Wednesday, April 21, 2010
“The Happy Land of McDonald's May Be Happy No More….”
Contributed by, Tonisha Hood, MBA-Integrated Marketing, Market Research
Just because times change, does that mean you should also?
In most situations I would say yes, but given the case of McDonald's I say no! There have been new stories informing the consumers of the idea to take McDonald's from the fun playhouse most 80’s babies grew up on, to a more upscale coffee house. McDonald's has decided, since they now sell $4 burgers and lattes, they no longer want to be seen as just a fast food restaurant; they want to be seen as competition for places such as Starbucks and Potbelly.
McDonald’s was built on the idea of Ronald McDonald, and a place for kids to come with parents to get a fun meal, a toy and to play in the balls. Now they want to take out the play area and make it a place for teenagers and adults, to come have coffee and study. McDonald’s get a grip! How much research have you really done on this? Have you studied the demographics of the areas in which most McDonald's are held? Don’t get me wrong; I do believe that some locations would benefit from a change such as this, but definitely not all of them. The McDonald’s in Oak Brook, IL (the city of the corporate headquarters) would be a great location to have a coffee house-style location, but the many McDonald's on the West Side of Chicago, shouldn’t even qualify for this idea. These locations are places where parents bring their kids for a fun play day alone or with friends. Can you really imagine going to study in one of these locations? I don’t think so!
McDonald's wants to rebrand itself, but is leaving the happy meal land really the rebranding solution that works well for the total organization? Well apparently I’m not the only person who has some doubt. Many McDonald's are franchise locations, and many of them don’t agree this new change will actually result in a positive return on investment-- which means that McDonald's as a corporation will have to provide most of the funding.
Are you ready to see happy meal land be taken over by a coffeehouse? If they make this change, honestly, will you ever see it that way? McDonald's will always be to me, the place where I had a birthday party at as a child, a place to get a happy meal, and a place to go play. It’s a kid place, not an adult place.
McDonald’s, proceed with caution, rebranding is not always the best idea.