What Theme Parks Teach Us About Market Segmentation

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Island of Adventures have mastered the art of extracting value from customers

Orlando or Bust

We stop to get gas, and it’s clear big oil has figured out segmentation. Shell gas stations segment the fuel — regular, unleaded, and supreme. I go for the supreme, as they’ve figured out guys like me will pay another 27 cents/gallon as it might, who knows, be better. The two-day two-park tix have been purchased. However, the strategy group at Comcast has found a way to extract additional, 100% gross margin, revenue by offering me an “express” pass — cut the line for an additional $85/ticket. Yes, I should do this. Then for another $10 ($95 total), I can purchase the “unlimited” express pass, meaning I can cut the line on the same ride numerous times, vs. just once.


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the best product in the market, full stop. Creative attractions, great personnel, visually stunning, inspiring. The crush of humanity waiting to ride on a bookcase through Hogwarts is easy to be cynical about, when you’re a glass-half-empty type of guy like I am. The first day was fine. The Wizarding World was wonderful: butterbeer and rides that are both well done and like a blast of chemo — sure to make you nauseous.

Advice to My Younger Self

Love and relationships are the ends, everything else is just the means. We, as a species, segment love. When we are young, we take love, our parents’, teachers’, caregivers’. When we enter adulthood, we find transactional love; we love others in exchange for something in return — their love, security, intimacy, etc. Then there’s complete love, surrendering to loving someone regardless of whether they love you back, or get anything in return for that matter. No conditions, no exchange, just a decision to love this person and focus solely on their well-being.

Prof Marketing @NYUStern · Founder @L2_digital @redenvelope @prophetBrand · Contributor @bloombergtv · Cohost Pivot podcast · Weekly musings profgalloway.com

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