McDonald’s is considered as the world’s largest chain of fast food chain and the organization is considered as a multinational and it serves more than 47 million customers daily. The structure of the organization is quite huge and that is the reason why the organization focuses a lot on marketing and promotional activities (Facella and Genn). The organization focuses a lot on branding and consumer behaviour and it frames its marketing and brand management strategy on the basis of its customers. The entire process at McDonalds stresses on the ascendency of customers and their strategy value the customers. The different marketing concepts of McDonald’s are analyzed below:
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- Market Segmentation
- Personality and consumer behaviour
- Consumer learning
- Communication and consumer behaviour
- The influence of culture and consumer behaviour.
Usually there is very little segmentation as far as McDonalds is concerned as the organization focuses on the mass marketing strategy. However, strategists suggest that McDonald’s target households in general. In the initial phases the organization focuses on little segmentation and they focused on the middle and the upper income classes.
However, when the organization entered the international arena then they focused on mass marketing and in most of the countries the organization targets the middle and the upper middle class (Love). Therefore, it is quite obvious that the organization is so huge that their segmentation strategy varies with country to country and culture to culture. The current scenario is that as the time is changing the strategy of McDonalds is changing and they are exploring new segments.
Personality and consumer behaviour
The personalities of brands are developed to attain a competitive edge in both the short and the long run and that is the reason why different organization and especially food chains have developed their brand personalities. The brand personality depicts the human characteristics that are attributed to a brand. The personality of McDonalds has always been related to fun and charisma (Austin).
The consumers that are acquiring this brand depicts that McDonalds is a happening place and it is closely related to fun and excitement. The big ‘M’ which is yellow is colour is related to cheese and potatoes. Besides that the character of Ronald is linked with the brand which depicts a youthful, spirited and fun oriented environment. This linkage in the personality gives added benefit to the brand and the image of the brand and the brand experiences growth in both the short and the long run.
The behaviour of the consumers that are associated with this brand is wide and varied and this behaviour directly affects the well being of the brand. The consumer depicts behaviour that McDonalds is a taste oriented brand which is appropriate in different aspects like taste, service and price. However, people that don’t go to McDonalds are more concerned about their health or in certain aspects they are tight on their money.
However, the perception of kids about McDonalds is quite different and they love this restaurant and their offerings. The happy meal and the goodies in the meal are quite appealing to the kids and in this way kids are targeted by this approach. Consumer behaviour towards McDonalds varies with culture and it is a brand that is labelled as a junk food restaurant which can be consumed by everyone.
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The process of learning is quite a diverse process and it usually occurs intentionally as well as unintentionally. The element of consumer learning is related to the fact that consumers tend to change their behaviour as a result of a certain experience which is linked with purchase or consumption. The golden arches of McDonald’s are considered as the most apt example of consumer learning. Similarly when a kid enters a restaurant of McDonald and he/she has a feeling after eating meal that the ambience of the restaurant is quite friendly for kids and they can enjoy in this restaurant.
So the customer (kids) develops a learning pattern and they associate the element of fun with McDonalds. Similarly, the cartoonist character of Ronald depicts that a certain element of fun and excitement is attached with the restaurant.
The aroma of the restaurant and the slogans of the restaurant can also guide a hungry man towards the restaurant and McDonalds uses this strategy to uplift the image of the brand. Consumer learning and the learning patterns of individuals are properly identified and they are catered in an effective manner than the brand in both the short and the long run progresses. McDonald’s believe that consumer learning is an important element in an organizations success and that is the reason why this organization focuses a lot on consumer learning specially through signs and symbols.
Communication and consumer behaviour
The communication patters of the organization are also considered to be an important aspect and it helps an organization to achieve its short term and long term objective. The ultimate goal of McDonald is to attain one hundred percent customer satisfaction and the organization realizes that in one way or another they cannot achieve. However, McDonalds through different mediums improves the communication pattern to correspond with the customers in an effective and an efficient manner. The one liner “I’m loving it” and different USP’s depicts that the organization stresses a lot on direct communication with the customers.
The consumer behaviour is closely linked with the communication patterns of an organization and the consumers consider that communication with the organization is an effective strategy. McDonald’s have the tendency that they believe in two way communication and the organization stresses a lot on both communication and behaviour of the consumers. The strategy of the organization is that McDonalds states that the food that is served will be hot and top-notch quality will be maintained. McDonalds says that if you are not satisfied with the quality of the food we will make it right.
This organization focuses on one customer at a time policy and that is the reason why customers are usually satisfied with the quality of this organization (Love). This strategy is depicted in their different marketing channels and consumers develop a mindset that when it comes to proper and efficient service in burgers than McDonalds is the one that provides efficient service. Thus, focusing on the consumers and identification of the behaviour of the consumers is essential for every organization and McDonalds stresses a lot on it.
The influence of culture and consumer behaviour
Multinational organizations usually focus a lot on the culture of the organization because they believe that they must comply with the other cultures in order to succeed. McDonalds is operating in more than 120 countries and they have to adapt with the cultures of different nations. For example in certain countries people don’t like ham and therefore in this scenario McDonalds have to focus on beef and chicken. Similarly, in certain countries like India McDonalds have to initiate a vegetable burger because people are more into vegetables in this country (Facella and Genn). Therefore, it can be said that the organization has to vary its strategy and they have to change their strategy with respect to different countries.
This would enhance their customer base in both the short and the long run. McDonalds emphasizes a lot on the culture and they have the tendency to vary their menu, spices, size of meal etc. The organization and its senior managers believe that changing the menus and even the minute aspects are important for multinational organizations because these organizations believe that catering to every individual and fulfilling the needs of every customer is essential for an organization.
Thus, in a nutshell one can say that marketing in fast food restaurant might be a difficult task because the needs and preferences of customers vary from culture to culture and from place to place. That is the reason why organizations and especially fast food chains focuses a lot on the behaviour of customers and the change in culture. McDonalds focuses a lot on different marketing activities and through planning, proper communication patterns, understanding of the consumer behaviour McDonalds is considered as a success story.
Austin, J. “The brand-personality scale: an application for restaurants.” Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly 1999.
Facella, P and A Genn. Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald’s: The 7 Leadership Principles that Drive Break Out Success. McGraw-Hill, 2008.
Love, J. McDonald’s: Behind The Arches. Bantam, 1995.