NDD243 (13 Posts)

It’s been a few weeks since the untimely passing of Nolan Woodall.  I never had the pleasure of meeting Nolan in person, but our paths did cross virtually (in the social media universe).

This may seem odd, but I still feel really sad about his passing.  If Dr. Phil were to analyze my emotions, the one thing he’d probably gravitate toward is a common bond I shared with Nolan – our love for Disney.

To someone who’s not a diehard Disney fan, this may not make a lick of sense.  However, as a business owner, I’m really intrigued.

How is it that a shared passion for a corporate entity makes me mourn the loss of someone I never met in person?

When it comes to writing business-themed posts for the Disney Driven Life, I usually have an easy time of observing The Walt Disney Company in a way that translates into lessons we can use in our professions.  However, this issue has me scratching my bald head.

As I’ve chewed on it for the past few days, the best explanation I can come up with is the fact that Disney obsesses over its customers.  I may have over-simplified the issue, but I think I’m on to something here.

That exercise prompted me to ask myself the following questions:

Do I view my profession as:

  1. A job; or
  2. An opportunity to make an impact.

As I’m deciding whether a task is finished, do I say:

  1. “That’s good enough”; or
  2. “It’s almost perfect, just a few more finishing touches.”

Do I view my customers as:

  1. People who just buy my stuff; or
  2. Human beings who crave love and appreciation.

I’m not going to lie; I’ve had many days where I would’ve clearly answered “1” to all three of those questions.  From what I’ve observed of Disney employees and cast members, those “1” responses are not even an option in their book.

In the process of obsessing over their customers, Disney employees and cast members have made a substantial impact on the lives of so many people.  People like me can’t resist the urge to gush over our favorite Disney movies, products, or vacation experiences.  When I encounter others who’ve been impacted in a similar fashion, I feel an instant bond.

If we all go to work each day with a desire to obsess over our customers, we can build our own network of brand evangelists.  If we’re lucky, we may even get to have a few people like Nolan cheering us on.


3 thoughts on “The Power of Brand Evangelism

  1. Great article! Most Cast Members will go beyond the call of duty to make sure your experience is a memorable one. I also believe this is one of the reasons working at the Parks could be difficult as you have to find that magical smile and attitude each and every workday, but that is the product they sell and if you had to be happy everyday somewhere certainly Disney World would be the easiest.
    I will never forget how two Cast Members began to play hide and seek with my son at the Not So Scarey Halloween party. Such a little thing, but a magical memory for the family. Above and beyond for the customer.

  2. Thanks for your note Bill. I couldn’t agree with you more. As for the experience your children had with the cast members at MNSSHP, isn’t it amazing how the little things in life go such a long way!

  3. Hi Derek. I am Nolan’s mom and i want you to know how much I appreciate your article about my son. He was a jewell and I miss him terribly. Iwas feeling down today so I googled his name and found new mentions of his life. How precious all of these are to me. So many people loved and admired him. I wish he could know but then it probably would have embarassed him. Thank you for your kind words. Did you know that he was a Disney intern in fall of’04? He loved making sure that kids had a magical memory! No doubt that a part of his heart remains at WDW

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