It’s a cliché that for long term sustainability of your business, you have to focus on young people. Some companies like Disney have developed whole new meaning for that cliché. They define young as toddlers and they define market creation for their Disneyland and merchandise business as creating English language Kindergarten school.
Learning English is seen as a ticket to better life in China these days and that market is growing at 12% per annum. Since opening its first branch in Shanghai in 2008, Disney has used mermaids, ducks, mice and other Disney icons to teach 2 year olds English at a tuition fee of $1800 which is no small sum at all. The footnote benefit of course is these toddlers will not only consume Disney benefits for years to come. As of now it’s a risky venture, since it opens Disney up to more counterfeit toys of their expensive merchandise. And costly too, since they already have more than 20 schools and plans to double that number in a year.
But there is no denying of the sheer audacity and ingenuity of this long term strategy.