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?
The biggest factors that contributed to EuroDisney’s poor performance during its first year of operation were: a poor understanding of the marketplace, the cultural differences between the two countries, and the different approaches to business and life. One major factor was the ethnocentrism, or the viewing of a foreign culture through the lens of your own culture, displayed by American leaders offset by French national insecurities. But, the problems spanned beyond arrogant leadership. Disney ...view middle of the document...
Disney quickly remedied this. Beyond marketing, people complained that the park was too small and did not have enough attractions.
2. To what degree do you consider that these factors were (a) foreseeable and (b) controllable by EuroDisney, Hong Kong Disney, or the parent company, Disney?
A large part of EuroDisney and Hong Kong Disney’s first year consisted of controllable and foreseeable factors. Controllable factors include price, product, place, and distribution. Considering France, price was an issue specifically regarding overpriced hotel rooms. This is controllable. Product could have been altered to suit the diversity of customers. It could have been changed to better suit French culture and consumers. Better market research could have been conducted. The relationship with the government was foreseeable, especially concerning trends of American business in France. An uncontrollable factor was the world events that occurred during EuroDisney’s opening summer, such as the Olympic Games and the World’s Fair.
Hong Kong Disney faced many controllable and foreseeable factors too. First off, it was foreseeable that Chinese people would be unfamiliar with their product. Second, market research could have prevented embarrassing adverts and promotions. Third, market research could have better prepared executives for problems attendees had with size and number of attractions.
3. What role does ethnocentrism play in the story of EuroDisney’s launch?
Ethnocentrism, as previously mentioned, is the notion that one’s own culture or company knows best how to do things. Disney wanted to bring a piece of America to Paris, a piece of its iconic and cultural great.
French culture is very different from that of America or Japan. Executives lead with the idea that all Europeans enjoy the same sausage and vacation in the same way that Americans do. These ideas were easily correctable with cultural awareness, at little cost, but executives were too ethnocentric to even know what questions to ask.
Japan welcomed the taste of American culture; France was nationalistic. Attempting to impose American values, such as nondrinking on the French or appearance rules would have been easily understood as a mistake if they had even asked. Executives at EuroDisney simply fell back on their “self-reference criterion” and misinterpreted European culture cues and society. They believed one universal product would be accepted in Europe with as much enthusiasm as in Japan.
4. How do you assess the cross-cultural marketing skills of Disney?
At the time of EuroDisney’s opening, there was a distinct lacking in cross-cultural marketing skills. The company did not do enough research. It marketed bigger and better, size and glamour to a country and culture that values fashion and elegance. The belief that the society functioned like the American society was just wrong because the French are highly unionized, and fairly socialized in a political sense....