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Universal Studios Theme Park Case Study

Improve the level of convenience in the Park, and create an environment where visitors can focus on experiencing the attractions.

Universal Studios Japan has received many visitors since its opening in 2001. The number of visitors in 2012 increased by about 1 million year-on-year, and the Park boasts consistent popularity as one of the best super-sized theme parks. Hiromitsu Sumioka of USJ CO.,Ltd. ("USJ") believes that “it is important to offer the most convenient experience possible in the Park in order to provide a space where everyone can truly enjoy themselves.”

 

One particular aspect that attracted the attention of USJ was the need to find a simplified and more convenient payment solution at restaurants and shops. Mr. Sumioka observes that “By removing cumbersome procedures and providing an environment where visitors can focus on the attractions in the Park, we believe we can create a more satisfying experience for more visitors and encourage them to visit again.”

 

Against such a backdrop, the company focused on introducing “electronic money for exclusive use in the Park.”

 

Mr. Sumioka explains that “Use of the Park's restaurants and shops tends to focus around the late afternoon onward, when visitors are on their way home. If we reduce payment time by using electronic money, congestion will be reduced, as will visitor stress levels.”

 

The introduction of electronic money will also benefit the company itself. As Mr. Sumioka notes, “If we create a mechanism in the future to harness information such as purchase history, we will be able to provide more accurate suggestions for each customer.”

THE CHALLENGE:

Universal wanted help generating marketing and hotel concepts for the exciting new theme park under construction at Universal Studios Florida–ideas that would guarantee the success of their exciting ‘Islands of Adventure’ attraction.

An entertainment company built on a solid foundation of innovation, Universal knew that it needed bold ideas to achieve its goal, they asked Synecticsworld to help its marketing people think imaginatively about ways to capture the minds and hearts of people.

THE PROCESS:

In total, Synecticsworld’s facilitators helped Universal with three separate projects:

  1. Encourage the Orlando theme park marketers to come up with names for the new destination, which expanded from a single, one-day park, to an attraction people might base an entire vacation on, starting with two separate parks, a shopping district and several hotels.
  2. Create theme hotel concepts.
  3. Generate marketing activities to drive attendance in the first three years of the park’s opening.

THE RESULTS:

Among the ideas created by the Synecticsworld-led team of Universal employees were:

  • The destination’s new name
  • The brilliant customer-service concept of allowing hotel guests to use their door keys as a credit card for purchasing goods and services anywhere in the park, and having purchases delivered right to the rooms so visitors didn’t have to lug them around all day.
  • Encouraging schools to take educational tours and classes on such topics as dinosaurs (since the Orlando park features Jurassic Park).

In all, the Synecticsworld-led sessions generated eighty ideas.

Two years after the new theme park opened, Amusement Business magazine reported that 5.5 million people streamed through the turnstiles at Universal’s ‘Islands of Adventure’, snaring the popular entertainment destination an unbelievable 17% market share from its major competitor, Disney’s Orlando attractions.

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