Macdonald's Case Study

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“Effective marketing is critical to business success.”
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McDonald’s Corporation:

The Happy Meal

Executive Summary

This business report will summarize the marketing activities for the McDonald’s Corporation Happy Meal product in Australia. It will also recommend future marketing strategies to improve the products positioning.

Part One:
1. Target Markets
a. Primary
b. Secondary
c. Segmentation variables
2. Product
d. Positioning
e. Differentiation
f. Total product concept
g. Branding and packaging
h. Product life cycle
3. Pricing
i. Pricing methods
j. Pricing strategies
k. Price and quality interaction
4. Promotion mix
l. Advertising
m. Publicity and public relations
n. Word of mouth promotion
5. Place
o. Distribution channels and channel choice
6. “3Ps” (people, processes and physical evidences)
7. Ethical Marketing Strategies

Part Two:
1. Evaluation
a. Critical Evaluation of Marketing Strategies
b. Alternative Strategies

Introduction

The product I have chosen is the Happy Meal, produced by the McDonald’s Corporation During the 1970’s, McDonald’s management in Chicago, in conjunction with the Bernstein –Rein Advertising Company, developed a lunch pack specifically designed to be the correct size for children. The product initially included a small French fries, cookies, a choice of toys, a soft drink, and a small hamburger or cheeseburger option. The product concept was simple and developed with a focus on engaging kids with the packaging including puzzles, jokes, and cartoons. The product offers a meal with a menu choice of food drinks and toys. In 1977, the Bernstein-Rein Advertising Company was given a trademark for the product, and McDonald’s Corporation began advertising in Kansas City. The product was introduced into the national market in 1979. During this year, the product introduced a revolutionary marketing scheme to use the Happy Meal to promote children’s movies, by firstly advertising the upcoming Star Trek movie using toys and packaging. The product has not altered significantly since it’s debut; in 1983 the option of chicken McNuggets were added, in 1987 the first Disney Happy Meal was released, and in 1997 Beanie Baby toys were an immensely popular addition. This year the Happy Meal celebrated 34 years. Recently the McDonald’s Corporation was criticized for it’s marketing of unhealthy food to children, but has since introduced healthy options.

PART ONE:

Target Markets

The target market of the McDonald’s Corporation Happy Meal is primarily the demographic of young children, with the secondary target market being the parents of the children. The target market of the product is divided into primary and secondary target markets. The Happy Meal is predominantly marketed toward pre-school to young primary school aged children, with a focus on the parents of the children, as they are the money earners. As this is the case, McDonald’s aims to try and promote a healthy image surrounding their Happy Meal. Their website states that the Happy Meal is “a treat” and there are healthier options for some of the meal choices, including sliced apple and water. The choice of children as the target market of this product is due to the small meal sizes and the addition of toys that come with the product. McDonald’s markets towards a low to middle socio-economic group, with a typically young demographic and a psychographic market that is not immensely concerned with health. However, the company has begun to increase its campaign focusing on healthy options in order to reduce obesity and the negative stigma of the fast food industry.

Product

The McDonald’s Happy Meal is a lunch pack designed specifically for children. It features a main, a side, a drink, and a toy. The main is a choice of a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a...
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