DesignMarketingPsychology

McDonald’s Brand Diving

Brand diving is something I want to start doing on a regular basis. Basically what we do during a brand drive is we “dive” into a brand that has either had tremendous success or failed miserably. Either way, we are going to find out what they are doing that is working, what isn’t working, and why they are succeeding or failing. Today we are going to be diving into the most popular fast food brand in the world: McDonald’s.

History Lesson

Back in 1954, a man named Ray Kroc discovered a small burger restaurant in California and wrote the first page of McDonald’s history. From humble beginnings as a small restaurant, we’re proud to have become one of the world’s leading foods service brands with more than 36,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

Color Psychology

Everyone knows that you can find McDonald’s under the golden arches. So their brand colors of red and yellow have played a significant role in their success. The color red can symbolize anything from anger to love, but red also increases hunger and makes you eat faster. Yellow, on the other hand, symbolizes joy and happiness… hence the “Happy Meal.” Both of these colors are used quite often for things like road signs, warning labels, and retail sale items, so long story short these two colors are made to get your attention.

These two colors together get your attention, make you hungry, and give you a positive feeling. If that isn’t setting your brand up for success I don’t know what is.

Ability to Adapt

Since McDonald’s got its start in the 50’s and 60’s it rode the baby-boomer train. The swelling ranks of teenagers and rising female labor force participation, supplying a fast and inexpensive menu was a must. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, McDonald’s rode the globalization trend by transferring the American Way of Life to many countries around the world. At the same time, McDonald’s adapted to the social context of each country by franchising to locals.

In the 1990’s and early 2000s, McDonald’s made successful efforts to restore its corporate¬†image by launching the “Fast and Convenient” campaign that involved the radical adjustment of the company’s product portfolio to emerging food industry trends. The refurbishment of McDonald’s concept was augmented by the “healthy” and “more natural” element, by adding salads, fruits, and carrot sticks to the menu.

Nowadays, McDonald’s continue to broaden its product portfolio by offering high-quality coffee and healthy drinks, competing head to head with Starbucks and local Cafes.

What is Working?

McDonald’s is obviously doing very well right now since they continuously outsell their competitors¬†year after year. However, their success was not and is not pure luck. They have come up with some pretty ingenious marketing campaigns to target kids and parents generation after generation. Being able to adapt well to the culture they are in and the modern day trends, they have created a business strategy that works well for them.

What is Failing?

As successful as McDonald’s is I believe that they are in for a rude awakening. Even though McDonald’s added “healthy” items to the menu they are still a fast food chain. Plus their healthy food is not that healthy, hence the quotes. Fast food chains are popular in America because they are cheap, fast, and taste good, but the generation of kids being raised by millennials are a different breed of parent and child. Millenials are looked at in a negative light because they change things up and don’t follow the previously laid social norms of the generation before us and that isn’t always a bad thing. Right now, millennials are really into eating healthy, cooking at home, natural food, and things like that. Basically, everything that McDonald’s isn’t.