Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from McDonalds


McDonalds is one of the most easily recognized, well-known brands in the world. If fact, you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of McDonalds and most have visited a franchise more than a few times. They maintain their immense reputation for stellar recognition and brand awareness through consistent branding, advertising and being willing to adapt to an ever-changing marketplace. Here’s some marketing lessons we call learn from McDonalds, one of the best in the business at knowing and employing relevant, effective marketing practices:

1.) Maintains a Consistent Brand Image

Although McDonalds has franchises scattered all over the globe, when you enter the local McDonalds, there will be some visual cues that help you recognize their brand no matter where you are in the world. For example, they always place their logo on their wrappers. Consistency builds trust, and it makes people feel confident purchasing from them. There’s no questioning whether or not you’ll get what you expect. 

2.) Never Gave up a Market Share

Even though virtually everyone knows about McDonalds, they haven’t stopped advertising. They realize you can’t let your guard down in marketing. Year after year after year, they continue to sink millions of dollars into advertising. Wouldn’t you think they could cut that back or stop all-together? After all, who DOESN’T know about McDonald’s. Yet they persist. Why? Because they realize that you can never settle. There will always be competition doing everything they can to steal your market share, and the best offense is a good defense. McDonald’s knows that one can never assume that prospects will think of them first. They understand their target audience and continue to talk to them relentlessly.

3.) Adapts to Changing Markets

Although McDonalds has ensured their logo and brand remains consistent, they aren’t opposed to marketing changes. For example, as one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world, they have incorporated healthy eating ads and menu options for their customers. They modified their menu to the changing demands of consumers and now offer the option for a salad instead of fries. They have also partnered with prominent charities to promote societal improvements. They do what many businesses do not..adapt to what their customers want and embrace what is important to their target consumer. 

4.) Understands Their Customers

Speaking of customers, McDonalds regularly adapts their menu based on the geographic tastes of the area in which they are located. Some areas of the world have different tastes than others, and while their brand is the same everywhere...their menu items differ. Why? Because they understand the need to personalize for their consumer. For example, they offer the following varieties of menu items for various locals:

  • They feature salad bars in Italy.
  • They offer seafood options in Hong Kong restaurants. 
  • Shrimp wrap is a menu option in Japan.
  • In India, they provide a Nasi Lemak burger. 

McDonalds understands the more they know about their customers, the easier it is to market towards them and provide the appropriate service. Therefore, they are committed to understanding their customers and providing geographically appropriate food choices. Personalization drives demand. 

5.) Know What Their Strengths Are

McDonalds isn’t somehow in the dark about the health aspect of their popular food items. They are also aware that they are not serving fine dining options that merit a 5-star restaurant rating. They know their food isn’t a prime culinary experience, nor is it the healthiest option. Knowing this, they never compete or compare their fare with others in terms of food quality. Instead, they focus their marketing strategy on their strengths, which are familiarity, convenience, affordability and fun. It would be foolish for McDonalds to focus their marketing on the health aspect or quality of their food. While they have healthier menu items available, they don’t focus their brand around those items. It’s a marketing fight they simply wouldn’t win. They have learned their strengths and focus on marketing towards those assets, not trying to be all things to all people. 

Bottom Line: McDonalds Has it Figured Out

Whether you enjoy an occasional visit to your local McDonalds franchise (their french fries really could be the answer to world peace!) or detest their offerings to the point of not darkening their door with your presence, you can appreciate the marketing perfection that McDonalds has utilized throughout their company’s history. We can learn a great deal from McDonalds by implementing some methods they currently use to maintain their place of power in the food chain universe. 

Your Next Step

If you want help talking about finding strategies that will make your brand a household name to your target audience, give us a call today. While it isn’t rocket science, it does require time, attention, strategy and planning - a journey that you can’t take alone. When you’re ready, we’re here to help.  


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