What Disney+ Teaches Credit Unions and Banks About Branding

Mark Arnold
What Disney+ Teaches Credit Unions and Banks About Branding

Oh yes, I did. I signed up for Disney+ within the first week. As an avid fan of all things Disney, Star Wars and Marvel how could I not? I mean let's be real: you had me at Star Wars.

But as I come up for air after binging The Mandalorian and The Imagineering Story docuseries, I realized Disney+ actually teaches credit unions and banks several lessons about branding. You often hear consultants talk about how financial institutions need to be more like famous brands like Disney, Starbucks and Southwest Airlines. While that’s all well and good, these companies are in different industries and simply copying and pasting their tactics won't work.

However, when it comes to Disney+, there are certain branding principles we can implement with our credit union and bank brands, including these key points:

1. It’s All About The Story

Disney movies always start with the story. Whether it’s Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar or classic Disney pieces, one item is always consistent: the story. Heroes, villains, quests and journeys are all involved. But does story telling apply to financial institutions? Absolutely. As Donald Miller famously says, “make the customer (or member) the hero of the story.” When reviewing your brand, ask two key questions: “What story are we telling?” and, “How can we help our consumers achieve a happy ending to their story?”

2. Your Roots Matter

In the “Disney” potion of Disney+ there are categories like “Out of the Vault,” “90s Throwbacks,” and “Mickey Mouse Through the Years.” That is just a small sample size of how parts of Disney go retro. Disney does indeed have a rich history...just like your credit union or bank. When reviewing your brand, ask “What are our historical roots?” and “What type of legacy are we trying to leave for the next generation?”

3. Brands Mean Money

For everyone who asks, “What’s the ROI of branding?” all you have to do is look at Disney+ for your answer. Within the first month Disney+ had over 10 million subscribers (at an average of $7 per month; you do the math). Disney’s stock jumped 7.3% in one day after announcing their numbers. Strengthening your brand is one the best financial decisions your bank or credit union can make. When analyzing your brand financially, ask, “What is our brand equity worth?” and, “How can we improve the value of our brand?”

Disney+ is worth the monthly investment just to watch the Mandalorian (including all those baby Yoda scenes). But what’s your credit union’s or bank’s brand worth? Examining your story, reviewing your roots and analyzing your numbers will help you make you a “Plus” brand as well.

Mark Arnold
Founder and CEO