Marketing Post #5: Perfecting Your Dreams– Now Fit For The 21st Century

A while back, I made a post on the Disney Princesses’ new look. I want to revisit that topic and delve into why Disney is recreating the figures that have always been a timeless part of many of our childhood.

Disney Princess Wallpapers 01

For a period of time, it seemed that Disney took a break from its franchise of princesses. The world was stuck associating six princesses with the whole line of Disney products; namely: Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine. And then it seemed that Disney decided to reawaken every little girl’s dreams of being a princess by adding sequels to the original movies, as well as introducing new ones such as Tianna, Rapunzel, and our latest princess, Merida. They also opened up the criteria for who they considered a princess, allowing Mulan and Pocahontas to join their ranks.

newlook

With the latest change, it was not only an introduction of new characters, but also a rework of their old princesses. They seemed to have opted to shower the new princesses with tons of sparkles. So why the rework? Why did they go through all this effort to change the classic images of the princesses dedicated fans have come to love? Marketing.

Disney Princesses sell. That is a known fact. The target market has always been little girls, but sadly, these girls grow up. A lot of us still retain our fondness towards the iconic characters, but of course, Disney recognizes that who is currently in their market is constantly changing. The late 20th to 21st Century also brought with it the attractiveness of teen pop sensations and celebrities. The old princesses’ hair styles and comparatively dull dresses seemed lacklustre compared to Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez plastered on magazines. Disney needed to change.

newdisneyprincesses

By improving aspects of the princesses, what Disney did was re-brand their franchise. Their marketing mix remains essentially the same, still producing the same range of merchandise, at the regular price, promoting them as they always did. However, stamping the new princesses onto their items help appeal to the modern little girl’s interest in fantasy and fairytales, and helps them to remain relevant in the market. They also integrated their princesses into new shows, such as Sophia the First, in order to reintroduce these princesses to the current rotation of girls in their market.

Although I was uncomfortable at first with the changes, I still stand by what I said in my last post in that I like the way the new princesses look (maybe because Cinderella’s original hairstyle has always bothered me), and I am interested to see where Disney will take their princesses in the future!

Sources: (x) (x)

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Marketing Post #3: A New Beginning for Research In Mo– I mean, Blackberry.

With the new Blackberry Z10 released on February 5th in Canada, many realized that the new product was not the only new thing the market would have to get used to. Research in Motion has officially changed their name to Blackberry— the name that almost everyone associates with their company in the first place.

Within the marketing mix, it is obvious that Blackberry hopes to touch on its “promotion”aspect. With the wide variety of smartphones out there in the market, it has become evident that the promotion of the product has become essential to its success. Taking a look at the famous Apple product launches and the sleek ads displaying their new releases, the hype it brings up as well as sales it generates thereafter seems to be a recipe for success. Blackberry must learn to convince the wary public that despite the hiccups they have experienced in the past year, their new phones are just as good– or even better– than the leading alternatives out there. Of course, facing both Apple and Samsung– the two major leaders currently in the smartphone market– might almost be impossible, but the rebranding of the company may be one of the best first steps.

So what exactly is Blackberry trying to rebrand themselves as? I believe it is mostly to unite their company and products under a single name. Although RIM has been recognized in Canada and North America, many around the world do not see the link between RIM and its products, mistakenly referring to the company as simply Blackberry. By changing their name, it allows them to capitalize on something that they have already established: devices that provides security and an excellent user experience.

My classmate Winnie Li also points out that the name change may also be to associate themselves as a good phone for the public consumer market, and not just businesses and government organizations. I think this will be an interesting switch in their target market, and I too am interested to see how the public will react to the new marketing strategies Blackberry will be throwing out.

Blackberry’s CMO explains their name change

Sources:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/01/29/business-rim-blackberry.html

http://blogs.ubc.ca/liwinnie/