Its burgers might taste the same no matter what country you’re in, however McDonald’s’ marketing strategy remains more secretive than a Mason’s handshake.
Well, up until now. The global burger chain’s brand strategy – namely around the use of its famed mascot, Ronald McDonald – has leaked to media.
According to reports on Business Insider, the news site has got its hands on McDonald’s top secret “Golden Arches code”, an internal guidebook that sets out every aspect of the fast food giant’s branding.
It pays particular attention to marketing to children, addresses criticism of the nutritional value of its food items and the ‘dos and don’ts’ to its in-store marketing.
The codes states: “When we behave according to our values – when our brand actions show how we come together to do good – when brand expressions exude simple easy enjoyment – when our personality shines through all touch points – customers will see us as their favourite place and way to eat and drink – and they will be feeling and saying ‘i’m lovin’ it’.”
So, what exactly are the core values of McDonalds’s marketing strategy? Here’s just some of the top level points:
• Ronald McDonald “cannot be shown in or visit a nightclub or lounge”.
• Ronald McDonald apparently has good eating habits, doesn’t smoke, and “does not touch anyone in any inappropriate way. Ronald McDonald is a respected role model.”
• “Do not use any nicknames for the character, such as ‘RONNIE.”
• “i’m lovin’ it” can never be tweaked – including capitalisation.
• Adding “Mc” to the front of a phrase – like McMuffin – should only be done in very rare circumstances.
• When it coms to the famous ‘golden arches’ out the front of its restaurants, the code states it can only appear in yellow, black or white. The code reads: “We own one of the most recognisable symbols in the world. The Golden Arches is our most valuable brand asset. It needs no introduction, no embellishment, no fancy technical effects. And it definitely doesn’t need to be shown in multiple colours to look hip and trendy. It is at its best when it is pure and simple.”
• It’s also very strict that the colours it uses in restaurants and packaging are universal and the code includes the Pantone colours that must be adhered to. “Just as our Golden Arches must be protected in order to maintain brand distinction, the colours that we use for branding purposes must be carefully maintained and kept consistent,” the code states. “Colour accuracy is critical wherever consumers experience our brand and see our brand communications.”
In a statement to Business Insider, a Macca’s spokesperson said: “As stewards of the iconic Golden Arches, we take seriously our responsibility to ensure what the brand communicates weaves us together across the 120 countries where we serve customers.
“In a world where our customers hear thousands of messages each day, we are continuing to innovate and modernise our creative and marketing to generate meaningful and personal connections with our customers,” the spokesperson said.
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