Disney’s Forward-Looking Business Model Innovation

Disney’s recent decision to restrict products advertised on its child-focused media properties might not appear to be business model innovation in the classic sense. But it is. With that one decision, Disney is redefining how, where, and why they will do business with other companies, and offering a leading-edge value promise to consumers. In reading societal tea leaves correctly and taking bold action, Disney will advance its financial and social value.

Starting in 2015 Disney will restrict advertising on its child-focused TV channels, website and other media properties to brands that meet a strict new set of federal nutritional standards. The decision will reduce Disney advertising revenue from brands like Capri Sun™ drinks and Kraft Lunchables™, foods that may be fun to eat but not good nutrition.

Concurrently, Disney will reduce the salt content of meals served at its theme parks and engage in messaging to encourage kids to be more physically active and eat more nutritious foods. It will also extend its Disney-licensed fruit and vegetable servings business by adding “Mickey Check” on licensed products in grocery store aisles that limit saturated fat, calories, sodium and sugar. A Mickey Mouse ears logo and a check mark on packaging promises, “Good For You — Fun Too!”

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