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Euro Disney chose variety of appealing themes to its parks and other business entities, the choice encompasses variety of tastes and interests. Disney market opportunity in Europe is considered ripe because of the vast population present, favorable per capita spending and long vacation periods.
The complex extension of Disney requires wise choice of markets within various European countries. Their movies represent symbol of American culture which are accepted worldwide without any discrimination (Price, 2000).
Disney Corporation is planning to move its operations to other parts of the world because of its diverse services. For the company to compete favourably in these markets it has to come up with workable marketing strategies. The targeted market is in the far- east and Europe specifically Tokyo and Paris.
Disney has a burning desire to serve as many cultures as possible all over the world. The Company’s unique sense of creativity and imagination can be well utilized to conform to the culture of both Asia and Europe communities (Burgoyne, 1995).
Compare Disney’s Approach in the Japanese and French Markets
Disney has been considered successful in Japan as far as international marketing is concerned. This is because it provides the real extension of services from America, the quality of guest service and imagination. It is a pure replica of the American Disney service delivery systems. However, the difference in culture makes it tricky for the penetration of Disney brand of entertainment into Japanese lifestyle.
Also the per capita spending in Japan is a bit high since there is clear trend towards leisure and recreation. This is contrary to the French market where leisure is considered a lifestyle and vocational practice. The French market has received support from the well built and connected infrastructure put in place by the French government and further boosted Disney by providing tax incentive.
The government built new railway line for the purposes of helping Disney land transport tourists to the Park. Disney built a complex in France that was reflecting more of western American culture; this was contrary to the original idea which was meant to accommodate the preferences of visitors of European origin and certain French cultural requirements (Cateora & Graham, 2006).
The approach Disney used in France was meant to target the visitors that had been to United States Disneyland who currently leaves in Europe. The design of the theme parks focused on attracting the visitors and create impression that could enable them desire to be back more often for the wonderful experiences.
Disney did market research in France where they involved the vocal French intellectuals and government officials to assist in adopting Disney Park design to suite the cultural requirement. In France Euro Disney provide foods from around the world at its theme parks and hotels while in Japan they use American flavor in most of the occasions.
The services rendered by Disney employees in Japan is quite different from that of Europe, this is because of the success in Japanese culture which focuses in obedience to management and teamwork. The level of efficiency achieved by Japanese staff is owed to their character of being polite and obedient.
Quality of service and the way it is delivered to customers form the primary concern of Disney in Tokyo and also the teamwork spirit (Cateora & Graham, 2006).
Political stability in both countries is an important contributor to the stability of Disney investment since it helps in providing peaceful environment that favors business in the theme Parks. The stability makes mode of entry for Disney to be smooth lowering the chances of risk factors.
Why the Euro Disney Marketing plan has not succeeded in France?
The joint venture that Disney made with the French government proved to be good investment especially on the side of risk coverage. On the other hand it has made it very difficult for Disney during low seasons whenever visitors are less than the targeted number.
It makes it very difficult to exit the market in case of subsequent losses. There is also the difficulty of incorporating the cultural diversity within the parks, there is the question on whether the American theme park can attract and please people of different ages and nationalities as it does within Tokyo (Mujtaba, 2006).
The service adaptation at the Disney parks within France has not so much reflected cultural requirements, French eating habits and park design. The management should have Disney’s investments protected through legal laws to ensure easy recovery in case of losses. The company did not do enough intensive quality control and thorough check up on products.
The failure was also attributed to several factors some of which are failure to assign the right personnel for the right job at the start of the business. There was miscalculation done on the drinking characteristics of the French population. The start of operations in Europe was marked by services devoid of alcohol drinks since it was one of the Company’s working policies in America and Japan.
This alone caused some negative attitude towards Disney in France, since the people believe in being served with alcohol after meals. There was also little understanding by the management on the French breakfast and food culture (Keegan, 2002). The trip to Paris had also been considered expensive due to changes in currency hence trip to Orlando was preferred by most guests.
Critique of the CEO’s salvation plan
The combination of American design with the European preference destroyed the American spirit and culture within the theme parks. Disney Corporation’s CEO should have first of all monitored at a close range the performance of other companies offering the same services in these areas.
This is of advantage since it could give Disney the chance to evaluate and set its investment priorities right. It should first of all start by building a theme park to assess the market potential then include other projects like hotels later. Some governments regulate the number of films released in their market environment annually which is a big challenge to Disney’s animated films (Keegan, 2002).
Disney Corporation’s CEO should also first of all test the market’s worth through the building of parks. This may help in determining the actual size and status of the market since it serves both local population and foreigners.
It is easier to influence local community and foreigners to visit parks than hotels or buy animated films. In addition Disney should put strategies on how to attract through their services, the large number of tourists that visit these areas. The amount of money it costs to put up these projects should be calculated based on the level of risks involved (Keegan, 2002).
