This paper will compare and contrast the marketing of Legoland and The Millennium Dome, and the associated performance of both. Both the Legoland and Millennium projects were designed to provide effectively the same kind of entertainment, though the performances of both have proven to be very different. Legoland was slowly and carefully designed, with the full support of Lego. ON the other hand, The Millennium Dome was political and born out of the hype for the changing millennium, and did not prove to be successful. It can be seen that a crucial difference between both ventures was the marketing initiative envisaged by the respective marketing executives.
The idea of marketing is different from the concept production and sales. The concept of the production of services and goods that meet the consumers' needs and demands goes back to the Wealth of the Nations by Adam Smith in 1776. Even upon its publishing, the principles stated have rarely been realized or used even up to the present day. Marketing is to first determine what the consumer wants, but in contrast the concept of production relates to the requirements and restrictions of manufacturing, and the concept of selling is to determine whether the product can be sold for a profit (Internet Center for Management and Business Administration).
Crucially, Legoland was envisaged with a clear knowledge of marketing, or in other words, knowing who the target market would be after extensive research. They only continued with the project when they had satisfactory projections of demand for the theme park, and the products and services planned to be within it. Whenever they came up against problems, they modified their approach to most closely follow the needs of the target consumer. On the other hand, the UK government made no such projections to ascertain the future success of the project. Instead, the Millennium Dome relied primarily on the hype of the moment, and the hysteria surrounding national identity, which was heightened as the 21st century approached.
Their approach was certainly production orientated - they have the capital to complete the project, and this was the primary motivation. The Legoland executives had plenty of experience in providing entertainment, and knew inside out how to create the correct atmosphere and to provide the customer with fun and excitement. The executives for the Dome had no such experience and were only employed for political reasons. The project may have been a success if enough research had been conducted, and consultations had been made with people working in entertainment, but alas this was not done.
What could have been done for the Dome to be a success? Former market research to gain information about demand would have been the best place to start. They should have also determined the specific area of the target market and its magnitude. They could have made a specific focus for tourists, or for children and teenagers for example. In doing this they could have created an attraction specific for this market sector, with a much higher chance of success.
The creators of the Dome made many other mistakes. The PR campaign was a failure since few people knew what the Dome was actually going to provide. Concrete ideas should have been formalized early on, and given to the press so that the public knew exactly what to expect, so that the targeted market segment could get excited. They also failed to provide well thought out amenities, such as parking and dining. There were huge queues at the grand opening, and this only served to frustrate and anger the customers right from the start. So, they should have made a clear purpose of what the Dome was going to provide, and they should have made the attraction efficient and convenient for the public.
All in all, the political shadow that hung over the Millennium Dome was the ultimate source of its failure. Politics and marketing do not mix well, and there are few examples in which they have. Marketing ensures profit and consumer happiness, but with the complication of political overtones, new agendas arise, which clouds the waters and ultimately affects profit and the popularity and overall success of the venture. Private enterprise is almost always more efficient and effective than public enterprise, which is often down to the exclusion of politicians. Unless politicians can branch out and extend their business acumen, and let go of political agenda, then private enterprises such as Legoland will always be more successful.
"How to develop a marketing concept." 28 Oct. 05
Internet Center for Management and Business Administration. The Marketing Concept. 28 Oct. 05