McDonald’s has been one of the leading food chains for many years in terms of the quick-service segment. They are a company with a broad understanding of the needs of their customers.
Today, McDonald’s is the industry’s leader not only in sales volumes but also in profit rates and market valuation. But how did they manage to gain such a strong position? The answer lies in its well thought out strategic marketing moves as well as other internal factors.
And that’s why, in this case study, we’ll dig deeper into the Marketing Strategy of McDonald’s, along with its marketing mix, marketing campaigns and its SWOT analysis
So let us start by first understanding McDonald’s as a company.
McDonald’s Corporation, or simply McDonald’s, is the world’s largest chain of fast-food restaurants, serving around 69 million customers per day.
Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald.
In 1948, they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand but later in 1955, businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchise agent who subsequently purchased the chain from the McDonald brothers and oversaw its worldwide growth.
The mission of the company is, “To create delicious feel-good moments for everyone”.
McDonald’s offers its customers a wide variety of its menu items, along with drinks and other merchandise. It is known for its employee satisfaction, innovation, and commitment to quality.
As McDonald’s is a franchise-based business, it shares the rights of the business with its franchise partners who later operate McDonald’s in select regions.
In India, McDonald’s is run by two companies, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd (controls the South & West India) and Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited (controls the North & East India). It first entered India back in 1996.
Now that we know about McDonald’s Corporation and McDonald’s India. Let us now go through the company in greater detail by going through its marketing mix.
McDonald’s Marketing Mix
A marketing mix is a model that an organization uses to advance the interest for its image or product. The main components of this model are 4Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. So let us look at McDonald’s marketing mix strategy in the coming section.
1. Product Strategy of McDonalds
Being a fast-food company, it primarily sells burgers, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes and desserts.
McDonald’s menus are known around the globe, although there are geographic variations to suit the local preferences & tastes of customers.
The core value of what McDonald’s offers has always been fast service which is a huge value-addition. Nowhere else can you get such a range of items at even lower prices with such efficiency, convenience and customer service.
The company continuously improves its products and services based on the changing needs and tastes of consumers
2. Pricing Strategy of McDonalds
The pricing strategy of McDonald’s has always been to offer food at low prices. This is what has allowed the restaurant to be successful for many years.
This also has primarily helped McDonald’s build its reputation as one of the top fast-food brands in the world. However, with the costs of living continuing to rise, McDonald’s has begun offering combos and specials in an effort to entice customers and churn out profits through economies of scale.
In India, the brand came up with a punchy line – “Aap Ke Zamane Mein, Baap Ke Zamane Ke Daam”. This was done back in 2008 to attract lower and middle-class customers to experience the offerings of McDonald’s India and it worked out very well.
3. Place Strategy of McDonalds
McDonald’s is one of the world’s leading quick-service restaurants (QSR) with over 38,000 restaurants in 100+ countries. It recently opened nearly 1,000 new restaurants globally & also modernized another 900 restaurants in the US.
It has opened different restaurant formats as well as drive-ins, online ordering and tying with food delivery partners. These new formats allow the customers to get the desired food at a particular time and place which also helps them to have a better experience overall.
The stores themselves are clean unlike others as they always keep their outdoor seating space cleaned while having indoor seating areas for an elegant ambience.
4. Promotion Strategy of McDonalds
McDonald’s uses a lot of promotional techniques as promotional activities helps build brand loyalty and interest. It gives people who may not normally go to McDonald’s a reason to go there.
Just like any other company, McDonald’s also sponsors various promotion campaigns to push their brand. Promotions help in creating a sense of community and association between the company and its customers.
Marketing Strategy of McDonald’s
With an innovative approach to marketing and consumption patterns through value-added menu improvements, McDonald’s aims to significantly improve market share in key markets through continually improving customer satisfaction and attracting new customers through cost savings, operational efficiencies and improving brand awareness.
So let us look at some of the marketing strategies implemented by McDonald’s over the past years.
