Skip to main content

A lesson from the wizardry of Harry Potter

When I read about something succeeding beyond expectation, I always want to know why. So, when the Orlando Sentinel recently reported Universal Orlando posted its best quarterly results in the resort’s 20 year history with revenue up 62 percent and profits more than double, it got my attention. After all, most amusement parks have been working hard just to keep even. 

The answer for Universal: Harry Potter waived his magic wand and voila! It really all began with the idea of adapting J.K. Rowling’s series to the big screen. The amazing success of that decision has now grossed more than $5.4 billion and been seen by untold millions worldwide -- a nice beginning to be sure, but just the beginning.

Today, if soaring over Hogwarts or coming face-to-face with a Hungarian Horntail is your passion, you’ll find it all in the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” That’s where Universal has taken what’s on the movie screen and brought it to life in its newest attraction – a state-of-the-art, 20-acre “immersive experience.” And that is what’s busting down Universal’s gates and pushing up its fortunes.

A key to the success of the amusement business is to continually add new attractions. While most theme parks have added something, this year’s big winner is clearly Universal’s Harry Potter, voted 2010’s Best New Attraction by ThemeParkInsider.com.

As marine dealers, I’m not leading up to a suggestion that we can replicate the magic of Ollivander’s wand shop. Oh, that we could! But we can recognize the policy of adding something new is a good business model. “New” draws people. In our case, new boat models are one built-in way. However, new services, owner/user events and other new reasons to visit our dealerships and become regular customers are things we need to do if we want to keep attracting customers and prospects.

We don’t have Harry Potter fame going for us. Still, we need to be inventive in creating new programs that will draw people through our doors. Indeed, if you haven’t added anything new to your marketing mix this past year, now’s a great time to gather your staff together, bring in lunch and brainstorm some new program ideas for 2010. 

Finally, if you have held some new events or implemented new services that have been successful in your area, I invite you to tell us about them here!

Related

1_CHAPARRAL.FAFARD

Chaparral VP Takes Expanded Role

Senior vice president Mike Fafard will now be in charge of manufacturing, in addition to engineering and design

1_ABYC.ELECTRICAL

ABYC Offers New Electrical Course

Advanced Marine Electrical, the group’s newest certification, is an on-demand, online course outside of scheduled classes

1_SILENTYACHTS

Silent-Yachts Acquires Italian Yard

The facility in Fano, on the Adriatic Sea, has 236,806 square feet of production space and will employ about 250 people

1_GETTINGTECHNICAL

Increasingly Infinite Options

Additive manufacturing is rapidly becoming a go-to technology for companies in the marine industry, and while some choose to outsource, others are taking advantage of the rapidly dropping price of 3D printers.

DealerOutlook

Celebrating 50 Years of the Clean Water Act

The great strides in water quality that the CWA has created have been a huge benefit to boating, but there’s a lot more that remains to be done.

1_IRISINNOVATIONS

Iris Innovations Opens U.S. Office

The U.K.- based on-board camera manufacturer aims to leverage its new location in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to strengthen its position in the U.S. market.

1_KVHCEO

KVH Industries Appoints CEO, Directors

Brent C. Bruun takes over as president and CEO, and David Kagan and David Tolley were appointed to the board.

1_WINNEBAGO.EARNS

Winnebago Reports 3Q Results

The parent of Chris-Craft and Barletta said profit margins widened after its acquisition of the pontoon builder.