February 28


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

David Millay

February 28, 2020

It’s a common phrase that we hear when working with clients. But often times, continuous improvement is not about fixing something that is obviously broken. Sometimes, you’re too close to situation. Sometimes, you and your customers have just accepted, “this is the way it is.” But eventually, that either comes back to haunt you down the road, or more likely, you’re missing out on an opportunity to create a solution that can net you more revenue.

Take Disney’s Photo Pass and My Disney Experience for example:

In the former model, you rode a great Disney ride, like Splash Mountain, and when you got off, you would exit the ride through the retail shop. But right before stepping inside the retail shop, you would see a wall photos that had been taken of guests on the ride.

As you looked at the photos taken right before the big drop, Guests with their hands in the air, mouths open wide screaming at the top of their lungs, you don’t see the log flume with you and your friends in it. So you wait a minute, and finally, your picture appears. You love your picture, because while your Dad sitting next to you is visibly scared, you knew the picture was coming and did a goofy pose.

You decide you want to buy it. After taking a picture of the photo on your phone (to record the unique number on your individual photo), you go to the front desk of the retail shop, you tell them you want to buy the picture of you and your Dad. The cashier tells you that pictures are $30 each. The cashier takes a minute to pull up the photo and make sure that it’s the right one. You confirm, and you wait a few minutes for the cashier to get it ready. Finally, the cashier hands you your framed photo, you walk out of the retail shop with your tangible memory in hand, and you are free to go about the rest of your day in the theme park.

That’s a great experience, and it’s one that guests enjoyed for years and years. No real visible problems on the surface, especially since it’s such a small part of a much bigger experience.

But what were to happen if…

  • You were high-fiving your Dad with joy and walked right past the photo wall without seeing it?
  • You don’t remember the unique number on your photo?
  • Sure the cashier can pull up recent photos and have you point out yours, but what if you shopped around the retail shop and waited 10 minutes before trying to check out?
  • You get rushed out of the shop by your Mom, who hates roller coasters and wants to get to your lunch reservation on time?
  • You already bought a plush toy earlier in the day, so $30 will put you over your budget for that day?
  • You realize you have your whole day in front of you, and you don’t want to carry around a framed photo onto all of your other rides?

The point is, there are too many points in that mini-experience that could cause a break and prohibit that transaction. While there may not be a problem, your customer ease score in that experience could certainly be higher, resulting in more revenue.

Michael Jungen, one of the senior executives behind Disney’s $1.5b experience ecosystem overhaul, sat down with us to discuss this.

Fast forward to the implementation of the My Disney Experience platform, which provided a huge lift to “we’ve always done it this way” photo situation.

“Now with the Magic Band, the Guest rides the ride, has a great time. The photo is digitally captured and stored. The Guest goes on, and enjoys their day, maybe even goes home to Tucson, Arizona. And then when it’s convenient and comfortable, and they’re enjoying the afterglow, they’re in their My Disney Experience portal on the web or on their mobile device, and they see the photos that were captured and tagged to them, and they interact and decide, ‘wow, these, these are great memories. I’d like to digitally have these,’ ‘I would like to digitally share these,’ or ‘These are some that I would like to have produced and sent to me.’

And then, with that new model, because the photos are aligned to each guest’s portfolio, even if the Guests never interacted that way, it allows the opportunity for the bounce back invitation where Disney can say, ‘Hey, we have these great photos of you.’ And you could do that through the mail or through an email.”

Michael went on to say… “The power of a memory of a vacation increases the further it is from the actual experience. So my hypothesis… the moment you’re exiting the attraction, that photo is a value judgment where the guest is saying, ‘do I want to pay $14.95 for that photo or not?’ As you get further from it, and you’re remembering that great time, and you see that great photo, and you want to recall that memory? The value of having that photo becomes greater and greater and greater.”

“And so I think, this new experience platform then with the ability to associate personally to each guest, the ability to associate, especially in this case, a personalized product to them and then provide means of engagement at future opportunities that were never possible before. That’s a great example of a value chain that was created by the experience platform and the personal identification that just didn’t exist.”

In your business, there are probably tons of product lift and revenue lift opportunities that you can gain by diving deep into your customer’s journey map.

By gaining insight from your guest’s needs, wants, stereotypes and emotions at each touch-point along the way, you can create opportunities for your customers that they didn’t know existed.

By tapping into those deeper goals and motivations of your customers throughout their journey with you, you can start to create your own products and services that customers didn’t even know they wanted. And that’s when incremental revenue really starts to kick in…

David Millay

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