Say What You Want

McDonalds

McDonalds is pretty darned smart. You might have your reasons for not liking them. You might feel they’re antithetical to all you hold pure and dear. It doesn’t make them any less smart.

They are master marketers. They are business efficiency professionals. They are experience managers. They are savvy business people.

Instead of worrying about instore sales growth, they acquired several other brands that you barely even think about. Instead of worrying about what we say is important to us, nutrition-wise, they provide the few nutritious things we pretend to order while serving up the food we really want when we seek rapid delivery.

Their McCafe line might not be crushing it yet, but they have a horse in the race. Parents who bring their children to McDonalds aren’t making two window stops as often now. It’s another way to sell us into something we could use, quickly, affordably, and handily.

There is a very low personalization requirement at McDonalds. When we choose to eat there, we forego the cafe-shaped world and enter into the rapid delivery world, the “known” world. We know what we’ll get when we come there.

For every time I tell you that social media and customized personalization and cafe-shaped conversations are the way to go, remember that McDonalds continues to thrive, and that McDonalds is mass marketing at its shiniest, and that they are making billions and billions without even caring a lick about what I say the future will be.

Hold the onions.

ChrisBrogan.com runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Theme Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you're a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides you with the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

With automatic theme updates and world-class support included, Genesis is the smart choice for your WordPress website or blog.

Become a StudioPress Affiliate

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    McDonalds’s sponsoring of the Beijing Olympics was basically saying the company approves of human rights being tossed out the window. Not a lot being said about that kind of marketing.

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    McDonalds’s sponsoring of the Beijing Olympics was basically saying the company approves of human rights being tossed out the window. Not a lot being said about that kind of marketing.

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    McDonalds’s sponsoring of the Beijing Olympics was basically saying the company approves of human rights being tossed out the window. Not a lot being said about that kind of marketing.

  • http://billgiltner.blip.tv bill giltner

    I don’t disagree with your post.

    For myself, I go for breakfast to McD’s 4-5 times a week, and it has everything to do with the basics; nothing to do with any branding actions or adjustments in the last 10 years.

  • http://billgiltner.blip.tv bill giltner

    I don’t disagree with your post.

    For myself, I go for breakfast to McD’s 4-5 times a week, and it has everything to do with the basics; nothing to do with any branding actions or adjustments in the last 10 years.

  • http://billgiltner.blip.tv bill giltner

    I don’t disagree with your post.

    For myself, I go for breakfast to McD’s 4-5 times a week, and it has everything to do with the basics; nothing to do with any branding actions or adjustments in the last 10 years.

  • http://twitter.com/moon paul

    I had a great experience at McDonalds in Homer Alaska when I went in for just for a cup of coffee and left knowing many locals who love to hang-out there.

  • http://twitter.com/moon paul

    I had a great experience at McDonalds in Homer Alaska when I went in for just for a cup of coffee and left knowing many locals who love to hang-out there.

  • http://twitter.com/moon paul

    I had a great experience at McDonalds in Homer Alaska when I went in for just for a cup of coffee and left knowing many locals who love to hang-out there.

  • http://brainzooming.blogspot.com Mike Brown

    I took my wife to McDonald’s this morning. Was surprised to find that I wasn’t greeted with, “Welcome to McDonald’s.” That seems so scripted, I listen for it and find it surprising when it’s not part of the experience.

  • http://brainzooming.blogspot.com Mike Brown

    I took my wife to McDonald’s this morning. Was surprised to find that I wasn’t greeted with, “Welcome to McDonald’s.” That seems so scripted, I listen for it and find it surprising when it’s not part of the experience.

  • http://brainzooming.blogspot.com Mike Brown

    I took my wife to McDonald’s this morning. Was surprised to find that I wasn’t greeted with, “Welcome to McDonald’s.” That seems so scripted, I listen for it and find it surprising when it’s not part of the experience.

