When I was growing up in the 60’s perhaps the biggest status symbol was a Mickey Mouse hat. You know, the black beanie with the big ears and your name stitched on the front.

It was the sign that your family went far away to the best theme park in the world.

People wore their ears with a badge of honor. Yes, they looked like dorks outside the Magic Kingdom, but the power is in the brand. They wore crowns.

You could see them coming with the big ears and their name stitched in front.

What great branding!

But the minds at Disney thought: How can we make this even better?

They did.

Now they have a distinctive logo on the front of the hat: the Mickey Mouse Club. Or a leprechaun in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Or one of several other Disney themes and characters.

What happened to the wearer’s name?

It is still available, for an extra fee, to be stitched on the back of the beanie.

Call me crazy, but I have to hand it to Disney. They weren’t happy by just branding the cap with the ears. They had to put another picture or logo on the front to reinforce the message.

I guess I’m still a traditionalist, but I’d rather they kept the black hats the way they were. But times change and if people want pink caps or tie-died caps or gold caps, them let them.

I just admire Disney for leaving no real estate unbranded.

Speaking of which, there is a utility pole with wires that looks like the Mickey Mouse logo with the ears. That’s right. They are tied in with the utility grid. But instead of having a dull cross-pole, their pole looks like their logo. Absolutely brilliant. My beanie is off to you folks at Disney!

Dan Janal
Your Fearless PR LEADER
PR LEADS Expert Resource Network