Disney Case Analysis

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1. Disney’s biggest failure with EuroDisney was their presumptuous underlying assumption when they began forming their strategy: “We are Disney. If we build it, they will come.” Their ethnocentric approach in marketing their product to a highly diverse European culture seems an almost idiotic blunder. In Tokyo, Disney succeeded immediately due to their iconic brand and Japanese sentimental attachment to Disney characters. Approaching a European theme park the same way, located amidst a French population that is hostile to the very “Disney idea”, was a grave misstep and insulting to the local population. Hong Kong Disney’s poor performance differed greatly from the initial failure of EuroDisney. A very multidomestic approach was taken, as Disney was determined not to repeat its mistakes in Europe. Yet there was a sort of natural barrier to entry for the Chinese market, stemming from their Disney awareness. Disney’s task was to simultaneous educate and entertain at Hong Kong Disney, as the 40 year ban on Disney characters made Chinese Disney knowledge very limited. With their attempt to integrate Disney lore with local Chinese culture, Hong Kong Disney may have hurt its ability to differentiate itself from other Chinese theme parks, and give visitors the “Disney experience’. However, this is a far more fixable initial problem than their cultural blunder in Europe. 2. From an international marketing perspective, most of the factors that contributed to EuroDisney’s poor first year performance were not necessarily controllable. The foreign environment is beyond Disney’s control, and some of the economic factors (I.E. flight rates and currency movements) were likely problems for more than just EuroDisney. That being said, research into the European marketplace, or partnering with European marketers, would have presented clear solutions to some of their fundamental cultural errors. For example, Disney cannot control the French belief that a meal without wine is...
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