  • http://tedshelton.blogspot.com Ted Shelton

    Take a look, if you haven’t already, at Gilmore and Pine’s terrific book on this subject, “Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want” — Amazon link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Authenticity-What-Consumers-Really-Want/dp/1591391458/

    Also Pine does a great job of explaining this in his TED talk:

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/joseph_pine_on_what_consumers_want.html

    Today being a company is all about the complete experience you provide to the customer.

  • http://tedshelton.blogspot.com Ted Shelton

    Take a look, if you haven’t already, at Gilmore and Pine’s terrific book on this subject, “Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want” — Amazon link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Authenticity-What-Consumers-Really-Want/dp/1591391458/

    Also Pine does a great job of explaining this in his TED talk:

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/joseph_pine_on_what_consumers_want.html

    Today being a company is all about the complete experience you provide to the customer.

  • http://www.rosslarocco.com Ross LaRocco

    Echoing what I said on Twitter. Was just there yesterday. We had a tweetup called a Shamrock Shakeup. Was great. Half Shamrock Half chocolate domination.

  • http://www.rosslarocco.com Ross LaRocco

    Echoing what I said on Twitter. Was just there yesterday. We had a tweetup called a Shamrock Shakeup. Was great. Half Shamrock Half chocolate domination.

  • http://tedshelton.blogspot.com Ted Shelton

    Take a look, if you haven’t already, at Gilmore and Pine’s terrific book on this subject, “Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want” — Amazon link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Authenticity-What-Consumers-Really-Want/dp/1591391458/

    Also Pine does a great job of explaining this in his TED talk:

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/joseph_pine_on_what_consumers_want.html

    Today being a company is all about the complete experience you provide to the customer.

  • http://www.rosslarocco.com Ross LaRocco

    Echoing what I said on Twitter. Was just there yesterday. We had a tweetup called a Shamrock Shakeup. Was great. Half Shamrock Half chocolate domination.

  • http://HarryJoiner.com Harry Joiner

    Great post. You call it “the rapid delivery world, the “known” world.” McDonald’s invented this. Their brand IS this “consistency” value proposition. Have you ever heard an entrepreneur say “We want to be the McDonald’s of our industry …”? That’s what she means.

  • http://HarryJoiner.com Harry Joiner

    Great post. You call it “the rapid delivery world, the “known” world.” McDonald’s invented this. Their brand IS this “consistency” value proposition. Have you ever heard an entrepreneur say “We want to be the McDonald’s of our industry …”? That’s what she means.

  • http://HarryJoiner.com Harry Joiner

    Great post. You call it “the rapid delivery world, the “known” world.” McDonald’s invented this. Their brand IS this “consistency” value proposition. Have you ever heard an entrepreneur say “We want to be the McDonald’s of our industry …”? That’s what she means.

  • http://www.startupbiztalk.com Cheryl-Startupbiztalk.com

    They don’t have the best customer service, but it’s obvious that they have a “system” and it works. New and different products periodically to compete with their competitors, packaged food items that add value (i.e. their breakfast menus) and a food menu that has remained consistent.

    BTW: Just checked their numbers and their sales have gone up.

  • http://www.startupbiztalk.com Cheryl-Startupbiztalk.com

    They don’t have the best customer service, but it’s obvious that they have a “system” and it works. New and different products periodically to compete with their competitors, packaged food items that add value (i.e. their breakfast menus) and a food menu that has remained consistent.

    BTW: Just checked their numbers and their sales have gone up.

  • http://www.startupbiztalk.com Cheryl-Startupbiztalk.com

    They don’t have the best customer service, but it’s obvious that they have a “system” and it works. New and different products periodically to compete with their competitors, packaged food items that add value (i.e. their breakfast menus) and a food menu that has remained consistent.

    BTW: Just checked their numbers and their sales have gone up.

