McDonald’s is considered as one of the finest and world’s largest fast-food restaurants which is serving more than 47 million customers daily. This organization is quite enormous in its structure and its customer base is increasing day by day. Numerous branches are opening in nearly every country and this restaurant is considered a powerhouse in the fast-food business. The company is ranked number 1 as far as sales are concerned and they have about 32,000 restaurants serving burgers and fries in more than 120 countries. The product line of this organization is quite enormous and diversified and this chain is very famous for its Quarter Pounds, Pounders, and Chicken Mcnuggets (Hoovers 2009). They have diversified a lot and that is the reason why they have developed salads, wraps, and fruits.
McDonald’s is quite rich in its history and the business began in the year 1940 and a single restaurant was opened by two brothers Dick and Mac McDonalds in California. They initiated the “Speedee Service System” in 1948 which was established on the principle of modern fast-food restaurants. The mascot of this restaurant at that time was a hamburger-shaped man wearing a chef’s hat and its name was ‘Speedee’. However, in the current era, the mascot of McDonald’s is changed and Ronald McDonald is the new mascot of this organization. This organization has transgressed through different stages and McDonald’s is expanding in the international markets (Kroc 1992).
The objective of the report
The entire research report is based on the marketing issue faced by McDonald’s. McDonald’s is usually questioned a lot by different critics about the quality of its food. Many individuals believe that McDonald’s is not providing quality food to its customer and people who are health conscious usually do not prefer this brand. That is the reason why the company is targeting the health-conscious market and they are developing strategies for this chunk of customers. That is the reason why the name of the case study is “Launching food to appeal to the health conscious consumers”.
Scope of the research
In this research different segments of the McDonald’s are identified and emphasis is laid on the health-conscious consumers. However, the scope of the research is not that large because the problem is a generalized one. However, an effort is made to restrict the research towards the marketing problem. In the similar manner, the results that are presented in this research are based on the research skills of the researcher and they cannot be regarded as 100% true.
There are number of assumptions that are attached with this research analysis and these assumptions are listed below:
- The target market that is selected for the research is segmented on the basis of psychographics and it actually contains people who are health conscious. However, it is assumed that by targeting the health conscious people the mass market is also targeted automatically.
- It is assumed that the competitors of this organization are also pursuing the same strategy and they are also targeting the health conscious individuals.
- It is assumed that although the competitors are following the same strategy but they won’t respond aggressively to this strategy that is the reason why McDonald’s can invest heavily on this strategy.
This part of the research actually incorporates a detailed description about the marketing problem and certain other strategic elements like SWOT analysis of McDonald’s and evaluation of the internal and external environment.
Marketing in a global context and focusing on the health issues
McDonalds developed a forward looking approach when they changed their strategy and repositioned themselves in the minds of the consumers as a forward looking, health oriented and up to date brand. This organization actually used a global branding strategy in this scenario. The tagline “I’m Lovin’ It” was developed to target the global consumers of McDonald’s. This approach was accepted by any individual around the world and this brand was presented as a powerful, relevant, and healthy brand that focuses on children and their parents (Facella and Genn 2008).
The marketing executive of McDonald’s Larry Light focused on the point that McDonald’s is focusing on more than 100 countries through this strategy. He also stressed the fact that this approach is not just a marketing gimmick or a tagline of the company but the entire ideology of the organization rests upon this strategy. Different advertisements were produced by the organization and advertisements in 12 languages were produced and all of them were presenting a positive and a fresher look of Mcdonald’s. Similarly, a fun element with the name of Ronald McDonalds was created by the organization. The company supported the iconic image of this mascot and the brand gains acceptance around the world (Datamonitor 2004). However, a problem arises with the brand that people and critics of McDonald’s claimed that the brand is providing substandard food to the people and children can be affected by this in both the short and the long run. In order to solve this problem different alternative strategy were developed by McDonald’s and this organization stressed a lot on corporate social responsibility.