Euro Disney Today
The implementation of teamwork and total quality system is not utilized in Euro Disney due to cultural differences. The attitude training undertaken by Disney University could not be successful in Europe, especially France, since the citizens are used to entertainment that is more intellectual in nature.
This made it difficult to change to change the employees’ attitude on the concept of entertainment towards guest which is more oriented to pleasing guests (Burgoyne, 1995).
Disney failed in Europe in the area of Human resource management because of their lack of awareness on culture differences and lack of familiarity with the French Laws and the traditional practices of the French citizens (Burgoyne, 1995). Disney used ethnocentrism marketing approach in Europe, there was no significant differences made in the kinds of Parks that were built in other countries.
Hence, the absence of long-term strategies and factors that promote partnership presented a set-back to the success of Euro Disney. They failed to recognize local employees’ efforts towards the success of Disney, which contributes to employees’ low self-esteem (Mujtaba, 2007a).
The Euro Disney operations were started with no alcohol service at their parks. This extension worked well in other destinations like Japan, Florida and California but not in France. This is because alcohol is so much valued in France such that a glass of wine is mandatory for meals.
This was later allowed and is now used in Euro Disneyland theme parks (Burgoyne, 1995). Euro Disney reveals the fact that cultural awareness is an important determinant on the extent to which business venture can succeed internationally.
Tokyo and Hong Kong Disneyland Today
Hong Kong Disneyland is still in its prime stages, currently still has only one park that requires only a day tour. Most of the attractions within Hong Kong Disney are replica of the original Disneyland in the USA, it experiences low number of visitors compared to Tokyo parks and their services are a bit more modest compared to Tokyo’s.
The city of Hong Kong offers unique destination for full culture exploitation though it still has few opportunities for variety of diversions. Hong Kong Disneyland requires improvement on its cultural impact in the process of delivering their services. Their films are considered of abuse to cultural integrity (Hofstede, 1980).
There is the challenge of using meaningful scribbles to suit every local culture served, this seem a challenge especially when it comes to Chinese way of writing. The use of magic does not interest at all, majority of the cultures in the far-east. There is big target market for Disney in Hong Kong and China as well.
The problem lies in long waiting lines and the issue of Chinese visitors not tolerating the kind of waste from snacks served in waiting queues. In the case of Shanghai, there are some elements that must be considered to generate an idea on how to plan and approach the market. The population in Hong Kong should be considered in order to determine the amount of space required to establish the operations.
Majority of the young population within this area like products with cartoon pictures on them, this provides a good market base (Hofstede, 1980).
The urban population is considered the wealthiest; however they should be grouped according to their financial ability. The criterion to be used to estimate the economic status of the market should be addressed. However, the city is reach in domestic tourism which provides Disney Corporation with a sure and available market.
Tokyo Disneyland presents perfect example on cultural fit for Asian cultural needs. Tokyo Disney is regarded as having some sense of prestige to the Asian culture and also shows good example of societal status (Keegan, 2002). It creates a good feeling for the Asians finding association in American culture which is contrary to what Europeans crave for.
Creation of Tokyo Disney is based on original Disney Park themes in United States of America, the parks are characterized by unique attractions and it’s famous for hosting lavish events found in any Disney branches all over the world. The park is uniquely and expensively built characterized by Disney Sea which provides an exclusive concept of theme park, making it the most beautiful in the world.
Disney use socioeconomic factors to determine the right market segments to invest. The level of consumption for Disney products and services are controlled by the consumer’s level of income and the country’s economic development. This has made Europe one of the best alternative markets to United States since most of the products from US form part of the Global marketing strategy.
The five week vacation in Europe forms a greater market base for Disney compared to period of only three weeks in United States. Euro Disney provides clear description on how failure can be realized whenever the HR department fails to perform its duties. It also gives a number of practices that should be put into consideration for attaining the company’s strategic goals.
Burgoyne, L. (1995). Walt Disney Company’s Euro Disney Venture: A Study in Corporate Foreign Expansion. Hidden Mickeys. Web.
Cateora, P.R., & Graham, J.L., (2006). International Marketing. (13th Ed.). New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work related values. Beverly Hills, CA: sage publishers.
Keegan, W. (2002). Euro Disney Case (A). Global Marketing Management. 7th Ed. Prentice Hall, New Jersey, USA.
Mujtaba, B. G. (2006). Cross Cultural Change Management. Tamarac, Florida: Llumina Press.
Mujtaba, B. G. (2007a). Cross Cultural Management and Negotiation Practices. ILEAD Academy Publications; Florida, United States.
Price, A. (2000). Human Resource Practices at Disney, HRM Guide. Web.