Culture influences both business consumers, managerial and marketing activities. Therefore, when carrying out business abroad understanding of the culture of the people who make the market is significantly important. It is important because culture determines people’s behavior in making purchases and also influences the process of decision making. Cultural sensitivity is especially essential when contrasting Eastern and Western Cultures marketing differences. The paper provides a detailed description of the cultural differences in marketing between China and the USA and the failure of Disney Euro due to cultural differences.
The first cultural difference in marketing between China and the USA is that Chinese people fosters deep friendship first before marketing. They chose indirect paths to negotiate business and ask very personal questions of business contacts. They develop friendship first to ensure obligation, giving favors when necessary and to develop trust before doing business and marketing. They forge marketing connections and relationships known as Guanxi (Zhang & Neelankavil, 1997). Guanxi is the group in China that helps foreign businesses or companies to establish networks or connections that open up and facilitate marketing and business deals. While the USA tends to keep work and personal life separate. They can do business with anyone even if you will never consider being their friends with them outside business setting.
Business as a whole in China including marketing moves at a different pace from the USA. Chinese make decisions at a slower pace and prefer to build consensus before plunging into any deal. Deadlines are only met when the time is right, and the project is considered complete by that time. Whereas in the USA things move very faster. They focus on efficiency and speed and always are in a hurry to get business transactions and marketing very quickly. Time is money in the USA; people are to meet deadlines as set and turn up on meetings at the right time (Zhang & Neelankavil, 1997). Americans, therefore, can find the punctuality attitude in China time wasting and frustrating, but China might take advantage of the USA by keeping them waiting to get better deals in marketing.
China has heavy censorship on internet and media platforms including, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook which are used in marketing. All these media platforms and other Western Newspapers are blocked in China therefore not used in conveying business information (Zhang & Neelankavil, 1997). The company’s information in China is shared on a need-to-know basis and seldom filtering down from the top. While in the USA freedom of speech and access to business and marketing information is allowed thro media. Media platforms like instagram, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms like OLX mostly employed by business people in marketing. American corporate culture is left more open. Information about the companies is allowed to flow for marketing and to embrace transparency freely.
The reasons that lead to the failure of Disneyland in Europe are; the protest of the farmers who wanted back their lands they were driven from by the government for the construction of the park. The protestors blocked the roads with their tractors and also crippling the train system that led to the park. This led to a reduced number of customers who went to the park. The other reason for the company’s failure was the bomb that was set in the company a night before the strike leading to the destruction of Euro Disney’s electrical system (Nola, 1994). Thousands of the employees of the park left en masse after the troubled opening due to complaints of bad dress appearance, low pay, and feigned cheerfulness to the visitors which was needed by the company. The other reason for the failure was the sophisticated European taste which meant that Disney was now seen as American culture and not European therefore received less European clients. The strategies used by Disney Europe to catch up again include lowering the prices of the hotel commodities, begun serving alcohol in the park to attract more people, settled for heavy promotions. They also changed the name of the park several times to Disneyland Paris. The company also entered into a deal with the Prince of Saudi Arabia who invested $ 500 million to help improve the company performance. My suggestion to the company is to change to its dealing in the sophisticated European taste which would favor European culture to retain and even get a surplus of the profit that they got before. They should also do more research on the market culture of Europe to change most of its activities like the employee’s clothes and allow them to work freely without being forced to feign cheerfulness.
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