Recognize these two characters? I’ll give you a clue: their names are Snow White and Tinkerbell. Now what company do they work for? If you answered Disney, you’d be wrong!

These ladies are employed by Pretty Princess Parties, a company out of Minnesota whose troupe of princesses dress, look, act and have names like their Disney branded namesakes, but who aren’t affiliated with the Magic Kingdom. Instead, they travel the Midwest on weekends, hosting “princess parties” and “fairy tale balls” for little girls.

And the company is making a pot of gold while doing it. Tickets for each child are $53.74/each, and children MUST be accompanied by an adult for an extra $27.37 each. If your want something special for your little darling, you can buy a VIP ticket and she can spend an extra hour with the “Snow Sisters” (who just happen to be named Elsa and Anna) for $69.57/child and $27.37 for adults.

It’s pricey, but for two hours children are transfixed by the attention lavished on them by the princesses come to life. They sing, dance, have photos, do crafts, eat candy and sing songs. Does it get any better than this? Not if you’re six years old!

My mother always said that “imitation is the highest form of flattery.” I didn’t like it when my kid sister tried to copy what I was doing, and I wonder what Disney’s lawyers think about this operation. There is imitation and then there is copyright infringement, and I wonder where you draw the line. But if the law is flexible enough to allow it, you have to applaud their entrepreneurial spirit. 

Maybe you don’t need to invent something from scratch to create a new experience. Is there a way for you to capitalize on a gap in someone else’s strategy and deliver it? What niche is out there that you can fulfill? There could be a royal payoff if you tap into the right magic.

beth triplett

Thanks to Mike for enlightening me!

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