The Donald Duck, one of the most popular characters from the animation factory, just turned the fairly high figure of 80 years .The character was born in the 30s, as an addition to the family side surrounding Mickey Mouse (not had his first short in 1937) and a personality. It has a very particular way of speaking, a loyal behavior with friends and is, according to a specialist in the Disney characters, the “hero of the working class”. Anyway, Donald Duck is just one of the protagonists of the various products of Disney animation and one of the sources of revenues through merchandising and derivative products of the Walt Disney Corporation.

Walt Disney had, with respect to derivatives, certain condition visionary.Anyone who has seen The meeting of Mr. Banks , the recent movie (Disney) on the strained relations between the creator of Mary Poppins, PL Travers, and Walt Disney, remember that the writer is received – to their horror – with an avalanche of household products, including stuffed animals and other toys giant Disney characters are included. Everything happens in the early years of the 60s.

Disney and its powerful marketing machineryBut Disney already had extensive experience in turning its brand and its characters in derivative products and exploit therefore the values of its signature. The history of Disney Consumer Products, the division that is responsible for creating “experiences of innovative products and committed in thousands of categories, from toys to clothing to books and fine art”, as they are described, dates back to the 20s . the network of Disney stores is later, in 1987, but still Disney has sold more than the films it produces.

It all started in 1929 – curiously the same year of the great stock market crash of New York – when the company allowed to use the image of Mickey Mouse on a table for children. It all started by chance, because Walt Disney was found in the hotel reception with a seller who offered him money for using Mickey Mouse. Disney then needed the money, so they accepted the deal. Disney would receive for these products 2.5% of the profits in royalties condition if they cost less than 50 cents to 5% if cost more, as you can read on the website of the Disney Family Museum.

In 1932, they turned to Kay Kamen, a New York salesman, in the department responsible for consumer products and that started the great history of Disney merchandising (and revenues associated with them). In 33 there were calendars Mickey sold in American department stores (and printers that produced had to increase by 700% staff) and late 40 machinery products from Disney and deserved a profile magazine Timethat supposed for the company and one million dollars (the late 40s).

A powerful brand

Disney today is the leading licensor of the world and has managed to bring its brand to all kinds of products and segments (beyond what can be via piracy). In 2013, consumer products accounted for signing a revenue of 3,555 million, 9% more than in the previous year. So far in 2014 (the company has already closed the first half of fiscal year), the division of consumer products reported revenues of 2,011 million (13% more than in the first half of 2013) and an operating profit 704 million (a variation of 29% yoy).

The company has recently added Star Wars to its list of products (and has been able to exploit in ads) and has benefited from the addition of a mega success to his list. The film Frozen has had a high impact and that also shows in their merchandising.

Stricter rules

Although it seems that Disney is everywhere and covers all kinds of products, the firm has managed yet not exhaust the reef. The constant addition of new characters (the list of princesses Disney, for example, continues to grow) renews the lifeblood of the company, which has also created a list of rules and regulations on what can and what can not be done with your brand to avoid associating it with products that could be harmful.

Disney merchandising of products is a powerful source of income, but also a way to show the brand. Teddies, packaged fruit cups and breakfast with Disney characters never cease to be ambassadors of the Disney spirit, much as are others who manufacture them. Disney web can read the first standards from workers’ rights to product safety. And the company makes it clear that is not open to receiving new ideas for products, which control what will be done with your brand says.