Disney and Target have a lot in common. Both are high-profile brands that cater to families as their primary audience, and both are known for emphasizing great customer experiences. It makes sense then, I suppose, that starting in October Target will launch Disney-focused sections inside 25 of its stores with another 40 to open by October 2020.

The stores will be roughly 750 square feet and include more than 450 products, many of which were previously only available from Disney's own retail locations. The sections will also feature a "welcoming and engaging shopping experience for the entire family, with music, interactive displays, photo opportunities and a seating area where families can relax and watch Disney movie clips," according to a joint statement from the companies.

In addition, Target will open one of its own stores by 2021 at Walt Disney World in Florida. 

Magic + Cool

Here's what's potentially so great about this partnership:

Both of these brands specialize in creating amazing experiences for their customers (or "guests," as both companies prefer to refer to them). Disney is "magic." Target is the "cool" big-box retailer. Both brands generate passionate feelings among their fans in ways few companies other than Apple can claim. 

By partnering with Disney, Target is capitalizing on one of its most valuable assets--its ability to create great personal experiences in its stores--something Amazon can't do in a comparable way. Sure, Amazon is convenient, and the prices are usually competitive. And free 1-day shipping is pretty cool (if you're a Prime member). Then again, Target has same-day shipping with Shipt for $20 less than a Prime membership. 

And, you can't walk into an Amazon store basically anywhere in America and pick up your order, or wander through aisles stocked with everything from groceries to electronics to kids clothing. There are a few Amazon retail locations scattered around, but none of them have the same reach and can offer the same experience as Target. 

Then there's Disney, which already has 300 of its own retail locations. Those have seen slowed growth over the past few years due to changing consumer habits and the decrease in traffic at shopping malls. With this deal, Disney gets access to its customer base who already happen to shop at Target.

Overlapping Audiences

According to Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, "there's a 90 percent overlap between Disney and Target Customers." That makes a partnership like this a no-brainer. 

I love that these two iconic brands recognized that they share an audience, and could create an even better experience for their customers by teaming up. I think it's absolutely brilliant from both a branding and business perspective. 

Creative Collaboration

By the way, there's probably a lesson here in creative collaboration. Partnering with brands that not only serve the same audience as you do, but also share the same values can be a killer way to turbo-charge both businesses.

It's actually surprising that it took this long for Disney and Target to partner. Then again, both are huge corporations, which means it takes time to create partnerships like this.

What's your excuse?
 

Published on: Aug 27, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.