1. What factors contributed to EuroDisney’s poor performance during its first year of operation? What factors contributed to Hong Kong Disney’s poor performance during its first year of operation?
* Families were reluctant to spend $280 a day to enjoy the attractions of the park
* Staying overnight was out of the question because hotel rooms were so expensive
* Old Work thinking of Europeans who did not understand US style free market financing lead to French Bankers hesitating to provide funding
* By summer 1994, EuroDisney had lost more than 900 million dollars
* Disneyworld in Orlando ended up being cheaper than a trip to Paris due to currency ...view middle of the document...
To what degree do you consider that these factors were foreseeable and controllable by EuroDisney, Hong Kong Disney or the parent company, Disney?
Most of the problems mentioned in the case (including both EuroDisney and Hong Kong Disney) were foreseeable and controllable since they were based on cultural adaptation. Disney did not look far enough into the cultural values, norms and standards of the foreign environment they were expanding into. If they had done more research, the company could have mitigated a lot of the risk that came with entering into foreign territory. Disney failed to adapt which is a crucial part of market expansion. The company should’ve created a business strategy that combined the traditional values of the company while emphasizing those of the European culture. There were some factors that were uncontrollable. Specifically, these were external factors that had to do with the Gulf War, recession and other political/ economical changes to the environment.
3. What role does ethnocentrism play in the story of EuroDisney’s launch?
Ethnocentrism is the belief that your own ethnic or cultural group is inherently superior in relation to other groups. Ethnocentrism proves to be a huge problem in terms of expanding into a foreign territory. Since the American managers in Disney did not do enough research on Europe before building EuroDisney, there could be an argument for ethnocentrism. The company might have believed that their ways, culture and beliefs were superior to those of the foreign country, so why change or adapt them? Since most of the factors that lead to poor performance during the first year of operation were as a result of cultural inconsistencies, it could be said that mindless ethnocentrism was part of the problem.
4. How do you assess the cross-cultural marketing skills of Disney?
In the early stages of EuroDisney, specifically, Disney’s cross-cultural marketing skills were poor and detrimental to the success of the new park. There was not enough research done in terms of the new environment, which led to bad decisions on Disney’s part. In particular:
* Advertising/ promotion
* Focus on emphasizing glitz and size instead of the attractions
* Didn’t stress entertainment value of visit to the theme park in their promotions which “ruined the magic”
* Food/ beverage
* French people have a rigid meal schedule compared to snacking
* No alcohol is allowed in the park which is a huge part of the French culture
* Vacation customs
* French prefer month long vacations instead of several throughout the year like Americans prefer
* Strict rules on the appearances of the park employees left them dissatisfied
Improving each of these categories would benefit the foreign marketing strategy. Increasing the food variety, appealing different cultures by adding different language guides, and overall an even...