Monday, March 25, 2013

It's all about the McBrand

According to this story in Ad Age, McDonald's is introducing a new sandwich, the McWrap, to attract the demographic known as the millennials – or as we humans call them, 18 to 32-year olds.

It seems that McDonald's executives are distressed that their restaurant is not one of this group's favorite restaurants. To that, I have just one question.

Outside of the 4 to 10-year old demographic, is McDonald's anyone's favorite restaurant?

McDonald's has grown to massive proportions exactly because it is no one's favorite restaurant. Mickey D's is the vanilla ice cream of restaurants: almost everybody likes it, but nobody loves it.

McDonald's is convenient, consistent, and cheap. That's how they've managed to serve billions.

Of course they should adapt their menu to provide options that will keep the chain relevant and cars lined up at the drive-through. Of course, they should consider other policies that appeal to this and other generations of customers. But if any of those changes get in the way of convenient, consistent and cheap, there will be trouble ahead.

McDonald's faces one of the great challenges of branding, how to adapt without changing.

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