Cleanliness Isn’t “Mickey Mouse”

If you have ever listened to friends just back from a vacation at a Disney Theme Park, you have heard them exclaim about how clean and spotless everything is. “You never see even a piece of paper on the ground!” “They must have an army of “litter-picker-uppers!” It didn’t just “happen by chance.”

Cleanliness is part of the Disney plan to make their customers (“Guests” in Disney terms) enjoy a perfect experience. Super-Cleanliness is a hallmark of that perfect experience. It is the embodiment of the Disney Culture and shows that the staff is ever vigilant against litter. There is also the implication that the vigilant staff also makes the park safer and more secure.

Most companies can use super-Cleanliness as a marketing tool:

· Real Estate brokers find a Super-Clean home easier to sell and will usually attract a higher price, not only because it is more attractive, it gives the impression that the home is well maintained.

· Restaurant patrons feel that spotless washrooms are indicative of sanitary kitchens (since one rarely gets a peek in the kitchen).

· A tidy auto garage gives the feeling that extra care is taken in repairing the car.

· Clean retail display windows impress, dirty display windows detract.

· Manufacturing plants and distribution centers that are clean and orderly are more likely to have a better safety record and produce higher quality and / or more accurate output.

· Clean and shiny company vehicles, especially if the company name and logo are on display, are attractive, impressive moving billboards.

Disney and others that embrace the Super-Cleanliness / Orderliness culture feel they have one more marketing tool to impress their “guests” and customers. It is evident that there is a plan to keep the physical surroundings of the company attractive, orderly, and safe and that everyone within these surroundings takes care to keep it that way.

Interestingly, one’s perception of a dirty disorderly looking company is that no one really cares much about the company’s image and that their products and services might be and probably are not as good, not cared for, not as enjoyable, not as safe, not as durable and not worth as much. That may not be the case in actual fact, but as always, perception is reality.

Cleanliness and orderliness are not “Mickey Mouse.” Disney and other high-quality businesses that embrace this culture are very serious about it. Think of a Squeaky Super-Clean Disney experience when you are looking for your next advantage and you won’t be “Goofy!”