- McDonald’s – I’m Lovin’ It… Para Pap Pap Paa:
“I’m Lovin’ It… Para Pap Pap Paa” is a very well-known jingle that has been used by McDonald’s for a very long time now.
This jingle highlights the positive experience one can have while dining at McDonald’s. The jingle is memorable because it speaks about how happy people are during their meals there, and how helpful and friendly the employees are.
- McDonald’s Brand Mascot
What is the best McDonald’s brand mascot? A funny clown character that McDonald’s is able to successfully market to both children and adults.
The brand mascot strategy was first implemented by McDonald’s in 1963 and since then this mascot has become an integral part of the company’s legacy.
- McDonalds Collaborations
McDonald’s has been having a long history of collaboration with various companies and artists. The motive behind these collaborations is to maintain its brand reinforcement in the minds of its customers. This goes beyond simply creating advertising campaigns that promote the value of its products.
It very recently collaborated with BTS – the very popular South Korean Music band where it introduced a special McDonald’s meal called the BTS Meal.
Likewise, it has collaborated with artists like Travis Scott, J Balvin as well as Companies like Coca Cola
McDonalds Marketing Campaigns
A marketing campaign can have many goals, but at the core, they are all about getting more customers. An effective and well-timed campaign will create a demand which then supports the product or service.
When it comes to McDonald’s, it has a very strong strategy in place. Right from showcasing its delicious burgers along with bringing out the positive “McDonald’s vibe” to ending the commercials with slogans like, “I’m Lovin’ It… Para Pap Pap Paa”.
So let us look at some of the popular campaigns of McDonald’s.
- “There’s A McCafe For Every Moment” – A McDonald’s India Campaign
McDonald’s India came up with this campaign to highlight its beverage range, McCafe and how they are there for all the good, bad and neutral moments of life.
This campaign was released back in 2017, showcasing all the minute elements of life through a catchy theme song.
- Marketing Campaigns of McDonald’s during the Covid-19 Pandemic
McDonald’s released a series of advertising commercials showcasing how so many things have changed since the pandemic.
The basic idea behind the campaign was to highlight how life has changed but McDonald’s is still there, offering the same positive experience with extra hygiene and safety measures.
- #MatchedByYou – A McDonald’s India Campaign
McDonald’s introduced an exciting campaign #MatchedByYou. It shows a love triangle between burgers, fries, and cola. This campaign showcased the offering of food combos for the price as low as ₹45.
SWOT Analysis of McDonalds
SWOT-analysis helps in getting an overall view of the company with respect to its Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. It provides a quick look at how competitively strong the company is relative to its peers in similar industries and industry sectors.
So let us take a quick look at McDonald’s SWOT analysis.
1. Strengths of McDonalds
- Customers receive hygienic meal preparation and prompt service.
- Strong marketing efforts, making it a top-of-mind brand.
- McDonald’s happy meal is an excellent way to attract kids, especially with toys.
2. Weaknesses of McDonalds
- McDonald’s has been sued numerous times on environmental, animal rights, and other issues.
- For many consumers, the menu is limited, especially when they come in large groups.
3. Opportunities for McDonald
- The brand can make further improvements to home delivery services.
- More new items for vegan clients are needed.
- More menu options could be added to supplement the present ones.
4. Threats to McDonalds
- People who are health-conscious avoid fast food.
- Food regulatory agencies’ constant vigilance might have an impact on their business operations.
With this, the case study on McDonald’s comes to an end. Let go through a quick summary in the coming section.
McDonald’s is one of the world’s most recognized fast-food restaurants. With annual revenues in excess of $19 billion, it is no doubt that McDonald’s has a major influence on society in terms of food choices.
Its reach extends far beyond the borders of its home country and geographically encompasses many nations around the globe. With a strong presence on both offline and online marketing, cruise control over the production and distribution, McDonald’s looks very well placed to take up industry-changing challenges.
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