Put a ring (or better, Disney logo) on it

A number of years ago, I was incredibly fortunate enough to be able to take my family [at the time, my wife and three small children] to Disney in Florida. Disney truly is a magical place. It shows you in many ways what people can achieve when they are focused on a positive goal. Disney is also a master of managing crowds and making sure the entire experience [from washrooms  to major attractions] is a wonderful one. There are many businesses that consult with Disney to learn how to manage their own large client flows. Admittedly, traveling to Florida and attending the various parks is by no means inexpensive. But if someone can allow themselves this opportunity, it is definitely worthwhile.

The world of wearables is expanding by the minute. I’ve spoken already a great deal about this field, and investors are desperate to find successful solutions in this area of technology. When it comes to wristbands, one of the issues is simply getting people to wear them. And when it comes to requiring that people do something, children tend to be a lot less compliant. That is, unless there is a picture of Mickey Mouse on the wearable itself.

I include the following quote from an article speaking about Disney’s wearable plans.

“The Walt Disney Co. is about to get a lot more wearable. The company is forging ahead with expanding its $1 billion MyMagic+ program, which features smart wristbands that allow visitors to unlock hotel room doors, enter Disney theme parks, pay for food and merchandise, and book ride times, among other things. A company executive says Disney is exploring how it can leverage other wearable technology to offer this experience to visitors.” Click here for source web page.

There is no question that Disney uses the data from these bands for a whole range of purposes. First of all, such wristbands allow for the geolocation of literally every single park attendee. This is critical for visitor flow planning, and the acute identification of a problem with a particular ride. There is also the basic safety issue whereby a child with the band will be quickly found once a parent presents to one of the park’s staff. And, perhaps the most important thing is that no child  will purposefully remove the band, given the logo on it.

The power of the logo is astounding. Apple has capitalized on this to the extreme. Even when it is possible to purchase [illegal] copies of the Apple logo to stick on to non-Apple devices, most people would not do so because of the fear of being found out. Apple knows full well that it can charge a ridiculous surcharge on everyone of its devices, not only because they are excellent technology, but because of their look  and once again, because of that logo.

To be fair, the power of logos extends far beyond the world of technology. Whether it be a given logo on a shirt or on a car, people will pay extravagant amounts of money purely for the opportunity to show that they are wearing that given logo. Even historically, the idea of a logo had great power. Wearing one’s family crest was a critical demonstration of position in the social hierarchy. The King’s stamp on a document transformed that document into law, at times even beyond that  of the church. So it seems that  our adoration of graphical identification  stems back to the very beginning, especially if you consider biblical declarations by G-d as effectively sticking His logo on creation.

Adults may be less inclined to adorn themselves with wearables that have a Disney logo on them. It will therefore be necessary for every company to maximize the impact of their brand, so that sporting it on one’s chest or wrist or anywhere else, will effectively guarantee that the item in question will be regularly worn. Considering that we are very close to having digital tattoos become commonplace, people will soon be “branding” themselves in order to have access to a range of technological capabilities. It is a very powerful statement when an individual is willing to have a company logo appear on their body, such that its removal is by no means trivial. This kind of “brand loyalty” is critical for the success of any product, and such is the case with all wearables available today and coming up in the future.

Perhaps if Disney could simply pay for all of us to come and visit their parks, in return for the purchase of a single digital wristband, it would swell their numbers beyond imagination. Of course, Disney would also go bankrupt. No one wants that. But if somehow that ever happened, at least their logo would survive.

Thanks for listening

About the Author
Dr. Nahum Kovalski received his bachelor's of science in computer science and his medical degree in Canada. He came to Israel in 1991 and married his wife of 22 years in 1992. He has 3 amazing children and has lived in Jerusalem since making Aliyah. Dr. Kovalski was with TEREM Emergency Medical Services for 21 years until June of 2014, and is now a private consultant on medicine and technology.
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