The factors that contributed to Euro Disney’s poor performance during its first year of operation were their lack of knowledge of their target market and the fact that they didn’t take into consideration that the target market was not intended to just focus on one culture. Disney builds and promotes Euro Disney as a piece of America in Europe although Disney failed to adapt to the culture. In the European culture they perceived Euro Disney as being overpriced and the vacation time too short. In America, it is common for the Americans to go on short vacations and stay at the park for three days; However, on the other hand, Europeans like to take month long vacations and stay at the park for a max of one or two days. The major problem was ethnocentrism of the American leaders counterbalanced by French national insecurities.The powerful leadership style of Michael Eisner contributed to these problems.
He assumed that people would come from all over Europe as part of the business plan but he failed to comprehend how diverse those consumers would be. At Hong Kong, Disney’s factors of poor performance included the ignorance of the culture again and the fact that they did not introduce the American characters to the Chinese. Disney also did not seem to put much work into Hong Kong Disney because they had only given them sixteen rides when Disneyland in Paris had fifty two rides.2.Disney as a parent company was probably blind sighted by the success of the Japanese Disneyland. The mistakes made with Euro Disney were at least partly foreseeable and can be accounted on the management team that made the decision for the European park.
The hotel pricing is probably the most controllable and foreseeable factor of all. The fact that it costs just as much to stay at a very good hotel in the center of Paris as well as staying in a decent regular hotel, should have been taken into account by the Euro Disney team.The Euro Disney vacation behavior is not directly controllable, but could have been foreseen. Even now, the English language is still unpopular in France and the American consumerism style is still not appreciated.
Most of these factors should have been foreseeable to everyone except for the owner of Disney because he was starting to believe that everything he touched was a masterpiece. These factors were definitely controllable if they would have researched and received help from an outside source with knowledge about different cultures.3.Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one’s own culture. Ethnocentrism played a prominent role in the creation location of Euro Disney. It began with the French stating that they did not like the Disney characters.
The America executives that were in charge of this project refused to see that the Disney characters were not loved everywhere. They automatically assumed that the French would like them because the Americans did. For International business, never assume anything. Make sure that you do your research and pick out the facts that you need to know.The next step escalated to the French not being warm to the Disney idea.
Once again the American executives at both Disney and Euro Disney did not take into account that the French did not want Disney on their land. The American used an ethnocentrism view in determining that France was going to house Euro Disney. They did not take into consideration what the French thought about it and how it was going to affect their lives but instead they saw it as the American way and built it anyways. The last role that ethnocentrism plays in the story of Euro Disney was when the European economy was headed into a recession. The America executive assumed that because the American economy was stable, every economy was too. In my opinion, they need to know the territory they are entering and consider the important factors like this.
Without being educated about a Country, numerous things can go wrong.4.The cross-cultural marketing skills need to be improved on by Disney because it was very poor at the beginning of Euro Disney. The French people were not originally recognized as being culturally different from the Americans and some adjustments needed to be made. In later years, restaurant seating was expanded and alcohol was served with meals and it showed good cross cultural skill by changing its name to Disney Land Paris and other activities.
5.The reason the success in Tokyo predisposes Disney management to be too optimistic in their expectations of success in France and China is because from the very first day in Tokyo, Disney succeeds and Tokyo’s people demographics matched with management body’s expectations. More importantly, Japanese people accepted American culture. The success of Disney was more the success of the Japanese people at adapting to a new world after defeat than a triumph of marketing and cultural understanding. Unfortunately, the success without much cooperation, deeper understanding or adaptation led to the false belief in the Disney magic touch worldwide.6.
I think that some of the experiences in France did not help Disney avoid some of the problems in Hong Kong because they are two totally different cultures. Some of the experiences that they went through in France were most likely different from the experiences that they overcame in Hong Kong. Although, they should take it into consideration that you need to school yourself on that particular country before you decide to do business there. No matter what business you are in, you are not going to be perfect but always trying to become better in what you do by educating yourself is only going to help you in the long run.7.
Now that Hong Kong Disney is up and running, I think that the Shanghai development will benefit from the Hong Kong experience. Now that they have experience in Hong Kong, they know more about diversity, peoples values, and what it is that is going to make the business successful. It will cost a lot of money to do this but considering the experience that they have been through, I believe they will be successful.8.Now that Disney has opened Hong Kong Disney and begun work on the Shanghai location, I would say that three possibilities that they should go to next should be Brazil, Australia or India.
Brazil is a powerful emerging nation with a strong culture. It emerged strongly from the recent economic trouble and its GDP is growing. Brazil is also the world’s fifth largest population. Brazil is a good location to service Latin America, the Caribbean and South America.
A problem might arise in the language barrier between Portuguese and Spanish, however. While the country is a mix of diverse ethnicities, the language is quite uniform across the entire country.The native population alone would be sufficient to support the venture. Australia is an obvious choice for its distance from other locations so that it would not cannibalize other locations attendance and the fact that it is English speaking. It is also close enough to the Asian markets that people from Japan might enjoy the variety. English language would facilitate the transfer of technology and fairytales to Australia.
It would still be vital to have in country expertise pertaining to culture and business. My last and best decision that I have chosen is that they should go to India and they should go as soon as they can.As a consultant, I am hired to give Disney advice on the issue of where and when to go next and I would choose India because it is a highly populated country and that indicates a huge market potentially. The labor cost of this country is cheap. Its tourism sector is also strong. Technologically it is advanced country.
The Indian culture tends to embrace technological advancement and its myriad festivals make it likely that they would embrace Disney India. English is widely spoken and the population of the second largest nation in the world is certainly attractive from a business perspective.9.Given my choice of locale “Disney Land India” for the newest Disneyland, the operational implications of the history of Euro Disney and Disney Hong Kong for the new park would be: the prices will be low, the residential facilities will be at a cheaper rate than others, different rides will be culturally acceptable to the Indians, the total theme park will be based on the Indian culture, and the religious heroes will get preference in cartoon characteristics over other characters.
Disney has extensive experience now in opening theme parks. In such a successful organization I have to believe that they learn from their mistakes. After all Walt Disney is said to have gone bankrupt before making it big with Disney animation and he certainly set the example for learning and prospering from his errors. Disney also corrected the ‘personality’ factor when they dismissed Eisner and chose someone much more humble to replace him.