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McDonalds' Rebranding Strategy: Why the World's Biggest Restaurant Thinks It's Time to Tweak Its Recipe

McDonalds is embarking on a major rebranding strategy to heal its reputation and close the gap with its competitors.
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Healthy menus items featuring more fruits and vegetables. Sustainable beef production. Comfortable and contemporary restaurants with complimentary WI-FI.

Welcome to McDonalds?

If the top brass at McDonalds Corporation has its way, this is what you will find at every restaurant in a little less than two years.

The company, which has returned lackluster results to investors over the past few years and been subject to increasingly negative press around its menu selection and employee relations, announced that it will undergo a major rebranding strategy to repair its image.

McDonald's chief executive, Don Thompson, has indicated that the company's strategy is to evolve into a "more trusted and respected brand" and to create an overall restaurant experience that "customers can feel good about." What that means exactly is to be determined, but to be sure, the rebranding strategy will not be the typical logo and design change.

Instead, McDonalds is looking at its brand from top to bottom, inside and out. The goal is not simply to become a friendlier place to get cheap food. Instead, the strategy will focus on the entire organization in order to create better value to the customers, provide better customer service, employ higher impact marketing, and embrace long-term sustainable operations.

In a phrase: A major overhaul.

McDonalds seems to be following the lead of one of its closest competitor, Chipotle, which has been out growing McDonalds at an impressive pace while establishing its brand as a leader in sustainable, local and organic food production and healthy eating choices. Chipotle, which at one time was owned by McDonalds, has even produced a series of videos attempted to draw attention to the sustainability problems at large food corporations.

The rebranding strategy is estimated to take 18 months, which is a long time for Wall Street to wait and measure results. Regardless, based on the company's recent performance and a general cultural shift toward healthier lifestyles, the strategy is sure to be welcome by investors.

What do you think? Can McDonalds rebranding strategy work? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Last updated: Jul 29, 2014

PETER GASCA | Co-founder of WildCreations.com

Peter Gasca is the co-founder of Wild Creations, an Inc 5000 company that focuses on kid-related products and supports kid entrepreneurs. He is also a small-business consultant, youth entrepreneur mentor, and business adjunct lecturer.




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