How Disney bridges the multi-cultural divide

Date of publication: September 26, 2008


Disney sought to solidify its cultural relevancy and apply proven methods to hardwire the voices of their African American guests into the very fabric of their resorts. In 2006 after launching the Ebony Perspectives Community, a small, private, and branded online community, Disney found that its ability to derive quality insight was undermined by low participation rates and lagging engagement in brand specific conversation. In this session, Paul Caswell, Manager, Business Insight and Improvement at Walt Disney World, and Manila Austin, Ph.D., Director of Research at Communispace will share how Disney; through a process of reflection, dialogue and action indentified engagement barriers and adjusted a brand-centric frame of reference to re-engage with African American guests more transparently and authentically. This targeted case study will illustrate and explore how community members's; initial lack of trust challenged Disney to re-examine their expectations and approach. Qualitative and quantitative analyses will show how trust between African American Guests and the Disney brand was a prerequisite for gaining insight into the heart of customer wants, needs, culture, and lifestyle.

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