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The confidence of Disney was to some extent based on the number of Europeans visiting U.S. Disney parks. The Europeans would be visiting the parks based in U.S. As they were in America but not going to America with the specific motive to pay a visit to the parks. Therefore these figures do not exactly show the popularity of Disney theme parks in Europe. The American Disney Parks are viewed as a part of the American experience and not as a complete holiday destination. All the predictions of attendance are based on parks inside the U.S. And Japan that is also much Americanized. (Euro Disney - Why it failed)
Besides one more striking mistake on the cultural front has been the attention to the wrong details. There will be very few Europeans who will be paying attention to the leather wallpaper when they cannot get their normal breakfast or wine with their meals. This appears to reveal that Disney was acting more on an American viewpoint of Europe rather than a regional view that could identify the vital cultural differences. Besides, the fear regarding offending the sophisticated European preferences implied that Disney forgot that their parks would always be viewed as a part of the American culture. Majority of the people enjoy the parks due to this reason and would choose a hamburger compared to a large sumptuous meal that would be usual for everyday at their home.
Euro Disney had the mistaken notion that the Europeans don't take breakfast which once again proved that no attention has been paid to the minute details of European cultures. While planning Euro Disney did not appear to have in place a contingency plan with the attitude towards consumer habits being unworried, no estimation of number of guests that would be visiting the park daily, the average period of night stay and their average spending. In America this might be more the case, as there is a theme park culture. A lot of people desist visiting during peak holiday times, averaging the attendance figures throughout the year. The European market showed to be more erratic having sharp ups and downs in attendance figures. Everybody would anticipate huge gatherings during weekends and holidays. (Euro Disney - Why it failed)
However, in their planning, Disney was more aligned in raking in profits compared to the basic details like provision of sufficient restrooms for the coach drivers. Majority of the Europeans are not used to the habit of staying in a theme park and therefore the heavy investment in hotels appeared to be a big risk. Disney was wrongly treating Europe as one country while it embodies a much greater range of language and culture compared to the U.S. Or Japan. While the endeavor was to give the park a European taste, the advertising campaign was characteristically American. Majority of the advertisement are targeted at children whereas it's the adult's decision which is final regarding visit. This is applicable in USA as Disney theme parks have been set up since long and it is the adults who associate the complete experience with childhood memories.
However, in Europe, theme parks are not in vogue and thus a whole lot of marketing exercise is required to persuade people that Euro Disney is going to cross everybody's anticipation. A lot of factors were responsible for the failure because of the marketing and administration decisions taken prior to or after the launch of the park. The entire concept of attempting to sell an American product to Europe while attempting to adapt some features of the park to cater to a large variety of cultural tastes was responsible for the failure of the project. Overconfidence in the erstwhile infallible Disney recipe implied that while planning the park, much attention was not paid to the larger details. In this aspect, the administrative fallacies in the project planning contributed a significant part for the failure. The wrong marketing of Euro Disney was responsible for the poor visits however finally the park itself was never going to make the pioneering idea required to create a new market. (Euro Disney - Why it failed)
There was intercultural arrogance on the part of Michael Eisner CEO of Disney in forcing "American" methods on the French people and failing to fathom the cultural differences. They brought in ideas which were adversative to their expected customers and future employees, banning wine, at park restaurants and commanding about the staff dress code and behavior. Another failure was the inability to understand that labor unions in France contribute differently to the labor-management-governance equation compared to the United States, the idea of a vacation between the Europeans and Americans are poles apart, and that the French won't allow cultural intrusion and the like. (Leverette; Neal, 2005)
Michael Esiner and how he contributed to the initial failure of Euro Disney
Eisner, the CEO of Disney failed to understand the underlying importance of relationships which is the building block of Disney over the years. He has positioned his personality at variance to what the principles of Walt Disney were cultivated over the years. Eisner's primary idea of business was to be money making one and he overlooked the entertainment service and provides customer satisfaction, the core competence that a company like Disney was supposed to fulfill in order to be profitable. He was a difficult person to deal with not so notable personality and intelligence who ensured his rising through the corporate echelons by exploiting his contacts and his evident wealth. The personality of Eisner was in total contrast to what is demanded as the part of job requirement at Disney. He lacked potential of knowing the needs of the consumer especially that of children, so it goes without saying that he failed to effectively launch Euro Disney at France. (Michael Eisner and the failure of Euro Disney -Paris in "Keys to the Kingdom")
While launching a business, it is imperative to understand and be sensitive to the local culture which is one of the most essential factors responsible for the success of a business regardless of it being a local or global organization. A company should always adhere to the maxim 'Think global, act local'. It is important to understand the targeted market so as to effectively provide the right blend of services which the particular market needs and requires. The fact remains that Eisner's indifferent sensitivity and overlooking the high regard which the French people accorded to their culture resulted in the debacle of Euro Disney at France. One more point of failure on the part of Eisner was the inability to emotionally connect with its consumers which includes knowing, understanding and also empathizing with the customers. Eisner was a total failure in putting into thought this simple although complex strategy leading it to a controversial business venture. Disney's failure because of lack of foresight and vision of Eisner can be a valuable lesson for companies looking forward to carry out businesses in foreign shores. (Michael Eisner and the failure of Euro Disney -Paris in "Keys to the Kingdom")
Ever since its opening in 1992 it was fraught with problems including criticism in the press by the French reporters who dubbed Euro Disney as 'cultural Chernobyl' 'Mouseschwitz' and "Eurodismal' Disney's mission is to 'entertain everybody cutting across age, geographical borders'. However at Euro Disney, the company has been charged with 'adhering very closely to the corporate line of homogenous small world after all'. Apart from Euro Disney's failure to respect the French culture, there was also failure in understanding and to make amends for the variation in negotiating and management styles. The park was very costly as regards the gate fees, food items, hotel rates, and additional money spent on souvenirs. Euro Disney was positioned as 'massive' that the company tried to thrust this concept on the French and European people. This did not appeal to the Europeans but on the contrary they were more interested what was in store for them inside the park. This failure resulted in reduced expected attendance. (Euro Disney SCA: Perspectives from two Cultures)
For the French, the month of August is the holiday season and expecting that they would change this was highhandedness. The French don't like to wander in the cold and during rains when they prefer to remain indoors. The serpentine queues at the parks were also a dampener for them. Moreover, the Europeans are not as passionate about amusement parks as Americans are and they regard these to be ideally suited for youths and not for adults. As alcohol consumption is banned inside the park, the managers at the Euro Disney misunderstood the European food tastes of drinking beer and wine with meal as essential part of their food culture. They simply found the meals expensive, long queues, inadequate seating arrangements without any arrangements for breakfast. It was increasingly practical for a family to visit the park during daytime and make a night…[continue]
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On the other hand, we might be able to "incubate" a cable network by playing a Thursday night series of cable games, and such a network could be a long-run success that would strengthen our product as well." (Tagliabue, 2004) Tagliabue states that prior to proceeding with a new package it is necessary to ensure that this new package is based on "sound television premises and that it is structured