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27 July 2022
McDonald's taps digital channels and cultural impact
Brand equity & strengthRestaurants & takeaways
McDonald’s, the fast-food giant, is building on its high levels of brand love and recognition with innovative digital initiatives and culturally-relevant marketing that can help foster even deeper relationships.
Tapping the power of digital
Chris Kempczinski, president/CEO of McDonald’s, said on an earnings call that the restaurant chain, which saw like-for-like sales rise by 9.7% worldwide in the last quarter, is “one of the most recognised and beloved brands on earth”.
A key opportunity to build on this equity, he argued, is using digital platforms, from its app to social media, to “connect with even more customers in entirely new and creative ways”.
Its top six markets saw digital sales across its app, in-store kiosks and delivery yield $6bn in revenue, equating to around a third of system-wide sales in the last quarter.
It now has loyalty programs in 50 markets, with 22 million members in the United States alone active in the last 90 days. And the brand can deliver increasingly personalized messages to this audience. “By tailoring messages, our customers feel more connected to McDonald’s, ultimately driving engagement that increases both spend and frequency,” said Kempczinski.
Focusing on the basics
The brand has bolstered its “core menu” by introducing new buns and enhanced cooking procedures to enhance product taste. Spain, the latest market to introduce this change, saw incremental sales as a result.
Another goal: “We’ll also keep coming up with fresh spins on our classics, creating crave-able moments for a new generation of McDonald’s fans,” Kempczinski said.
With inflationary pressure rising in Europe and the US, scenario planning in marketing will be vital, such as a readiness to focus on “the value end of our menu platform” if circumstances demand it.
“Because of this uncertainty around consumer sentiment, we’re just having to plan for more different scenarios and that means having more flexibility in the marketing calendar to pivot, if need be,” said Kempczinski.
From retooling its famed “I’m lovin’ it” jingle for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in the UK to partnering with rapper The Kid LAROI in Australia, McDonald’s has remained on the cultural cutting edge. “Our creative excellence has expanded our reach and made McDonald’s not just more recognisable, but more relevant. And it’s this customer connection that is continuing to drive our business in new and exciting ways,” said Kempczinski.
At the same time, he noted an “opportunity to continue to improve on the marketing front and just get more consistently excellent around the world from a creative standpoint”.