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  • Writer's pictureTHOUGHTBOX

Seven Little Lessons.

Spending a week in Disneyland Paris was as enlightening as it was magical.

Here are seven small but impactful things I noticed as a brand builder. The magic of Disney is as much inspiring to a business owner as it is to a child.

1: Attention to detail.

I couldn’t mention this enough as I walked around in awe of the perfectly thought out way in which things were constructed, from the character shaped hedges to the mickey ears hidden in forgotten spaces. Every “nook and cranny” as Snow White’s dwarves would say, was subtly yet effectively embellished with the Disney brand. 2: Be curious

At every turn there is something to explore, we took hidden doors which led to dungeons, where the snores of a giant sleeping dragon echoed, we went into buildings that told stories if you looked closer at the encryptions in the walls, and we stumbled on pathways that led to pirate beaches and shipwrecked playgrounds. Be curious in your field, challenge the impossible. Walt himself was an inquisitive soul and always wanted to learn new things. He is famous for making the first sound cartoon, the first live action and animation mix film and the first full-length cartoon movie of a princess which still owns the heart of little girls across the world. The point is he never knew how to do all these things but curiosity led him to greatness. Don’t just venture out of your comfort zone, pioneer the impossible.

3: Diversify

As old as the Disney brand is, Snow White is still one of the more popular attractions (the line to meet her was a 75min wait) and she was created in 1937! Besides keeping her relevant they have not only added new princesses but also invested in entirely different brands. Their Star Wars and Marvel sections were always packed and the smiles after the little (and grown-up) boys met their favourite superheroes were as big as the little (and grown-up) girls who had just met their childhood fairytale princesses. The little girls walking around with their Captain America shields and the dads standing in line to meet Pluto wearing their goofy hats showed that there should be something for everyone in the most diverse and modern way possible, meeting the needs of all who interact with the brand. Every business needs to keep looking at ways to grow and diversify.

4: Put your customers first.

Every single employee I came into contact with made sure that they were giving the best of themselves that day. I believed the controller of thunder mountain really was a mine worker in a dangerous gold mine as he rallied us up with a “Hey hey clap clap hidey-ho” while he pushed the button to release the rollercoaster train for the 100th time that day. The cashier that patiently waited for me to count out my last pennies so that I could spend all my foreign coins also helped me put them in piles to make it easier then handed over the packet of chips with the sincerest of smiles. Walt was not in business to make money, He was in business to make people happy. Money comes when people feel happy and that the service they have paid for adds value to their lives. “Coming to Disneyland is like having guests in your backyard, and you want them to have the best time possible, so you want to be the best host or hostess with your family and friends.”

5: Learn to take a compliment.

“Aww shucks” Bashful says it best, but a simple “thank you” will also do. Be ready for your your photo op. Capture the moment and share the moment because good reviews are always your strongest advertisement. Most companies aren't comfortable with “bragging” but it’s those achievements that bring you more work and showcase your abilities, and besides, no need to be bashful, you earned it.

6: Learn to take criticism.

This is a tricky one because not all criticism is constructive and many customers and clients can be more like the villain, tricking you into thinking they care but all they really want to do is steal your voice. Ok, that was a bit dramatic, but that’s exactly what negative feedback is all about, learning to separate the criticism that you can learn from and improve on and try grow from the rest. Most importantmy, don’t shy away from the negativity, don’t hide those mean posts on your social media, answer them, attend to them and find solutions. Also a side lesson here - don’t just sign random contracts.

7: Have Fun

This should be the most obvious of all the things that should inspire your business, yet it’s the first one to be forgotten... not at Disneyland though, where the fun never sleeps but most of the princess do. Your work should be your passion and your business should be your fire. If it doesn’t excite you is it even worth it? Having fun doesn’t mean not being productive, but enjoying what you do should always be your driving force. While we were waiting for the evening light and fireworks show, the crowd controllers were enjoying themselves and entertaining the crowd. They made us laugh they made their colleagues laugh but most importantly they were enjoying themselves the most which made me remember that I should also be having this much fun while I’m doing my everyday work. It’s the little things that matter. Look after the small details and the big things will take care of themselves.

P.s. It‘s also better to stay away from old ladies with spinning wheels. Never smile at a crocodile and don’t get others to do your dirty work, they might get sidetracked and talk to squirrels.


Bonus Hint: Think out the box

Usually it's the crazy ones that change the world - they are the thinkers and the dreamers.

Think out of the box when it comes to gifting - whether you are spoiling your clients or launching your product, your brand is always out there and always making an impression.

So just like Disneyland make sure that you create memorable moments, because they are lasting ones.


At Thoughtbox we create meaningful and relevant gifting solutions. With a history in brand building we know how to get the right message across in a quirky unique way.


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