The Golden Arches’ Secret to Success


With different i'm lovin itpeople having different wants and needs, it is nearly impossible for a company to cater to everyone’s demands. As McDonald’s Corporation (2008) say, “Customers are not all the same.”

With over 36,000 locations in 119 countries, McDonald’s (symbolized by Golden Arches) is considered as the world’s leading fast food retailer. It’s long-term success can be attributed to its “System” which comprises of its suppliers, franchisees, and strong alignment of the company. By using the System to their advantage, McDonald’s is continuously improving and tailoring their menu to meet their customers’ changing needs and preferences.

However, McDonald’s revenue and profit in 2015 decreased by 7.4% and 4.8%, respectively, from 2014 (Jurevicius, 2016). Moreover, as being criticized for their unhealthy food, McDonald’s has to further develop their recipes and cut costs to increase sales.


Having a global restaurant is more difficult than having a hundred stores in one country and thus, McDonald has to align its overall image to its host country’s preferences and cultural aspects such as values, attitudes, and religious beliefs. For example, Australia and Philippines (from Asia Pacific) are two very different countries. Thus, marketing McDonald’s in these countries also vastly differ and is a great challenge for their marketing team. However, instead of having different Marketing Managers for different products, McDonald’s has different Segment Managers. According to Carol Sagers (Segmentation, targeting, and positioning – McDonalds 2013), “We have a director of young adults, a director of women, moms, a director of African-American consumers, a director of Hispanic consumers, etc.”

McDonald’s customers are mostly between 8-32 years old, with low to middle range income, and with no spec15032
ific gender (Konopka, 2015). Furthermore, McDonald’s market research team identified different types of customers.Using this, the company can now determine the products offered, prices charged,
and promotions created (McDonald’s Corporation, 2008).


With the knowledge of the segmented market’s preferences and wants, McDonald’s is now ready to tailor their products to each country. In Australia, McDonald’s restaurants, commonly known as Macca’s, are somewhat different to McDonald’s in other parts of the world. Here, your food is prepared freshly on a bar where you can even watch. Customers can also place their orders and pay using a digital kiosk. Desserts like muffins, macaroons, cupcakes, and customisable Belgian waffles are also available (Peterson, 2015). In contrast, McDonald’s in the Philippines is nothing like this. The food is prepared in a hidden kitchen area. Customers have to fall in a long line for their orders to be taken, no kiosks whatsoever. Since Philippines is a tropical country, desserts include ice creams, sundaes, and coke floats. More importantly, most of their meals include rice as it is a staple food for the Filipinos.

Comparing to its competitors, McDonald’s in Australia holds a 15.2% share of the fast-food industry by the end of December 2014 that made it the biggest fast-food chain in the country. In addition, McDonald’s revenue breakdown in 2015 is the highest compared to its competitors (Jurevicius, 2016).



According to McDonald’s Corporation founder, Ray Kroc, every McDonald’s restaurant should have the following attributes: “quality, service, cleanliness, and valu14872e” (McDonald’s, 2016).  Originally, McDonald’s used Speedee as their mascot, a hamburger-shaped head man with a chef’s hat (Khan, 2014). Speedee was replaced by a number of other mascots until eventually, it became Ronald McDonald, a clown man. This is because the clown is much more popular among children. Another thing that McDonald’s changed over time is its slogan. Moreover, today, McDonald’s have an extensive advertising campaign which includes the media, billboards, local advertising, and even sponsoring sporting events like the FIFA World Cup  (Khan, 2014).


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Jurevicius, O 2016, McDonald’s SWOT analysis 2016, Strategic Management Insight, retrieved 06 April 2016, <>.

Konopka, K 2015, McDonalds marketing plan, Prezi, retrieved 8 April 2016, <;.

McDonald’s 2016, Company Profile, McDonald’s Corporation, retrieved 05 April 2016, <>.

McDonald’s 2016, The Ray Kroc Story, McDonald’s Corporation, retrieved 05 April 2016, <;.

McDonald’s Corporation 2008, Marketing at McDonald’s, McDonald’s Corporation, retrieved 05 April 2016, <;.

Peterson, H 2015, These photos show why McDonald’s is Australia’s favourite restaurant, Business Insider Australia, retrieved 03 April 2016, <;.

Segmentation, targeting, and positioning – McDonald’s 2013, YouTube, Dowtsx, 6 March, retrieved 5 April 2016, <;.



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