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April 27, 2007

Durable Disney to Drop Buena Vista Brand Name

Buena-VistaFilmDistribution.jpgWalt Disney is set to change the Buena Vista brand name to Disney in an effort to “simplify the company's marketing and reduce costs.”

Disney wants to focus on their core brands: Disney, ESPN and ABC. Two months ago, Disney CEO Robert Iger changed Touchstone Television production company to ABC Television Studio and Buena Vista Games to Disney Interactive Studios.

The Buena Vista name has plenty of brand equity: it dates from 1953 and is taken from the street name in Burbank, CA where the Disney brothers created a studio and corporate headquarters for film distribution.

Interestingly, the Pixar, Touchstone and Mirimax studio names, which are also owned by Disney, will stay, possibly because there is strong brand equity and differentiation among these: the Pixar name is synonymous with animation, Touchstone with big budget, mainstream films, and Mirimax with art house.

The_Walt_Disney_Company.gifIger believes that the Disney brand is a “durable brand” and can easily be stretched over even more of its businesses to create a strong brand architecture.

I support this move by Disney: today’s consumers are aware that Disney is more than Mickey Mouse and Orlando. And as one analyst pointed out, most people are not even aware that Buena Vista is owned by Disney, I agree with that as well. It seems crazy for the average moviegoer to watch a Disney film under the impression that it has been distributed by another company.

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Posted by William Lozito at April 27, 2007 1:25 PM
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