If you're like me, you've probably got a collection of foreign coins in a drawer somewhere. Maybe some Canadians coins picked up in change from the grocery store, or a smattering of European or Asian coins that you didn't get around to spending during a long-ago vacation.

Whatever their source, today McDonald's is going to give you something to do with at least one of those coins during its International Currency Exchange.

As I outlined in previous articles, McDonald's is introducing four new items on what it calls its Worldwide Favorites menu:

  • Stroopwafel McFlurry (The Netherlands): Creamy vanilla soft serve, mixed with a rich caramel swirl, featuring authentic chopped Dutch Daelmans Stroopwafel caramel waffle cookie pieces.
  • Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger (Spain): A quarter pound of 100 percent fresh beef topped with thick cut Applewood smoked bacon, smoky McBacon Sauce, real Gouda cheese and slivered onions served on a freshly toasted sesame seed bun.
  • Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich (Canada): Made with a grilled or crispy all white meat, juicy and tender chicken, the Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich is topped with tomato & herb sauce, creamy mozzarella cheese, slivered onions, fresh lettuce and sliced Roma tomatoes served on a freshly toasted artisan roll.
  • Cheesy Bacon Fries (Australia): French fries topped with real cheddar cheese sauce and chopped Applewood Smoked bacon.

So far so good.

But, while McDonald's could have simply gone with some television commercials or social media to promote these four new menu items, the company came up with an attention-getting marketing stroke of genius: the International Currency Exchange.

On Thursday, June 6 from 2-5 p.m. local time, you can exchange any amount of foreign currency for one Worldwide Favorites menu item at a participating McDonald's. So, for example, you can trade that lonely Canadian penny squirreled away in your drawer for a Stroopwafel McFlurry.

With all the noise out there from so many sources, it's particularly difficult for any company--even one as large and well established as McDonald's--to break through with new products and services. According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched each year, and 95 percent of them fail.

If you're marketing a new product or service, think about what you can do to make it stand out from the crowd. Implementing a promotion like the McDonald's International Currency could make all the difference in a very crowded market.

I'm personally looking forward to seeing if McDonald's rotates other international offerings through its Worldwide Favorites menu--particularly the McAloo Tikki served in Indian McDonald's restaurants, the McMolletes from Mexico, and the UAE's Halloumi Muffin. 

Published on: Jun 6, 2019
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