Re-branding: the McDonald’s strategy
Established in California during the 1940s by two brothers, the McDonald’s restaurant became a popular teen hangout in the first flush of post-war affluence. To feed these youthful bodies, the brothers reduced the menu to the perennial favourite – hamburgers, applied assembly line techniques to food production and expanded to four restaurants by 1953.
Taking note of the brothers’ success, in 1955, Entrepreneur Ray Kroc bought the right to franchise the McDonald’s System. Renamed the McDonald’s Corporation in 1960, Kroc focused his marketing effort on the family meal and children, spending heavily on television advertising which promoted the smiling clown face of its child-friendly brand mascot, Ronald McDonald. Today, the McDonald’s franchise exceeds 30,000 restaurants globally and serves over 50 million people in more than 100 countries each day.
1969 and 2005 McDonald’s management strategies were frequently celebrated on the business pages of The New York Times – a testament no doubt to the media relations department’s ability to spin the company’s mass-marketing efficacy into a much repeated American success story in this very important US newspaper. However, the brand was also often criticized in the news for the labour, environmental and social externalities of its expanding empire. These critiques underscored the most voiced concerns and anxieties: namely problems with youth labour, its encroachment on community values, environmentalism, globalization of culture, and children's healthy lifestyles. Young workforce With well over one million employees, McDonald’s impact on the workforce has been significant. By 2000, one out of eight Americans had, at some time in their life, worked for this company. As labour was one of the largest expenses and most unpredictable aspects of the McDonald’s system every effort was made to rationalize the workforce. Apart from implementing technology to... [continues]
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