Describe Disney’s international products or services. What locations and countries do they operate in?
Walt Disney Company is an international corporation focusing on entertainment and media businesses. Walt Disney and Roy Disney founded the corporation in the early 1920s. During its inception, the corporation was registered as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. However, during the year 1926, the corporation changed its name to Walt Disney Studio. In the last few decades, the company has expanded its operations. As such, the corporation has been able to offer a wide variety of products and cover wide markets. Currently, the company functions under five major units. These units are studio entertainment, consumer products, media networks, and parks and resorts (Onkvisit & Shaw 366). The company’s studio entertainment unit focuses on the production of films and recording labels. On the other hand, the park and resort unit focuses on the development and management of the corporation’s theme parks and travel-related properties. In the late 1990s, the company expanded tremendously with the acquisition of ABC Corporation. Through this expansion, the company was able to acquire traveling assets, theme parks, and cruise boats.
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Currently, the corporation’s operations have expanded to more than 40 countries. These countries are located in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. Some of these countries are Japan, the USA, France, Argentina, Russia, and China. Through this expansion, the company has employed more than 149, 000 employees. These employees range from engineers, technicians, artists to business innovators. Together, they have been able to come up with sensitively appealing stories, content, and expertise that are maintained by international brands. In the future, the company aims to become a global leader in the provision of entertainment and information services. Through this, the company aims to increase its returns and increase the growth rate of shareholder value.
Describe the foreign cultural, economic, and political environments Disney operates in and the unique situations these cause
Given that the Company operates in more than 40 countries, it is faced with challenges associated with doing business in an external environment (Rohn 250). These challenges comprise cultural, economic, and political factors. Before the company expanded its operations outside the USA, the company’s leaders were skeptical of their success in foreign markets. Its executives questioned whether the company could be successful in the foreign markets given the uniqueness of American cultures. Therefore, for a very long period, the company hesitated to expand its operations outside the USA. However, ever since the company expanded its operation to foreign markets it has had its pros and cons of doing business in international markets (Rohn 256). In France, the company’s park faces several challenges owing to cultural differences. Though the park is located in Paris, which has the largest population, failure to adjust to foreign cultures by the park administrators in the past almost bankrupted the company’s parks and resorts unit. In Paris, residents thought that the recreational area would contribute to the erosion of French cultures. Similarly, in the Asian markets, the company is faced with several social-cultural challenges. For instance, the company can thrive well in China if it adopts a traditional based culture rather than a modernized culture exhibited in the USA.
With respect to the international economy, the company in the past has been negatively affected by the turmoil in international markets. In the USA and foreign nations, where the company operates, financial turmoil results in the reduction of the demand for the company’s products and services leading to a reduction in its returns. Similarly, fluctuations in exchange rates affect their international demand for their products and services.
Equally, the company’s foreign operations are faced with political challenges. Changes in governments might benefit or harm the company’s operations in a particular country. Notably, with the establishment of new governments, fresh economic policies are formulated and implemented. These policies can affect the operations of international companies. Similarly, the eruption of political turmoil in some countries results in an increase in the cost of doing business in such countries. Thus, because of venturing into international markets, Disney Company is subject to political turmoil.
Describe the international strategies Disney uses in their foreign markets
The current success of Walt Disney Company is not only attributed to its operations in the US but also in the foreign markets. To achieve this, the company has adopted some appropriate strategies. These strategies are a direct investment, licensing, and foreign outsourcing. For the last few decades, the company has managed to outsource some of its operations to the developing cost to reduce the cost of meeting laborers’ wages (Onkvisit & Shaw 123). For instance, the company has located some of its factories in China because the country has an abundant and cheap labor force. Similarly, the company has been able to access global markets through licensing. To achieve this, the company has certified licensees to resell their goods. Through this approach, the company has been able to expand its markets in foreign nations with little investment. In addition, through direct investment strategy, the company has been able to open stores, resorts, and recreational areas in several countries. By doing so, the company has been able to maximize its business operation in the international market.
Onkvisit, Sak, and John J. Shaw. International marketing: strategy and theory. 5th ed. London: Routledge, 2009. Print.
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Rohn, Ulrike. Cultural barriers to the success of foreign media content: Western media in China, India, and Japan . Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang, 2010. Print.