Even the fittest got dominated by McDonald’s strategy

Did I got your attention? Are you disagreeing with the title? Do you think you know McDonald’s strategy? Are you a person who never eats in this fast food? Every time when you see this yellow, curvy M letter on the red background you are making choice to not enter the place and not order anything.
Even if you don’t I will prove you today that McDonald’s is present in your daily life more than you think.

You probably know that McDonald’s has very smart marketing. If we would like to get deeper in that topic we would probably end up with a whole book, or two!
It is very recognizable franchise always with same looking restaurant all around the world, serving same tasting food (plus also having extra offer according to region like GreekMac pita in Greece of MacRice burger in Asia).
Company is also supporting many charities.
McDonald’s strategy is also catching attention of million customers, very often by offering extra discount coupons online.

Principles of McDonaldization

So what is McDonaldization then? For sure this is something more than just restaurants with burgers.
This pattern was observed and explained by George Ritzer. He found out that many behaviours and especially customer service preferences are leaving the walls of the most famous fast food place and that McDonald’s global strategy is easy to notice in many different places.

Ritzer identifies four main principles of McDonaldization:

  • predictability – you know what do you expect. In case of McDonalds you can be in Kenya or Singapore – food tastes the same;
  • efficiency – you are served fast and you save your time;
  • calculability – you don’t pay a lot of money to get high quality product. Quantity over quality;
  • control – standardized and uniform employees, replacement of human by non-human technologies.

Who else uses McDonald’s strategy

So what are other places having a lot of in common with McDonald’s marketing strategy and whole McDonaldization theory?

First of all shopping malls – you are going there to buy coat but still you do not need to leave a building for anything.
You do not want to carry your kid all day? Get a funny car-looking trolley.
You are hungry? There is a sushi or Italian place to eat.
Actually you prefer Burberry coat than H&M but you don’t have a cash? Don’t worry, probably there is a bank offering loans just around there corner.
Do you fell that malls are predictable? You know, similar opening hours, familiar shops around the world (did I just said Burberry and H&M, you know the logotypes, don’t you?).
Even sales/new collection season is always the same and it has not much to do with real time (I live in Malta. Shops now offer me coats and boots when I still wear shorts because in Europe the fall is already a bit in).

Another quick example? Buying a car, especially some common model. You know what do you expect because you saw already thousands on the streets. It is not a super car so you save money, also it is not Cadillac from 60’ so you will not spend millions on petrol too. It was manufactured by machines only checked by humans. You can buy it easily second hand or brand new from showroom in every city.

Is McDonalds marketing strategy good or bad for us? Are we manipulated or conscious customers? I am leaving this question with you with the coolest cartoon according to our globalization marketing related topic.

Agata Janicka