This organization is regarded as the 18th biggest advertiser in the world but the image of this organization was tarnishing due to de-marketing efforts from different social groups and competitors of McDonald’s. McDonald’s changed their strategy and they focused on the concept of promoting healthier lifestyles and then they changed their menus accordingly. McDonald’s because of this entered the packaged food industry and at that time they were focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables. They launched their 80g bags of apple slices and seedless grapes in late 2003 and because of this strategy this organization became the biggest retailer of pre-packed fruits in the United Kingdom. McDonald’s hired different doctors and nutritionists in their organization which helped the parents and their children about the meals they eat and how they can fulfill their nutrition requirements. In the similar manner they also introduced semi skimmed organic milk. This product was produced quite efficiently by this organization and it also included a child attracting packaging (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson 2008). They also initiated certain other products like low-fat yogurts and certain other health related products were developed by this organization. The entire focus of the organization was to enhance the brand image and to inculcate certain policies that would depict that the McDonald’s provide healthy food to its customers.
SWOT Analysis of McDonald’s Big Mac
The SWOT analysis of Big Mac is given below:
- The Big Mac of McDonald’s is considered as one of the premium burgers of McDonald’s and its brand name is recognized and established all over the world.
- This brand is famous for its taste and scrumptious outlook and that is the reasons why customers all over the world prefer Big Mac.
- This brand is considered as the leader of burgers both nationally and internationally markets.
- Achieving the economies of scale and huge global presence can be regarded as one of the strengths of this organization and strategists suggests that they rely heavily on this brand.
- This brand is considered as the premium brand of this organization and McDonald’s emphasizes a lot on this brand (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson 2008).
- Through different marketing techniques McDonald’s have captured the youth market through this brand.
- This brand has several variants and it comes with the name of kosher ion Israel, Maharaja Mac in India, Baby Mac in New Zealand etc.
- Certain special sauces and additional features are associated with this brand.
- Small organizations and even large corporations have copied this brand.
- Numerous quality issues are associated with this brand.
- Analysts suggest that certain health oriented issues are associated with this brand and that is the reason why doctors suggest fat people not to eat Big Mac because it is rich in calories.
- Advertisements techniques mainly targets children which can be considered as a weakness of an organization.
- Usually it’s a public perception that McDonald’s food is not healthy enough and this brand is closely related to obesity (Kroc 1992).
- The company gives more importance to advertisement rather than product quality and product innovation.
- Certain other variants can be developed and then it can be extensively marketed to people.
- The can be innovative in their approach and they can apply necessary innovative techniques in their operations.
- Big Mac can offer healthy offerings to people who are worried about their diet.
- Special and smaller versions of this brand can be established (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson 2008).
- Socially enriched organizations and governments can pose serious threats to the organization because they emphasize on balanced meals which focuses on the scenario of 5 day fruits and vegetables.
- The environmental groups may create problems for this brand in both the short and the long run.
- The recession or down turn in the economy would affect the sales of the organization.
- The new entrants in the market offering greater value products and life styles can affect the customer base of this brand.
Thus, it can be concluded that fast food outlets are increasing quite rapidly in today’s world and different operational activities of these organizations are under investigation. This investigation is initiated mostly by the critics of that brand. McDonald’s after changing its strategy is successfully addressing its critics and they are bringing back the customers to restaurants. They are actually changing their menus and approaches in order to face issues related to health and hygiene. They have developed different salads and fresh juices for their health conscious consumers and through this strategy the brand name can progress and they can achieve their objectives in both the short and the long run. For this reason this organization has initiated different advertising campaigns and these advertising schemes are focusing on the health and hygiene of the customers as they are focusing on children and their parents.
There are certain recommendations for this organization and these recommendations are listed below:
- McDonald’s need to reposition itself as a brand that focuses more on health and happiness.
- They must not inculcate themselves in negative PR activities and they should focus on strengthening their brand name.
- The element of health and hygiene must also be associated with the meals that are prepared with meat.
- The can run their marketing campaigns through doctors and nutritionists.
- The entire organization must develop a firm belief that customers cannot be satisfied unless and until the requirements of health and hygiene are maintained in the organization.
- In the similar manner McDonald’s must implement what has been planned and the entire organization should stress on the fact that they have to implement the policies of health and hygiene in their brands.
List of References
Datamonitor. (2004). McDonald’s Case Study. Datamonitor.
Facella, P. and Genn, A. (2008). Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald’s: The 7 Leadership Principles that Drive Break Out Success. McGraw-Hill.
Hitt, M., Ireland, D. and Hoskisson, R. (2008). Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization, Concepts and Cases. South-Western College Pub.
Hoovers. (2009). McDonald’s Corporation. Web.
Kroc, R. (1992). Grinding It Out: The Making Of McDonald’s. St. Martin’s Paperbacks.