By Jove, I think THEY’VE got it!

I know that’s a famous quote, but it’s been used so many times… I think it was in Disney’s Alice In Wonderlandhmmm… ANYWAY, to the article!

The phenomenon of branded social networks was thrown into the spotlight back in January when Disney CEO Bob Iger unveiled the company’s revamped Web site complete with MySpace-like features (or kid-safe, Disneyfied versions thereof). And there’s been plenty of talk recently about how small is the new big (to use Seth Godin’s words) when it comes to social networks:

that sites centered around a specific niche or subculture will be the next major trend, as opposed to enormous, all-encompassing, and arguably cluttered sites like MySpace.

From what we’ve been seeing, this push toward niche social networking is getting some extra momentum thanks to brands that are seeing online community-building as an effective way to build brand loyalty and improve its marketing strategies.

Webware trends: Social networking to build brand loyalty | Webware : Cool web apps for everyone

It’s going to be a Walmart vs small store situation soon enough.  Where are you going to go for your one stop shop– the item specific or the super stores? 

I give props to Disney for what Iger did.  Why WOULD they need to link up to others?  They’re friggin‘ Disney, you know?  Disney isn’t a brand, it’s a lifestyle.  They’ve got evangelist families out the wazooo

I remember babysitting a family who had their TV permanently set to Disney… the girls didn’t have a choice of any other network. No Nickelodeon, no Nicktoons, no Cartoon Network.  Their clothes were Disney, their stars were Disney, their movies Disney, their CDs Disney, their plates, decor, jewelry, vacations…

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Disney eats, sleeps, breaths Disney: and that includes it’s fanbase.  I was a Disney kid growing up (over our dining table was a picture of all the Disney folks having turkey dinner– a Disneyfied replica of a famous painting), but a Nickelodeon college kid (hey, you keep those worried looks elsewhere). 

If there was anything Disney remains– it remains reliable.

I say: Good on Disney for protecting it’s members and keeping them in the fold. 

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