Friday, February 19, 2010

REVIEW: What I learned from MICKEY MOUSE: Disney Social Media Moms Conference (PART 5): Girl Power!

Day three of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference was full of guest speakers that gave us insight into how they use social media to build their businesses and brands. The morning was a total Girl Power Pow Wow with presentations from three great and totally different women.

The Social Media Moms first attended a great breakfast at the Disney Contemporary Resort. One of the wonderful mom bloggers that I met at the conference was Amy from T-shirt and Jeans Mom blog who is pictured with me in the photo to the left. She is just one of the many great women that attended this conference so it was good to know we were going to get social media from a woman's perceptive during the morning session. (Now there were a few dad bloggers in the audience too but, they were completely outnumbered at this conference.)

After a great breakfast, the first speaker was Maxine Clark, the president of Build-a-Bear. Maxine really came across as a wonderful, caring leader of a company that she cares about deeply. Here are a few highlights from her speech.

Retailing is Entertainment. The Store is the Stage.
Maxine said that she started her company after she could not find Beenie Babies while shopping and then realized she could make them herself. She talked about how retailing has gotten away from being a treat for customers. I agree with her. I remember shopping as a child and getting dressed up because it was considered a treat to go shopping in Detroit at J.L. Hudsons department store. Maxine stated that her mentor Stanley Goodman used to say "When the customer has fun, they spend more money" and out of that concept Build-a-Bear was created.

Dream Big and Believe in the Dream.
When you start your venture, you have to believe in it otherwise there is no point to doing the work.

Customers are Important.
My favorite quote from Maxine's speech was "1+1=10" which means that the shopping experience should be a win/win experience for both the customer and the company. Her store employees are empowered to do what it takes to make the customer happy.

Social Media and Build-a-Bear.
Maxine stated that Build-a-Bear just had their first Twitter Party with 300 moms. Maxine answers her own tweets at @ChiefExecBear and online at so she has personal relationships with her customers. She also likes to use her Facebook account ( to keep in touch with customers. Build-a-Bear also has a grant process that they use to give back to the community. They grant money to individuals with ideas to help children. The Build-a-Bear motto is that they are a company with a heart.

The next speaker was Marissa Jaret Winkour, the Tony award winning Broadway actress from Hairspray and TV star. I remember Marissa from when she was on Dancing with the Stars where she started out shy and ended up gaining tons of confidence and coming in at 4th place.

Marissa was funny, very funny, but also very frank about her life as a "curvy" actress in a skinny industry. Marissa has used social media to help her land all kinds of jobs. She has live blogged events and she loves her Facebook account where she holds nothing back from her fans. Her motto is that we should all help each other and being honest about your problems can help others with theirs.

The next speaker was Kathy Ireland, former model and owner of the self named 1.5 billion dollar lifestyle company. Like Marissa, Kathy was also very honest about the challenges she has had with her company going bankrupt years ago and coming back from that period to become successful. She talked about the challenges of moms with work life balance. She stressed that we all should know our strengths and surround ourselves with people who can help out since we cannot do it all by ourselves.

Kathy also talked about how we should teach our kids that their cyber footprint never goes away so they should be very careful about what they put out into social media world since it can influence them getting a job. She said that she involves her kids in her company and makes a date with each child to spend quality time with them. Kathy said that she believes that woman can have it all, but not all at one time.

The Ultimate in Girl Power!
Besides the speakers, the highlight of the morning was the drawing for, get this, a night in the suite in the Cinderella Castle - the ultimate in exclusive Disney VIP treatment. For this event, Cinderella and Prince Charming made an appearance to draw the winning entry. The winner was the mom from Double Duty Divas blog. Click here to read about her family's Cinderella Suite experience.

I am winding down to the end, so if you want to find out the rest of the speakers and events of day three, check out my next post in the series "What I learned from MICKEY MOUSE (PART 6) - Laughs and a Movie".

Read my trip disclosure here

1 comment:

  1. All this reading about Disney is making me want to go to Florida! :-)