The business life cycle is a relatively simple concept that explains the growth and development of companies, as well as the eventual decline of profitability and death of the same companies. However, certain businesses find ways to revitalize and enter a second period of growth after the maturity phase, avoiding the end of their life cycle. Conceptually, beating this natural life cycle os quite difficult, but a select few companies manage to avoid selling and revitalize themselves. One such example is the Walt Disney Studio. Founded in the 1920’s as a cartoon studio, Disney would swiftly grow to become the leader of the animation industry. By the 1980’s it was leading its field and would have been considered in the ‘maturity phase’. Disney, however, did not slow down.
The official rebrand of 1986 saw the studio become the famous ‘The Walt Disney Company’. The name change was fitting as Disney had branched out into amusement parks and would continue to expand their sphere of influence. The late 80’s to early 2000’s saw a campaign to revitalize and refresh Disney, with expansions into broadcasting networks, hotels, and even the Anaheim angels. With the purchases of Marvel and Pixar, Disney had officially managed to survive and begin growing again. It is now one of the largest companies in the world, and dominates the broadcasting and entertainment industries.
The brand rebirth occurred as The Walt Disney Company began expanding into various different business segments which currently include from Parks and Resorts, consumer merchandise, and entertainment. The Walt Disney Studio can be depicted as its own business life cycle while the onset of its subsidiaries and ventures beyond the studio the end of the original studio and rebirth of a greater company. With Disney’s ability to jump into completely new business avenues, it is hard to pinpoint what stage they are currently at on the business life cycle. In the late 90’s, Disney cemented its name in the media network outlet with acquisitions of ABC, ESPN, and A&E. Another example of growth is their merchandising ability. The company was able to make a brand name from its success in the Entertainment Industry leading to even greater surface reach over multiple populations of audiences. The company’s unique ability to span these markets including its parks and resorts limits its ability to enter any stage of decline or death soon. Due to its consistent growth and with more and more acquisitions, it can be argued The Walt Disney Company is still in a growing stage despite the brand’s longevity.
Michael O’Malley is a Business Administration/Theatre Double major sophomore at USC. He enjoys long walks on the beach, screaming into the abyss, and dancing with friends. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and does know how to read.