A few days ago, my wife shared with me a new Disney experience that she found information about. It was a Star Wars themed cruise. From what I understand, there are only eight cruises planned in 2016 and these are one-day cruises. The Disney cruise website states, “The Star Wars Day at Sea is a one-day extravaganza during your cruise. For the rest of your voyage, you’ll enjoy the jam-packed itinerary of excitement and adventure you can only get from a Disney Cruise Line sailing.”
When my wife told me about the new cruise experience, my heart sank. My gut reaction was that this type of publicity would only cheapen the brand. You see, I’m more “old school” Star Wars. How can you truly experience the magic of Star Wars on a cruise ship? The magic of Star Wars, for me, is that Star Wars is supposed to take place in a galaxy far, far away… not on the Endor Deck of a Disney Cruise ship. I enjoy the more serious side of Star Wars. Yes, I’m the guy who appreciated the Phantom Edit of Episode I, which removed much of the Jar Jar Binks character. Personally, I’m not a fan of this whole Disney Cruise Star Wars experience… but professionally…
There is a new generation of Star Wars fans in my kids and my niece and nephews. They enjoy the new “fun” of Star Wars and they are the ones keeping the franchise alive through the cartoons and the books. It’s a new generation and for the franchise to survive, dare I say continue to thrive, then we have to let the next generation’s ideas flow freely.
Think about your company. Do you encourage your younger employees to think outside the box? Do you encourage them to be free thinkers and to explore new avenues to fulfill your organization’s mission? Do you give them the freedom to try new approaches to the same problems you are trying to solve? At some point, as leaders, we have to reevaluate the “tried and true” way we’ve always done things and give the next generation the freedom to move our organizations forward. If we do not adapt, our organizations and companies are sure to have our growth stunted… or worse… we will fail to exist.
To Disney: you have challenged my thoughts on the Star Wars franchise and rather than live in the past, I will open my mind to the Star Wars themed cruise. I will continue to embrace the Star Wars legacy as it was, but will be open to where the future takes it. Besides, as Yoda stated, “Always in motion is the future.”
One last thought, as my friend Rob explained it to me, if the cruise ship was shaped like the Millennium Falcon, it would be REALLY awesome.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The Desecration of a Brand… or Marketing Genius?
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