  • http://susanimate.spaces.live.com Susanne

    McDonald’s food is crap, but they do have the best marketing. Their last ad for Fillet-O-Fish was pure genius. When that ad comes on tv my kid comes running to watch it. I watch it even though I’ve seen it way too many times. It’s one of the reasons I hate them. I’ve decided to boycott all products that have insultingly stupid ads on tv and learned that I am a hypocrite. We had McDonald’s last week…..You are so right about them being master marketers. Good Post.

  • http://susanimate.spaces.live.com Susanne

    McDonald’s food is crap, but they do have the best marketing. Their last ad for Fillet-O-Fish was pure genius. When that ad comes on tv my kid comes running to watch it. I watch it even though I’ve seen it way too many times. It’s one of the reasons I hate them. I’ve decided to boycott all products that have insultingly stupid ads on tv and learned that I am a hypocrite. We had McDonald’s last week…..You are so right about them being master marketers. Good Post.

  • http://markdrapeau.com Mark Drapeau

    I like McDonalds.

  • http://markdrapeau.com Mark Drapeau

    I like McDonalds.

  • http://susanimate.spaces.live.com Susanne

    McDonald’s food is crap, but they do have the best marketing. Their last ad for Fillet-O-Fish was pure genius. When that ad comes on tv my kid comes running to watch it. I watch it even though I’ve seen it way too many times. It’s one of the reasons I hate them. I’ve decided to boycott all products that have insultingly stupid ads on tv and learned that I am a hypocrite. We had McDonald’s last week…..You are so right about them being master marketers. Good Post.

  • http://markdrapeau.com Mark Drapeau

    I like McDonalds.

  • http://openmode.ca Malcolm Bastien

    The last commercial I saw of McDonald’s in Canada was hilarious. Some young woman reading, suddenly takes a big sip from a Big Gulp sized drink bottle like it was the ultimate refreshing drink. At first I thought it must have been some sort of parody, but no, McDonald’s apparently now has iced tea. Hilarious.

    Guess what image of McDonald’s brand I’m still carrying around with me since my childhood.

  • http://openmode.ca Malcolm Bastien

    The last commercial I saw of McDonald’s in Canada was hilarious. Some young woman reading, suddenly takes a big sip from a Big Gulp sized drink bottle like it was the ultimate refreshing drink. At first I thought it must have been some sort of parody, but no, McDonald’s apparently now has iced tea. Hilarious.

    Guess what image of McDonald’s brand I’m still carrying around with me since my childhood.

  • http://claudiabroome.com ClaudiaBroome

    I remember the last time I was at Mc Donalds about 2 months ago. I remember because it was the time that I asked for coffee with cream and sugar and expected to get the three sugars and two creams in packets in the bag since that was my request. Wrong assumption on my part. Instead “someone” decided for me and added a ton of somethings to my coffee and it was awful! In the past, depending on how strong the coffee was dictated how much of the cream and sugar I would add. Oh well. Since that choice is now unavailable, they lost my business. Maybe they are making a killing with out personalization but I need a bit of personalization in my life and I am attracted to that in business. I’m sure Mc Donalds doesn’t care but I do! Adios McDonalds!

  • http://claudiabroome.com ClaudiaBroome

    I remember the last time I was at Mc Donalds about 2 months ago. I remember because it was the time that I asked for coffee with cream and sugar and expected to get the three sugars and two creams in packets in the bag since that was my request. Wrong assumption on my part. Instead “someone” decided for me and added a ton of somethings to my coffee and it was awful! In the past, depending on how strong the coffee was dictated how much of the cream and sugar I would add. Oh well. Since that choice is now unavailable, they lost my business. Maybe they are making a killing with out personalization but I need a bit of personalization in my life and I am attracted to that in business. I’m sure Mc Donalds doesn’t care but I do! Adios McDonalds!

