Disney on Ice came to our town, and even though I am childless and grandchild-less, I went to experience the Disney Magic and spectacle. I was not disappointed.

You notice the Disney difference from the second you step into the theatre. The lobby is lined with special merchandising booths and everything from sno-cones to cotton candy bags comes in a character-shaped container – and a premium price. The salespeople have their faces painted (which you can get too for a mere $16) and they wear crowns ($16) and wave laser wands (also $16 – it must be a magical price point).

But what stood out among the merchandising mania was one particular salesperson; he was masterful. He called out to everyone who went by. He ran two credit card machines simultaneously. He demonstrated his laser wands – the princess one when a little girl walked by and the Buzz Lightyear saber for the boys. For every single purchase, he asked the customer if they’d like to add a coloring book for $5. I am sure he had more sales than the other dozen clerks combined.

For Disney, merchandising isn’t an afterthought. In addition to the revenue it produces, the colorful themed booths set the tone and heighten the anticipation long before the show itself begins. The prolific clerk capitalized on this frenzy and leveraged it for increased sales.

Think of what the equivalent of merchandising is in your organization. You may not have sno-cones or princess necklaces to sell, but how are you creating an environment from the moment your customers enter and sending them home with a reminder of you?

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