Last Updated on 14 November 2019

Imagineer Jargon: “Weenie”

The Imagineer Term

Weenie – Walt Disney’s playful term for a visual element that could be used to draw people into and around a space.

Main Street USA, Walt Disney World

According to Disney Imagineers, a weenie is big enough to be seen from a distance and interesting enough to make you want to take a closer look.

The best weenie examples are the castles in each Disney themepark. Pictured is Cinderella Castle at the end of Main Street, USA at Walt Disney World in Florida. Weenies are critical to Imagineer efforts at laying out a sequence of story points in an organized fashion.

Broader Marketing Interpretation

In design – whether it is retail space, package design, instruction manual, or website – it is important to progressively reveal layers of information, and not overwhelm customers. Visually guide them, offering weenies as they move deeper and deeper into your space.

Convenience and grocery stores draw customer deep into locations by putting most commonly purchased items in the very back of the store. Their strategy is to draw you in past products you may impulse purchase. This creates an incremental purchase and increases their average check.

If you create products, how do you draw customers in through your packaging?

Apple Computer does a great job with this. When you unpack an Apple product, you experience several layers of reveal… First the lid of the package, where you’re greeted with some sort of welcome… Then typically another reveal – perhaps removing the styrofoam cover from atop your PowerBook… Then when you start the product, you’re typically greeted with some sort of welcome message.

If you’re a retail business, what visual magnets or weenies do you offer your customers from a distance to attract them to your location? When they arrive, how do you draw them deeper in? What is big enough to be seen from a distance and interesting enough to make you want to take a closer look?

Image source: Laughing Place.