  • http://openmode.ca Malcolm Bastien

    The last commercial I saw of McDonald’s in Canada was hilarious. Some young woman reading, suddenly takes a big sip from a Big Gulp sized drink bottle like it was the ultimate refreshing drink. At first I thought it must have been some sort of parody, but no, McDonald’s apparently now has iced tea. Hilarious.

    Guess what image of McDonald’s brand I’m still carrying around with me since my childhood.

  • http://claudiabroome.com ClaudiaBroome

    I remember the last time I was at Mc Donalds about 2 months ago. I remember because it was the time that I asked for coffee with cream and sugar and expected to get the three sugars and two creams in packets in the bag since that was my request. Wrong assumption on my part. Instead “someone” decided for me and added a ton of somethings to my coffee and it was awful! In the past, depending on how strong the coffee was dictated how much of the cream and sugar I would add. Oh well. Since that choice is now unavailable, they lost my business. Maybe they are making a killing with out personalization but I need a bit of personalization in my life and I am attracted to that in business. I’m sure Mc Donalds doesn’t care but I do! Adios McDonalds!

  • http://www.MarketingTwins.com MarketingTwins-Randy-TX

    As a father of 4, McD’s is a crowd favorite – not necessarily of the parents. But when marketing is giving the customer a good solution to their problem, then’s it’s good marketing. McD’s is not about the food quality. The kids like it. So it’s high on the quality marks in their books. For me, not so much, but if I’m looking for quality food, I’m not taking the kids in toe. So for the parent, the solution I’m looking for is: simplicity, speed, and a playscape! Plus, I don’t mind a salad, iced coffee or something that seems better than the McD’s when I was the kid.

    The only thing I was they had were clearn, sound-proof cubicles (like they have on those gameshows where the contestants can’t hear ANYTHING going on outside the booth). That way I could still act as a responsible parent and keep an eye on my kids but actually make work phone calls or catch up on my blog posts and Twittering – I like the WiFi McD’s offers, but who can concentrate???)

    Give me those booths and I’d be a happy camper! It might serve as a secondary campus for my work!

  • http://www.MarketingTwins.com MarketingTwins-Randy-TX

    As a father of 4, McD’s is a crowd favorite – not necessarily of the parents. But when marketing is giving the customer a good solution to their problem, then’s it’s good marketing. McD’s is not about the food quality. The kids like it. So it’s high on the quality marks in their books. For me, not so much, but if I’m looking for quality food, I’m not taking the kids in toe. So for the parent, the solution I’m looking for is: simplicity, speed, and a playscape! Plus, I don’t mind a salad, iced coffee or something that seems better than the McD’s when I was the kid.

    The only thing I was they had were clearn, sound-proof cubicles (like they have on those gameshows where the contestants can’t hear ANYTHING going on outside the booth). That way I could still act as a responsible parent and keep an eye on my kids but actually make work phone calls or catch up on my blog posts and Twittering – I like the WiFi McD’s offers, but who can concentrate???)

    Give me those booths and I’d be a happy camper! It might serve as a secondary campus for my work!

  • http://www.MarketingTwins.com MarketingTwins-Randy-TX

    As a father of 4, McD’s is a crowd favorite – not necessarily of the parents. But when marketing is giving the customer a good solution to their problem, then’s it’s good marketing. McD’s is not about the food quality. The kids like it. So it’s high on the quality marks in their books. For me, not so much, but if I’m looking for quality food, I’m not taking the kids in toe. So for the parent, the solution I’m looking for is: simplicity, speed, and a playscape! Plus, I don’t mind a salad, iced coffee or something that seems better than the McD’s when I was the kid.

    The only thing I was they had were clearn, sound-proof cubicles (like they have on those gameshows where the contestants can’t hear ANYTHING going on outside the booth). That way I could still act as a responsible parent and keep an eye on my kids but actually make work phone calls or catch up on my blog posts and Twittering – I like the WiFi McD’s offers, but who can concentrate???)

    Give me those booths and I’d be a happy camper! It might serve as a secondary campus for my work!

