What Walt Disney Can Teach Us About Pricing

What Walt Disney Can Teach Us About Pricing

I’ve been a keen student of Walt Disney ever since my teens. I was fascinated with how he started and grew one of the most loved and profitable companies in the world. To this day, Disney is synonymous with a unique, high-quality experience, as well as for providing outstanding customer service.

Interestingly, when compared with other theme parks, Disney has always had the highest-priced tickets, and they can justify the premium prices because of the premium experience they provide. Last year, Disney even introduced tiered pricing, which allows them to further increase prices during the busiest periods of peak demand.

I suspect that if Walt were alive today, he’d be uncomfortable with the dizzying heights that ticket prices have reached today. Then again, the world has changed drastically in the last fifty or so years since he passed away.

Disney does not discount their prices to the public. Ever. They don’t need to. The brand is so well established and trusted that every guest knows what they’re going to get, and there’s never a shortage of customers.

But what if you don’t believe you’re in an industry that can charge premium prices? It’s important to understand that in virtually every market, there are a percentage of customers that simply want the very best you have to offer, regardless of price. Typically, it’s about 15 – 20% of customers.

As another example from Disney, although water is available for free at drinking fountains, Disney sells both mid and high priced water: DASANI water for the mid-range and SMART water at the high-end. This is by design because they’re well aware that a percentage of their customers always want a higher-priced, premium offering.

Sadly, most businesses ignore this premium demographic, either because they’re too lazy to create other offerings, or because they refuse to admit that some customers are willing to pay more. Remember, you are not your customer!
Be especially careful with your thinking if you are the type of person who is price conscious – not everyone is like you!

The lesson is clear. I encourage you to consider how you might add some premium-priced offerings to your lineup of products or services in order to serve the demographic who want that.

Remember, in every market, there’s always a percentage of people who want the very best you have to offer; as long as they get value, price is not an obstacle in their buying decision.


Andrew Lock

Andrew Lock
Presenter of “Help My Business!”

Andrew Lock is often described as “The Yoda of Marketing” – not because he’s short with green pointy ears – but because of his encyclopedic knowledge of marketing. Andrew is also the presenter of the popular online TV show

“Help My Business!”, which proves business doesn’t have to be boring!


Originally from the UK, he now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.