1.1.1. Hong Kong Disneyland had mechanisms in place to adapt to local Hong Kong culture, yet these means appeared to be ineffective. Why? What areas, in terms of cultural adaptation, still need further improvement?
Hong Kong Disneyland has been created in 2005 in the largest of Hong Kong’s outlying island. Disney decided to create a new park in Hong Kongbecause of the opportunities offered by the country. China is a growing market and people are willing to spend money in activities or additional products offered by Disney. The city is also really attractive; Hong Kong has good infrastructures and good annual tourists arrivals.
Moreover, Disney already had the experience to create new park. With the difficulties in the French market and thesuccess in Tokyo, Disney learned about the best practices to develop a good strategy. So, it was supposed that Disney would perform well in the Chinese market.
In reality, Disney Hong Kong faced some problems and has shown some failure.
In this first part, we will analyze the cultural adaptation realized by Disney to enter the market but also the cause of their poor performance.
During thefirst year, Disney faced many difficulties to develop a good strategy. The company attracted fewer visitors than the estimated projection and they had to overcome some challenge to translate its strategic assets in Hong Kong.
* First, Disney lost some competitive advantages because of a negative publicity during its first months of operation with the problem of the Chinese Lunar New Year period.Disney built a specific campaign in order to reach the customers in China using local channels and stars. Unfortunately the efforts realized by Disney were inefficient.
Disney should create campaigns by using local aspects of the culture, like creating special events for example for the Chinese lunar New Year holiday period, for Christmas…
These occasions should provide Disney the opportunityto gain a competitive advantage and attract Chinese people from other regions.
* Second, even if, the product offered by Disney doesn’t really differ from the other products in the other countries, HKD is the smallest Disneyland in the world. Chinese people and tour operators complained with the size of the park (capacity of only 34 000 visitors per day). Chinese people prefer biggestattractions. Maybe Chinese people had the impression that the park was less attractive than in the other country and it created negative effects on Disney image. Disney also had to face the competition of other local attractions like for example the Ocean Park. That’s why the company failed to reach the number of visitors estimated. On the other part, Disney created specific adaptation to the localmarket like the adaptation of the toilets, the use of both English and Chinese language or the way to construct the building but theses adaptations are not significant. Disney requires to better understand consumer behavior in order to really comply with the local demand. Bringing further quality entertainment for families could be one of the possibilities.
* Then the project was supposed tocreate economic opportunities for the region of Hong Kong like new jobs, attracting more tourists, collaborating with local companies… But even if Disney implemented some project to do this (collaboration with local advertisers, retailers to products Disney’s products, famous local people…) the company really suffer from a negative image especially for the problem with the human resources managementand the bad service orientation offered.
Disney should create a good working environment, necessary to improve the image of the company ad create positive image. The company has to improve the working conditions in order to gain a better reputation.
Understanding the cultural differences is really important. Disney already suffered from lack of adaptation of its products in the French...