McDonald's - Manuscript
Hello! My name is Charlie, I'm a student here at Stanford University and I'm majoring in marketing and economics. I'm here to talk to you about McDonald's. McDonald's is a fastfood chain with 70 million costumers every single day and 35.800 stores in the world. Therefore I assume you know the company. McDonald's is ranked as the biggest food chain in the world, and they have been used to having no worries but that's over. Lately they have experienced some problems, and I'm here to talk about their situation and their plan for the future of McDonald's. The main thought of McDonald's is, that it's a fast-food chain, with fast service, cheap prices and non-healthy food. This is McDonald's in a nutshell, which shows their brand. Their costumers have always been the most important factor, both in the ethics solution but also in their business plan. If the costumers don't want to eat there, the concept will die. Their way to serve and make food has been a value in people's mind-sets for many years. The values is changing, there is happening a shift in what the costumer values. The new values includes better food, healthier food, fresher food and the prices doesn't concern them as much as before. This is all a problem for McDonald's, but it's not the biggest problem they're facing. What could another problem be? Lets see.
Their main problem is the way that the consumer thinks about them and the way they have positioned themselves as a low quality brand. In other words; their real problem is their brand. Their problem is simply that people don't believe in what McDonald's have to offer. An example of this, is that McDonald's ranked lowest in a taste report based on the opinion of consumers, which just shows how the consumers think about McDonald's, and it's not good.
McDonald's have realized that they have experienced some difficulties and have started implementing some new changes that they believe will reposition themselves as an inexpensive and desirable place to eat. McDonald's wants to modernize their image through store renovations, mobile apps and technology upgrades. In addition to this McDonald's are also testing new initiatives such as table service, localized menu items and customized burgers. McDonald's are focusing a lot on trying to reposition themselves in the consumers mind and they doing that by releasing a new campaign that centers around their old ”I'm lovin' it” slogan. Especially the ”lovin it” part of the old slogan will be highlighted. New ads and commercials will be launched and especially a new commercial featuring odd couples such as the joker and Batman sharing a McDonald's meal showing that McDonald's brings people together and makes them happy. McDonald's want to stand up for lovin' as they believe it sits in the heart of their target line. McDonald's are also trying to “meet” their new costumers and create new initiatives to make the costumer fell more “at home”. They are doing this by adding a personalizing option in some of their stores and make local menus. McDonald's have started their new concept “create a taste”. The concepts let's their costumer choose the topping of their own desire and design their own burger. This is according to customers is a lot quicker and easier and it's also great as the customers can choose whatever they want. McDonald's are also adding local menus which will help to tailor their menu to different regional markets which CEO Don Thompson believes will bring in new customers who appreciate the adjustment to their area.
Another change that McDonald's is making is making their menu smaller. McDonald's have been criticized a lot for their large menu, which has grown 70% since 2007. Many of their customers also find the large menu confusing, and have by many customers been viewed as the main reason for long wait times and decreasing customer service. This will, according to McDonalds CEO Don Thompson: “Highlight customer favourites and make the experience faster and easier for our customers and our crew”. Along with this McDonald's also want to rebrand themselves as a healthier restaurant and started doing so by showing the real freshness and quality of their meat through a video that they posted online, showing the famous co-host Grant Imahara from “Mythbusters”, touring on McDonald's meet factories. McDonald's are also implementing a new way of storing and cooking their food and McDonalds are additionally considering abandoning the use of preservatives. These changes are also aimed at getting new consumers in. Their average consumer is a lower to middle class consumer that doesn't have a ton of money to use on food and McDonald's want to attract the higher end consumer but have a hard time doing that as the higher end customer simply doesn't think that what McDonalds has to offer is good value. But by implementing better quality food, customized burgers, fewer menus and an advertising campaign. All of these initiatives are aimed at rebranding McDonald's as a healthier restaurant.
I personally think that all of the changes look very good, on paper. But I think these changes will be extremely hard to implement into the consumers mind. People look at McDonald's a certain way and rebranding the whole company and even thinking they can do it in 18 months, as they believe, sounds unrealistic to me. I think they will have a hard time completely changing how they are seen as a company but some of the changes they are making are necessary as they are basically just moving with the time. The “create your own taste” concept is really good, as it appeals to the millennial generation as all the orders are done through a tablet. This is of course very smart as McDonald's will keep relevant to the younger generation. Making their menu smaller and adapting them to the local area is also very smart as the costumer will get a feeling of McDonald's actually trying to counter the individual customer's needs. The big menu was also very confusing and many of their products were simply out of touch with the rest of their food and seemed added only to use up space, in fact 30% of their sales came from five core products, so the need of such a large menu seemed ridiculous. Their new lovin' it campaign is also very good as it matches the rest of the actions that McDonald's have made very well and it's definitely a step in the right direction if McDonald's want to rebrand themselves. But I still believe that McDonald's will have a hard time losing their reputation of being an unhealthy restaurant that makes food of very low quality in stores that the customer doesn't bother staying at. I think it will be possible for McDonald's to rebrand themselves but it will take longer time than they think. Mostly important McDonald's also needs to change the way they think about food and their customers. It does look like McDonald's are getting there and the process of rebranding themselves has started but it's certainly not finished.
At last, before we finish I want to ask if there are any questions?
Thank you all for coming today and have a nice day.
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