Business, Politics & Society

Creating Brand Value

Bob Iger

Lesson time 15:10 min

It goes without saying that the Disney brand is powerful. Bob explains why the brand needed to evolve while staying true to its core in order to stay relevant.

Bob Iger
Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership
Disney CEO Bob Iger teaches you the leadership skills and strategies he used to reimagine the future of one of the world’s most beloved brands.
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[HORN BLOWS] [MUSIC PLAYING] - When you create a brand, I think you have to immediately ask yourself the question, when I put that brand name on the product or when I say that brand name to a consumer, what does it convey? What are the specific values, the specific features, the specific brand attributes, that that consumer immediately thinks about or feels or wants when they hear that name? So when I-- if I had an ice cream company, and I put my name on a container of the ice cream, I want the consumer who sees that name on the ice cream container to immediately know something about the ice cream they're either about to buy, or they're about to eat. You know, a brand is also very, very important in terms of the price value proposition to a consumer. In today's world, the consumer's making many, many choices-- how to spend their time, how to spend their money. In many cases, because there's so much product out there, just the decision about what to do next, what to spend money on next, needs to be made very quickly. And what a brand can convey is in a sense what a product is so that a consumer has the ability to decide quickly whether to spend time or money on that, trusting that in doing so, they're going to derive value from that transaction. A strong brand is something that creates almost a chemical reaction in someone as soon as they hear that name or that brand name. If I say to you Disney, you know exactly what it is. There's a feeling inside you either because you've, you've consumed the brand in some form, or it's had an impact on your life. I could mention Nike. I could mention Apple. I could list a number of them. And you immediately have a visceral feeling about it. What that says is that a strong brand is something that is very identifiable in terms of its qualities, its attributes, its values, what it stands for. The beauty of Disney is a lot of the stories that we tell are evergreen in nature, meaning they have relevance to generation after generation after generation. I tell a story about being taken to the movies when I was four or five years old to see "Cinderella." And just this last Christmas, I watched the same movie with two of my grandchildren. That's five generations of one family that watched the same Disney movie and enjoyed it. That's what I mean when I use the word evergreen. And it's a great attribute of the Disney storytelling brand. [MUSIC PLAYING] In many respects, a brand is a very, very careful balance between legacy or heritage and innovation. Because the world is changing so much and so quickly, it's important for brands, in order to be healthy, to continue to be relevant. Over the years, there've been a lot of discussions about how best to keep the Disney brand relevant and vital in a changing world. The Disney brand really was created in 1923 when the company was created. And it's now almost a hundred years old. And so you can imagine the pressure on that brand i...

Embrace risk, build resilience

In an era of disruption, Disney CEO Bob Iger led one of the world’s most beloved brands to unprecedented success with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Now, through case studies and lessons from 45 years in media, Bob teaches you how to evolve your business and career. Learn Bob’s strategies for expanding a brand, leading with integrity, and making big moves—from risk management to the art of negotiation.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Great Masterclass. I wish Bob Iger had more time here to go into more detail. It would be great to have a second session with him and other popular talents on MasterClass where they go into more detail on particular topics.

Entertaining with good insights. Difficult to put into practice though. Few practical tips, more of a general view.

Great lessons from a great leader! Thank you

It is a great CEO's life story. 45 years of experience from a truly great leader! Everyone who aspire to become a leader must watch this MasterClass.



this guy mishandled the disney brand. this is like asking a hotdog vendor about phillosophy.

Marcus M.

I think that scene with all the Disney princesses in Wreck It Ralph 2 was so smart and was the culmination of decades of great storytelling. Also, how they all came together (and how their music was implemented in the score) was incredible. This needs to happen more often; or at least have multiple Princesses, princes, even villains get together more often...

Jose C.

My biggest take away is that the brand is a relationship between the consumer and the product. It must be challenging to preserve a coherent brand for the overall company when you have so many others under the umbrella that have a distinct relationship with the consumer. I imagine that one of Disney's goals is to make acquired companies more appealing to wider audiences without damaging their essence. Someone mentioned in the comments below how Disney may have ruined the Star Wars brand, but I suspect that it's a sentiment only shared by purists who think the brand lives in the details. I think the brand lives in the feeling one gets when one interacts with the product, in Disney's case, the wonder and inspiration. Disney may have violated some obscure "rules" in the Star Wars world, but they made it more appealing to a wider audience and kept its timeless themes of social justice, revolution, democracy and spirituality alive and relevant.

James B.

He talks about Disney as if he has had flawless taste in creating brand value over the past 14 years in his position. There have been multiple failures in their original films and there have been missteps with the Star Wars brand and responding to that fan base he applauds in other chapters. Rather than talk about these things, he just acts like "let's just talk about my successes.

A fellow student

Valuable suggestion on how to maintain the brand heritage but still progress with the time.

Ryan D.

At the 5:30 mark: What he says about respect vs reverence for a brand is faantastic. Also, I love that they showed that ever-so relevant Wreck it Ralph clip. The socially-meta, so to say, humour in that scene was gold; easily one of my favourite laughs in the film.

Kevin B.

This lesson was so interesting! I learn so much in a great way that I would have never imagined. It is wonderful to see how you handle things!

Andrew L.

Wow! Thank you so much for this lesson. It is my favorite so far. It started getting me to think about so many different ways to approach our non-profit brand. (As a side note, if you aren't watching the Imagineering Story on Disney+ it is a must! It adds so many things to this conversation as well.) This lesson really resonated with me because the non-profit I am at had a brand, but did not keep it relevant. Things got dated and because of the "brand" it was felt people would come. The data on this shows otherwise and helps to reinforce everything that Bob was stating about keeping a brand relevant. I also loved the part about making sure any new venture or ways that things might be made modern have to also match the brand or the mismatch creates confusion and the brand loses meaning. The example of how Disney princesses have changed over time shows the power of taking a staple part of the brand and allowing it to be true but also evolving. I have watched this one several times!

Kevin P.

Phenomenal lesson and series generally. Thank you Bob and Masterclass for sharing. The ‘penny drop’ moment in this one is expanding what Bob says about stories. Stories and Brand Value seem to be about place as well as character. Create a compelling and detailed enough place - be it a world or a situation - and you can mine that story for years. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Tolkien, etc. But also non-fiction brands - Apple, Nike, Starbucks, Pixar, Google, Burberry, etc etc all have a strong sense of place in their brand. This is what seems to make it easier to expand across mediums and formats. Disney - it’s no coincidence the magic kingdom is their logo, and the theme parks their hallmark, full of ‘places’. National Geographic, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ESPN - and the content produced by the other brands in the Disney Family graphic I would anticipate exhibit a strong sense of place?

Adam L.

Such great values to take to my businesses and I am very excited to continue listening. Definitely will be buying his new book too.