McDonald's is the world's leading fast food retailer with restaurants in over thirty-five thousand locations serving over seventy million customers per day spread out over one hundred countries. Generally known for its mouthwatering hamburgers, McDonald's also offers various types of chicken and beef sandwiches, french fries, breakfast items and so much more. A significant factor contributing to its massive success is as a result of its consumer marketing strategy that divides the market into different groups, targets a particular group and focuses on satisfying their needs, positions itself in a way that resonates with a specific target group and finally differentiates the products to the needs of various target markets.
McDonald's utilizes various types of market segmentation to break its massive market into smaller customer groups. The organization divides the market according to geographical criteria as well as demography. McDonald's geographic segmentation divides the market into geographical segments such as America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa and other regions that include Latina America and Canada. Demographically, the company segments in terms of age, family size, income, and socioeconomic status. McDonalds' demographic segments thus include children, young adults in the age bracket of eighteen to twenty-nine years and adults (Dudovskiy, 2016).
Market targeting involves the identification of certain groups to sell an organization's product as a result of market segmentation. Having the right information about the size and likely profitability is essential for targeting. However, McDonalds' targeting strategy varies from the norm as it first identifies specific segments in the target population then proceeds to differentiate their products to each segment. For instance, in each segment of a population, McDonald's targets parents with young children, young children, teens, and business customers (Stringer, 2015). The company's targeting strategy goes hand in hand with its differentiation strategy because it has established itself as a brand that is universally the same globally, a massive corporation like McDonald's also requires practicing differentiation in some form to forge into new market segments and foreign markets.
In its differentiation strategy, McDonald's offers products that are specifically tailored to each of their segments. For instance, for the happy meal is ubiquitously recognized among young children globally. Additionally, alternatives to French fries such as fruits and yogurt as an alternative for cookies are offered to appease health-conscious parents (Stringer, 2015). McDonald's also differentiates along cultural markets as well. For instance, in Indonesia, the McRice is offered as the market prefers a form of staple food is served with every meal. Additionally, McBeers are offered in the European and Asian markets as it is a culturally acceptable restaurant experience in these cultures.
McDonalds positioning strategy is aimed at positioning the company as a family friendly low-cost restaurant in the fast food industry. Although the organization initially had a narrow scope in the customer base coupled with a low-cost strategy, over the years McDonald's has expanded its customer scope to appeal to increasing customer base. As such, the company employs an adaptive product positioning that makes use of information such as buying behaviors, customer needs, values and lifestyles of each of the segments to create advertisements tailored to each segment. By developing a positioning profile for each product, the creative teams at the organization utilize these profiles to create advertisements that are relevant to each target segment and the general population.
Ultimately, McDonald's has established itself at the forefront in the fast food business by its effective implementation of market segmentation, targeting and positioning strategies. By targeting various segments in the population by differentiating and positioning their products according to each segment, McDonald's has proved the importance of a proper segmentation, targeting and positioning strategy in any organization in turning it into an industry leader.
Dudovskiy, J. (2016, February 9). McDonalds Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning. Retrieved from Research Methodology: http://research-methodology.net/mcdonalds-segmentation-targeting-and-positioning/
Stringer, G. (2015). McDonald's Segmentation Marketing. Retrieved from Academia: http://www.academia.edu/13182034/McDonald_s_Segmentation_Marketing
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