McDonald’s’ international strategy
McDonald’s’ international strategy
McDonald’s by the present day has found restaurant networks in 120 countries and is serving more than 50 million customers daily (Linton, 2007). Its popularity is determined by the principle of convenience the company has been observing throughout its “lifespan”, as fast food ideology is based upon the high speed of service and production. The present paper discusses the company’s international strategy it is recently employing.
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Before expanding into the markets of other countries, the company always conducts a marketing research of the representation of fast food culture in the country ; moreover, it analyzes traditions, customs and beliefs in each country in order to establish more culturally aware and friendly networks. Discussing the company’s approaches to functioning in different state markets, it is important to note the prominent example of its success in China. First of all, in this country, the company employed the local principles of management instead of imposing the American model (Linton, 2007). The company also revised its convenience principle if fast food and design a more culturally acceptable image of its restaurants: “In the United States, the concept of fast food and people eating out for convenience is prevalent in our society, in contrast to Chinese society. In China, the McDonald’s restaurants are more similar to the coffee houses in Seattle where people can socialize with their peers” (McDonald’s Corporation Report, 2002, p.8). In addition, the company employs the features of the local cuisine for preparing its products, as Chinese people are extremely loyal to their native food.
In South Africa, where, as one knows, technological progress is extremely strong and rapid, the corporation was supposed to set up a huge number of drive-throughs, as car owners are the major target audience of the company in this state (Belch and Belch, 1995). Furthermore, the company interlaced its restaurants into the already existing infrastructure of malls and shopping centers, so that the customers didn’t need to leave the center in order to have a snack. Furthermore, South African employees wish to have the newest technological innovations in their offices, so the company worked long on the development of decision-making and communication systems, which provided perfect connection between units and subdivisions.
In the Central and Eastern Europe, the company included a very strong component of franchising and positioned its food as exotic for local customers, who, as one knows, had lived in totalitarian regimes up to the beginning of the 1990s. In order to establish itself in these markets, the corporation first promoted the purely American idea of lifestyle, as the countries were gradually switching to the Western pace of life and actually needed a place for fast lunch of satisfactory quality (Belch and Belch, 1995).
To sum up, there are several components of the country’s international strategy. First of all, adaptation: “The McDonald’s corporation is able to adapt to its surrounding customs while still preserving a unique blend of corporate culture. There are different variations of the menu, a salesforce that is indicative of the community, and even the structure of the McDonald’s buildings vary per country” (McDonald’s Corporation Report, 2002, p.11). Secondly, the company is socially responsible and seeks to meet people’s needs for healthy, but quickly prepared food as well as the desire to lead active and healthy lifestyle (for this purpose, the company stresses the use of its salads and protein products). Thirdly, the company relies upon tits initial marketing and advertising model, designed primarily for underage target audience, who easily recognize Ronald McDonald (EPM Communications, 1998). Finally, the company is open to innovations and constantly makes technological improvements to its restaurant services.
Belch, G. and Belch, M. Introduction to Advertising and Promotion:An integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. Boston: Irwin, 1995.
EPM Communications. ‘TV is the Most-Often-Used Source of Health Information”. Research Alert, 16 (1998), p.7.
Linton, R. “McDonalds: a hit on SA menu”. Business Times, 4 April 2007, p.8.
“McDonalds Corporation: the Past, Present, and Future”. Research Report. 30 March 2002, <http://www.2myprofessor.com/Common/Sample%20Projects/McDonald’s_Corporation.PDF>