often credited to have created the world’s largest entertainment conglomerate for the Disney Corporation. Often shown as wearing red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves with round ears, Mickey Mouse is one of the most recognisable corporate brands. Given the fact that the brand is able to walk into a consumer’s life at a very early age, sometimes the brand holds the consumers for their entire life. This gives the brand immense opportunity to have multiple revenue models from one single consumer.
The promise: Mickey Mouse is a brand that stands for simplicity and lovable traits. The positioning of the brand manages to create an aura of honesty towards the product and consumers are meant to feel happy and joyous during the process of consumption. Mickey is a common mouse who is cheerful and pleasant. He is mischievous in a cute way and adventurous on fun side of life. All the traits any individual would like to possess himself.
It is clear that Mickey Mouse as a brand is a simple yet difficult brand to build and maintain. The halo of honesty in the character has successfully been replicated in the way the corporation functions so that the brand and the company are same. After all, even
Walt Disney of the Disney Empire is believed to have once said ‘Don’t forget, it all started with a mouse.’(The author is associated with The Chaudhary Group and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)