Accordingto Ciciora (2016), cultural distinctiveness propels consumers toassociate with home brands or favor brands of an associated culturalgroup. On it’s set up in Paris, Disneyland made several culturalmistakes that doomed it to failure. This was due to the ignorancethat the American culture, successful in Tokyo, China, and Americawould also be effective in France (Newell, 2013).
Thelifestyle differences were that the French serve alcohol as part oftheir daily life, including lunch. This was unlike Americans that donot take alcoholic drinks during daytime hours. Disneyland’s policyof not serving alcohol in its parks was a bad idea. Another culturalmishap is the misunderstanding of the European breakfast. The companyassumed that Europeans generally do not take breakfast in largenumbers. Disneyland only planned for a small number of guests duringbreakfast, based on the American tradition where people take snacksduring anytime of the day making breakfast unnecessary. As a result,they were not able to accommodate all the guests that showed up forbreakfast. This led to waiting lines that discouraged customers. Inthe same context of food, Disneyland thought that Europeans eatrandomly during the day only to realize that they are accustomed toeat during specific times in the day (Newell, 2013).
Anothercultural error made was Disneyland’s approach to vacation time. Dueto the fact that most Europeans get a five-week vacation time, unlikethe Americans that get two to three weeks, it would work in theirfavor. Despite this, attendance at the park was seasonal because mostEuropeans waited for school summer holidays to go for vacations,unlike Americans who would take their children out of school forholidays. Disneyland also overlooked the issue of transportation.Unlike Americans, Europeans prefer to walk rather than take vehiclesaround. This left vehicles very underutilized which affected revenuesnegatively (Newell,2013).
Underthe management of Philippe Bourguignon, who became CEO in 1993Disneyland was able to turn up small amounts of profits. This wasaccomplished when the company made peace with workers trade unions,cut prices, allowed wine at the restaurants on the resort, andintroduced the “Space Mountain roller coaster” based on anovelist from France known as Jules Verne (Rahman, n.d.).
Toattract customers, Disneyland created the first unique characterspurposely for the European customer. The character was "L`HommeCitrouille" or "Pumpkin Man." The resort abandoned itsstrategy of approaching the European market to food service andmerchandising, selling and promoting fast foods, and American-stylesouvenirs. And sales grew since the overhaul (Rahman, n.d.).
Incomparison with Wal-Mart Germany, Disneyland Paris made a betterdecision. Disneyland tried to learn the European way in order to getsales. On the other hand, Wal-Mart Germany employed its habits andbusiness philosophy which has always worked so well. The Germans werenot fond of hiring checkout people who would smile at customers,after bagging their purchases. Germans do not usually smile tocomplete strangers and the sight of people grinning did not impresscustomers, it only unnerved them (Shurrab, 2014).
Wal-Marthas had a history of selling products at very cheap prices, with thispractice, they have been able to edge out competition or become themost profitable. In Germany though, there are controlled workinghours, and price guidelines that make it illegal to sell goods belowtheir market value. Wal-Mart also had an ethics problem, theyencouraged employees to spy on their counterparts, and this did notauger well with the workers in Germany. In the end, Disneyland wasable to make a comeback while Wal-Mart closed shop (Shurrab, 2014).
Ciciora, P.(2016, December 15). `Cultural distinctiveness` can influenceconsumer preferences for certain products. Retrieved fromhttps://phys.org/news/2016-12-cultural-distinctiveness-consumer-products.html
Newell, L. A.(2013). Mickey goes to France: A case study of the EuroDisneyland negotiations. Retrieved fromhttp://cardozojcr.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Newell.pdf
Rahman, S.(n.d.). Euro Disney casestudy. Retrieved fromhttp://www.academia.edu/13175621/Euro_Disney_Case_Study
Shurrab, H.(2014). Case study: Wal-Mart`s German misadventure| Hafez Shurrab -Academia.edu. Retrieved fromhttps://www.academia.edu/8391753/CASE_STUDY_WAL-MART_S_GERMAN_MISADVENTURE