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No More ‘Business as Usual’

Once upon a time it was okay to do things a certain way because that’s how they had always been done. Changing a winning formula or messing around with a household brand was viewed as business suicide.

But that was when the perception of a brand or a product was created by the company and presented to its customers as a fully formed entity.

Now however, the perception of any brand or product is very firmly held and manipulated by the consumer and any company slow to recognise and adapt to that fact is heading for trouble!

Tweaking the product range
An article by Marion Issard in the online edition of the Wall St Journal outlines how McDonalds are tweaking their product range to cater for different tastes and preferences. The company has devised around 20 locally tailored menu items in some 14 European countries, including Finland, where it offers the Rye McFeast, a burger served on a rye bun, and Spain, where it offers the tomato-based soup Gazpacho. In France, 1,228 McDonald’s restaurants will be offering the McBaguette – a burger made from France’s famed Charolais beef topped with French-made Emmental cheese and mustard served in a baguette – for 6 weeks from April 18th.

But McDonalds strategy isn’t just about customer relations. There’s a very sound business model behind this move away from the traditional ‘Big Mac and Fries’!

The promotion is in line with the U.S. company’s successful global strategy of updating its restaurants to appeal to a broader clientele, while offering a more varied menu, up and down the price scale. The McBaguette, for example, will be sold for €4.50 which is more than a euro above the average price of a sandwich in France and within the range of McDonald’s premium burgers.

Diversify
Incorporating the baguette could support sales in McDonald’s most-profitable market in Europe. “McDonald’s is trying to diversify and is aiming at more traditional or older customers,” said Yves Marin, a senior manager at consulting firm Kurt Salmon. “The company is willing to attract those who won’t eat the Big Mac.”

Again this is a great example of the Solved System ‘Ask, Believe, Choose, Do’ formula at work. McDonalds have looked foir ways to reach new markets and increase profits, retained their core belief in and integrity of their brand, made the decision to diversify based on local preferences and gone out and done it!

I’m loving it!

Post by Eileen Bennett, www.solvedsystems.com

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