The 4p’s of Marketing
Company of Focus: McDonalds
Arguably, it can be acclaimed that the McDonald’s Corporation acts as a proxy, representing the heights and successes of 20th century commerce. In contemporary times its quite clear to assess and sight that McDonalds has ascended and reached a status over the past century that warrants recognition as probably the most successful brand of our time with its ubiquity and prevalence around the world. Currently rated number 1 fast-food restaurant with good measure. This paper seeks to categorize and evaluate the fundamental facets that has made McDonald’s so successful with particular focus on its Marketing strategies (4p’s), feasibly its de facto mechanism that has allowed it to capture the majority of the Fast-Food industry market share. McDonalds acts as an appropriate template for the execution of Neil Borden’s famed 4p’s of marketing conception, given its success around the world with the image of the Golden Arches etched in the minds of people all over the world.
McDonald’s has grown to become the largest fast food chain (emphasis on hamburgers) in the world with a plethora of branches all over the world reaching about 119 countries and averaging a service of around 68 million customers daily (Yahoo Finance, 2012). Dick and McDonald opened their eponymous burger stand in 1948 in San Bernardino, California. Under the guidance of Ray Kroc, a one time milkshake-mixer salesman wowed by the restaurant’s success, McDonalds franchises grew swiftly: by the end of the 1960’s, there were more than 1,000 across the U.S. The first international franchise opened in 1967 in British Columbia, and was followed by another in Costa Rica later that year (R.James, 2009). From there, the chain spread steadily: over a six month period in 1971, Golden Arches popped up on three new continents, as stores launched in Japan, Holland and a suburb in Sydney. Reaching its sixth continent in 1992, with the opening of a restaurant in Casablanca, Morocco (R.James, 2009)
Historically, McDonald’s served only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, milk shakes and French Fries which still represent their principal products. Eventually expanding their menu to include items like wraps, pastries, deserts etc. Its signature product, the Big Mac, was introduced in 1967. Other notable menu items include the Quarter Pounder, Double Cheeseburger, McDouble etc. A major objective of McDonald’s was the creation of a standardized collection of menu items amongst its franchises all over the world, aiming towards creating a semblance of universality in its products. A Big Mac in Sydney, Barcelona or London should in principal taste the same. Initially, given its novelty factor around the world such a strategy proved suitable, however, with time and loss of this novelty factor the adoption of this standardization strategy becomes unsustainable. Recognizing this McDonald’s naturally phased into a period of adaptation as opposed to standardization which is empirically evidenced through its menu items such the introduction of “Halal Meat” in Arab countries or even the attested to differences in the level spiciness at different McDonalds meals around the globe. Adaptation is required for numerous reasons included is the consumer tastes and preferences and the laws/customs that are adopted in different parts of the world. Historically, one can cite examples of times where McDonald’s was required to adjust and “adapt “ its product because of religious laws and customs in a region. One such example was in Israel, under pressure Big Macs were served without cheese in several outlets allowing for the separation of meat and dairy products seen in kosher restaurants. McDonald’s restaurants in India serve Vegetables McNuggets and mutton-based Maharaja Mac (Big Mac) (Claudio Vignali, 2001). Such innovations are necessary in a country where Hindus do not eat beef, Muslims do...
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