Disney Market Entry Strategy

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The Walt Disney Company has seen their share of success in taking their parks and resorts into global markets. “60 years ago, the first Disney theme park opened, in California and was the brainchild of Walt Disney himself, who was motivated by the lack of entertainment options available to him and his two young daughters.” (Forbes, 2016). Disneyland California penetrated the market rapidly, and its popularity led to the opening of Disney World in Florida, followed by global expansion in Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong. Their latest expansion came in June 2016, on a 963 acres’ site in Shanghai, China (Xu, 2012). After one year in operation, Shanghai Disneyland is outpacing their most optimistic projections, and the park’s
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Other than that, each park is designed and structured towards the country’s culture. As operations exist outside the United States, Disney had to consider and accept the cultural differences between their home market of the United States and different international markets. A key theory that assisted Disney in global expansion to Shanghai, China is the understanding of Hofstede’s cultural factors which focuses on six cultural dimensions; power distance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term/short-term orientation, and indulgence/restraint (Steers, 2016). “Hofstede compares culture to the “software of the mind” that differentiates one group or society from another.” (Steers, 2016). Figure 1 illustrates the cultural differences between China and the United States through Hofstede’s six cultural dimensions.
(Figure 1: Hofstede, 2017)
First, power distance is the first dimension in Hofstede’s six cultural dimensions. Power distance is the “extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.” (Hofstede, 2017). When comparing China and the United States, China had twice as high power distance score than the United States. The high-power distance score in China shows that it is acceptable to have inequalities in their society, and that the people accept and expect power is distributed unequally.

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