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How has McDonald’s avoided becoming “out of date”?

by on May 2, 2012

The first McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1955, and has since become possibly the most well known corporation in the world. Of course, like any major company, it has plenty of profit to surf on; however, what keeps the company growing may not solely be its market power, but its talent for non-price competition as well. Even in its first year, founder Ray Kroc drew attention to his budding restaurant with its highly unique design of bright red and white tiling, complete with the famous golden arches. First impressions are often important, and McDonald’s made a significant one with the help of architect Stanley Mestion. With the stunning combination of symbolic colors like red and yellow, potential customers could see that power and happiness (respectively) would be essential elements to contribute to the restaurant’s growth.

Eleven years later, there were over five-hundred restaurants operating across the country. With this enormous success, McDonald’s was financially able to advertise its new mascot on mainstream television; the ever so bright and friendly clown Ronald McDonald made his first national appearance in a commercial during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (aired by networks NBC and CBS). This was a huge step forward for the company -and a brilliant move- considering that televisions were by that time a household must-have. McDonald’s proved to the nation not only its huge success across the country, but also its progressiveness; in collaborating with television networks, McDonald’s proved itself to be a company that would not be left behind in the past, but rather more than ready to hurtle into the future alongside advancing technology.

Throughout the years, McDonald’s has also come up with new innovations to continually renew its attractiveness to various types of customers. For example, the Quarter Pounder was added to the menu in 1973 to tempt big eaters, and in 1975, the Egg McMuffin was introduced as a conveniently quick breakfast option for early risers and workaholics who spent their mornings on the go. In 1979, McDonald’s became even more kid-friendly with Happy Meals, and in 1987 added salads to the menu for those who had been deterred by the health concerns linked with McDonald’s greasy famous hamburgers. McDonald’s knows how to stay current with the evolving times and has, noticeably, recognized and addressed public needs in order to gain an optimum pool of potential customers. By acknowledging and catering to every demand presented, McDonald’s allows itself to change and improve, so that it never seems old-fashioned or out of touch with the modern era.

After ranging from television commercials to playgrounds to cappuccinos, is there any strategy or innovation left for McDonald’s to conquer?

McDonald’s Official Website: Our History –


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One Comment
  1. msmuntz permalink

    Interesting information and good application of the idea of “nonprice competition and meeting changing customer demand.

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