How Disney and USAA Are Winning with Digital Strategy

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  • December 13, 2016
Diney and USAA

To understand digital strategy, it’s imperative first to recognize digital disruption.

Digital Disruption

The changes in the competitive environment resulting from the emergence and adoption of technologies (by new market entrants or existing competitors) that undermine the viability of your product/service portfolio, USP or go to market approach. The disruption agents find new ways to please your customers by offering new touch-points or relationships.

Digital Strategy

What you do about disruption is your strategy, one that is integrated with accessible SMACIT technologies and can evolve with changing market conditions.

Ask: “How Are We Going To Make Ourselves Special?”

1 – Customer Engagement – enhance GTM Strategy.

2- Digitized Solutions – business transformation.

3- Operational Backbone – facilitating excellence.

We’ll elaborate on two.

Customer Engagement

USAA doesn’t try to sell its financial services product, rather preferring to sell its customer’s life milestone’s eg.

1 – Buying a car/home

2 – Getting married

3 – Retiring

The events have financial implications and USAA made sure that it there for its customers to ensure financial security.

So their customer engagement strategy started to revolve around milestone’s.

Want to buy a car? They’ll get you the best price, run a 100 point inspection on it, get it insured, help you finance it and go above & beyond.

Digitized Solutions

In 2014, The Walt Disney Company acquired MagicBands and Maker Studios for US$ 1 billion.

The MagicBands serve as wearable RFID device to be used as a

1 – virtual key (hotel rooms)

2 – ticket dispenser (attractions)

3 – payment mechanism (merch and eatables)

4 – reservation maker (rides and restaurants)

by all the guests, all of whom are being tracked in real time. offering the company not just a green means of enhancing the customer experience but also location based data that reflects on the in-park movement and usage behavior which in turn informs on park design & planning, as well as attraction segmentation.

The MagicBands have contributed towards quantitative and qualitative areas, improving revenue by 20% (less time spent frantically looking for hotel key, ride tickets, waiting in line, digging for cash) and also improved the customer experience.

The world’s largest network of YouTube stars is Maker Studios, generating over 10 billion views per month from over 650 million subscribers. It’s giving Disney’s established entertainment portfolio a hard time which is all the more reason for Disney to own it.


1 – Forget everything you think you know and design for agility.

2 – Be prepared to integrate (empower, collaborate, synch, partner).

3 – Executing digital business strategy is a whole lot harder than defining it.

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