  • http://www.MarketingTwins.com MarketingTwins-Randy-TX

    oops, I meant “CLEAR, SOUND-PROOF CUBICLES”…..

  • http://www.MarketingTwins.com MarketingTwins-Randy-TX

    oops, I meant “CLEAR, SOUND-PROOF CUBICLES”…..

  • http://www.MarketingTwins.com MarketingTwins-Randy-TX

    oops, I meant “CLEAR, SOUND-PROOF CUBICLES”…..

  • Ken

    An economy like today’s only benefits McD. The low-priced and standardized meals make it an easy and affordable option.

    This BBC article from January says it’ll open 1,000 new outlets: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7851687.stm

    McD is a winner in a losing economy.

  • Ken

    An economy like today’s only benefits McD. The low-priced and standardized meals make it an easy and affordable option.

    This BBC article from January says it’ll open 1,000 new outlets: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7851687.stm

    McD is a winner in a losing economy.

  • Ken

    An economy like today’s only benefits McD. The low-priced and standardized meals make it an easy and affordable option.

    This BBC article from January says it’ll open 1,000 new outlets: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7851687.stm

    McD is a winner in a losing economy.

  • MBlayney

    Their marketing efforts are consistently strong. As a group of us sat at lunch last week, we all began singing the song in their new fish fillet commercial. Will it make us buy more fish fillets? I don’t know… but it certainly got us talking about McDonalds.

  • MBlayney

    Their marketing efforts are consistently strong. As a group of us sat at lunch last week, we all began singing the song in their new fish fillet commercial. Will it make us buy more fish fillets? I don’t know… but it certainly got us talking about McDonalds.

  • MBlayney

    Their marketing efforts are consistently strong. As a group of us sat at lunch last week, we all began singing the song in their new fish fillet commercial. Will it make us buy more fish fillets? I don’t know… but it certainly got us talking about McDonalds.

  • http://jshueywa.blogspot.com/ Jeff Shuey

    There are two blog posts I look forward to reading every day — You and Seth Godin. I have told many people that I like the way you and Seth can take a topic and add a unique perspective AND do it with such a small word count. The KEY to this is you can SAY so much with so few words. That is an art and a skill. Kudos to both of you.

    As for this post – i agree with you that there are a lot of nuances underneath the McDonald’s marketing machine. McD’s knows how to mass market and knows how to grow people. People may not agree with their sponsorship choices and imply it’s a tacit approval of a countries politics, but this does not discount the fact that they know how to continue to grow their market. Who knows – it may be that the introduction of McD’s to some of these markets will change the way they think.

    While I don’t go to McD’s very often what I know, appreciate and expect is that the food will be the same every time. Some may argue that this is the problem with McD’s (and other mass brands – think SBUX), but I take it as a positive factor and can take comfort in the fact that I can get a Quarter Pounder (or Burger Royale) anywhere in the world.

    @jshuey

  • http://jshueywa.blogspot.com/ Jeff Shuey

    There are two blog posts I look forward to reading every day — You and Seth Godin. I have told many people that I like the way you and Seth can take a topic and add a unique perspective AND do it with such a small word count. The KEY to this is you can SAY so much with so few words. That is an art and a skill. Kudos to both of you.

    As for this post – i agree with you that there are a lot of nuances underneath the McDonald’s marketing machine. McD’s knows how to mass market and knows how to grow people. People may not agree with their sponsorship choices and imply it’s a tacit approval of a countries politics, but this does not discount the fact that they know how to continue to grow their market. Who knows – it may be that the introduction of McD’s to some of these markets will change the way they think.

    While I don’t go to McD’s very often what I know, appreciate and expect is that the food will be the same every time. Some may argue that this is the problem with McD’s (and other mass brands – think SBUX), but I take it as a positive factor and can take comfort in the fact that I can get a Quarter Pounder (or Burger Royale) anywhere in the world.

    @jshuey