Cirque du Soleil
1: What is Cirque’s product and its strategy?
Cirque is an artistic presentation of a circus without animals. According to Society of Human resource management, in 1984 a group of street performers, clowns, acrobats, and gymnasts banded together and formed the forerunner of Cirque du Soleil. The group toured Quebec and Ontario and then the United States, starting at the Los Angeles Arts Festival. In1992, Cirque performed in Asia for the first time. Since 1984, Cirque du Soleil has produced many shows; it now employs more than 2100 employees worldwide, including 500 artists, artisans, designers, technicians and employees. Cirque du Soleil’s employees all seek to contribute artistic works hat “invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions” of the audience. The Cirque also released a feature film “Alergria”. They also offered television show named “Cirque du Soleil” and IMAX film “Journey of Man”.
The Cirque also diversifies its commercial activities including projects in publishing and merchandising. They also opened a store in Walt Disney Resort in Florida. Promoting creativity is Cirque du Soleil’s main business strategy. Some of the strategies are mentioned in the book Cirque du Soleil The Spark: Igniting the Creative Fire That Lives within US All are:
• Great expectations: The artists either a light man who lights up the stage or a performer who balances on the beam for six minutes taps into their excellent creativity to serve the purpose of great expectation.
• Surrender your senses: In the case it explains that the artists are giving their souls and hearts to the audience and to each other.
• Treasure hunting and creative transformation: Cirque du Soleil is constantly looking for a fresh staff every year. They need 100 more artists every year to handle the growth and keep the shows and the staff fresh.
They constantly try to keep the magic by hiring a staff that can be a treasure to the show.
• Nurturing environment: At Cirque du Soleil the ideal work environment that allows artists to see the world with eagerness, curiosity, excitement, and playfulness.
• Constraints, Challenges, differences and consumer expectations: The biggest challenge for the Cirque is to find a right artist. The other challenges are to be more creative, and more resourceful.
• Risk evaluation: In taking risk there are mistakes involved. However the employees at Cirque are allowed to take a risk and learn from the mistake that they made.
• The show is a show: The tour director for Cirque says, “It’s not like a baseball, where they have a preseason. Every show is the show.” In order to attract customer they have to keep it fresh. The artists have to think in terms of their audience’s perspective. I believe that the heart of the strategy is to serve customer with the experience they will never forget once they enter the big top. 2: How does Cirque define innovation?
The main concept of Cirque is being innovative. Cirque reinvented the concept of circus by offering enjoyment without animals. It introduced new dramatic themes, artistic music, varied performances and dances from all around the globe for a more mature and sophisticated audience. I have always heard how animals being treated in circuses and hence not having animals in the circus is one or the attractive reason for me to go to the Cirque show. For Cirque, each show is different and based on a theme and storyline like currently they are playing a show on Michael Jackson’s life. For Cirque, all artists on the stage are equally important and part of one family. 3: How has Cirque structured and supported its casts to deliver superior performances?
The Cirque is constantly spending time and money after research and development. Cirque is constantly promoting casts superior performance and offering different ways to train staff. For the excellent performance they provide training and motivation by inviting special performers. Cirque works hard to keep artists happy and always pays close attention to their need and demands. For example, the artists wanted to work with a great clown in New York. Cirque immediately hired the master clown to teach many different techniques at many different places. They teach the gymnasts or acrobats to expand, to blow up and to be in touch with their own personality. Cirque challenged artists to learn to move flexibly between artistic forms, mixing Brazilian dance with classical ballet with mime. They teach traditionally trained artists to perform in and intensely multicultural background. The Cirque had brought coach from Olympic to train the staff for four months.
Cirque also emphasized that touring is difficult and stressful to the artists hence they ensured that each artist is properly taken care of and served. 4: What are the challenges to Cirque’s continued growth and/or diversification? The case discussed challenges that Cirque is facing are following: • The biggest challenge for Cirque is to find the right artists. As they stat further in the case they are trying to find a pearl in a desert.
• Cirque was not successful in Asian market. The currency difference also threatened the profit.
• Diversification into other types of product such as complex cirques, spa is a problem because it defeats the purpose of their sense of belonging.
• Hire business expert in company’s management who understands flavor of the cirque
• Intense competition from overseas competitor Cirque Oz from Australia.
• High ticket prices of the shows.
• Management is concerned about motivating the staff.
5: What would you do to overcome these challenges?
The biggest challenge for Cirque is to find right artist and motivate them throughout their career. The employees might be weary of their same routine. Hence they will need to come up with the plan to motivate the artists or diversify their art into another area to change their routine. Cirque should invest in hiring a new management individual who can bring success to the Cirque. The choices and demand differs in different part of the world. The Cirque is not succeeding in Asian market, to overcome that problem Cirque should serve the Asian customer according to their choice. For example McDonalds expanded all around the world and they added variety of authentic food products to their menu instead of classic hamburger to attract the customers in different countries. Provide affordable shows to target middle class, Cirque could cut down on the staff to reduce the cost of the show.