The factors that led to Euro Disney’s poor performance were the lack of understanding of the French culture, mistaken assumptions, and ethnocentrism by the American management. Since the prices of the hotels and entrances were different and much higher in Europe, the park attendance was low. It was actually cheaper for European families to travel to Disney World in Orlando, FL than to EuroDisney. Eisner was a little arrogant when he assumed people from all over Europe would come to Paris, when there are many different cultures in Europe, each one expecting adaptation. It isn’t like the U.S. where the culture is much the same throughout. Each country has its own culture. The guest expectations weren’t up to par, and the customer service wasn’t as expected. There was a ban on alcohol when the French are the biggest wine drinking country and the poor and underestimated arrangement of breakfast didn’t settle well with the French. It failed in Hong Kong because its service standpoint was below standards. The cultural factors also added to the failure of the theme park they did not adapt to the Chinese culture. They have improved however culture isn’t everything the rides weren’t the quality that guests expected it to be.
2. To what degree do you consider that these two factors were (a) foreseeable and (b) controllable by EuroDisney, Hong Kong Disney, or the parent company, Disney? In terms of the foreseeable factors, they should have taken into consideration cross cultural differences, the Gulf War of 1991, 1980’s European recession, high interest rates and devaluation of several currencies, World Fair in Seville and the Olympics in Barcelona, and the ban on alcohol consumption. Controllable factors were mistaken assumptions, initial pricing, design and marketing policies, early advertising that was more expensive, poor and underestimated arrangement of breakfast, and arrogance of Disney’s management.
3. What role does ethnocentrism play in the story of EuroDisney’s launch? Ethnocentrism is the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own culture, and all other cultures are measured in relation to it. This happened when the Disney management did not try and understand the French expectations or wishes, and went ahead and implemented the Disney Park as per their wishes. The French, of course did not accept this since they never wanted the Americanized entertainment. Disney management had the resources available to get a marketing opinion from European sources that would have saved them from failure. However, since they were profitable with the other Disney parks, the management did not see as this park being any different. If only they had consulted with European marketers, they could have avoided pricing mistakes, food and drink mistakes, and entertainment mistakes.
4. How do you assess the cross-cultural marketing skills of Disney? In the beginning Disney’s cross-cultural marketing skills were far below par. Simply put, they did not do their homework, but when failure crept up they realized their mistakes. Now they have hired European management, who has a better idea of what they are doing. They not only changed their marketing and pricing strategies, but they also changed the food and drink as well. Therefore, in the end, Disney’s cross-cultural skills have improved significantly. 5. Why did success in Tokyo predispose Disney management to be too optimistic in their expectations of success in France? Discuss. In Japan Disney park was a huge success due to the fact that the Japanese had a sentimental attachment to American cartoon characters. The Japanese tourists enjoyed themselves at the park because they could...