Nowadays Mac Donald is very successful in China. However it has not always been this way!
I will try to analyze what makes the success of Mac Donald.
What are the key success factors?
- Apparent small price strategy
- Incredible brand image
- A few suitable and unique products
My wife once told me that when the first Mac Donald opened in Changsha, customers were queing hours to get inside. They would then take as many ketchup doses as possible and you could see them eating ketchup on the street!
- The only place where you could sit and rest
- Children heaven
However Mac Donald was in great peril back in 2007: all started to go wrong:
- The same food offer all around the world
- Tough competition from KFC and others
- Too many Mac Donald kills Mac Donald
In 2007, I spoted one bankrupt Mac Donald on Changsha city center!
Mac Donald reacted and imagined its new and current strategy: another success story!
- Coffee place environment
- Sorry children: kids heaven is over!
- Mac Donald opens all night long
- Mac drive
- A new food offer
The big chance of Mac Donald and a core explanation to Mac Donald success in China is the change in Chinese people taste due to globalization!
Mac Donald benefits from the new taste of young Chinese people for melted cheese!
Back in 2006, you could almost never find any hamburger with cheese in Changsha. Cheese delivery to Mac Donald were rare and the cheese hamburger was always unavailable. Today you can find it everywhere and Chinese people go to Mac Donald instead of KFC in order to eat this melted cheeseburger!
Nodoubt KFC will develop some cheeseburger soon. It already started to do so for its breakfast offer!
Stop and go customers come in all day and night long. They rest, sleep, discuss enjoy the air conditionning in summer and heating in winter
Playground: Mac Donald strategy in China: target young children and use western as well as Chinese festivals in order to attract families. It builds children loyalty while offering small presents.
Children love Mac Donald: ice cream, coke, french fries, ketchup and games. More recently younger Chinese generation love melted cheese. Chinese parents know that cheese is good for health and make children grow as tall as foreigners! (yet another Chinese cliché)
Mac Donald uniform
Clean and won't scare customers away: it doesn't look too expensive/ too much restaurant style
24 opening hours very good in China: this is part of Mac Donald new strategy in order to attract different customers not only customers and families
Chinese people go out at night. Salaries are low: 7rmb per hour and quickly made profitable.
Store window: you can spot it from far away at night
You should communicate on small price in order to attract customers inside
Ice creams and drinks are put forward to drain customers all day long: middle class look for a place to relax and a fair price. There is almost no other place in China where you can stay and relax at a fair price: no parks, no bench, no place with air conditionning and heat.
At Mac Donald the prospect customer knows what to expect: low price.
Thanks to its image, its brand, Mac Donald opened in China many smaller outlets that make benefits only with ice creams, french fries and cakes.
Ice cream and Oreos biscuits. Oreo is very fashion this summer in China.
Mac Donald spoons are great for storage: they interlock. Also the impressive size of the spoon is good for the image.
Chinese customers love prickles
- Mac Donald was threatened: negative unealthy fast food image, underpaid or not paid workers scandals! Most Mac Donald products were not suitable for Chinese tastes.
- Mac Donald reacted while launching lunch meal at 15rmb and offering coffee. opening hours 24 hours, Mac Drive, new design. Mac Cafe have a modern and prestige decoration, smaller prices, a television, a more adult and prestige environment.
- Mac Donald also copied KFC developing fried chicken burgers.
- Mac Donald strengthened its traditionnal children/ families customers with a drinks, french fries and ice cream offer.
- Mac Donald diversifies in China with Mac Drives and some important partnership with shopping center. Partnership war:KFC, Mac Donald: you must occupy strategic location in new buildings.
Before Mac Donald looked like this:
Pictures of young people, foreigners, travels
Today foreigners disappear. Instead you have a simple design, light plays like in a cafe. Foreigners are less trendy anymore. Mac Donald knows this and operates some change.
In China Mac Donald started to communicate about health and calories for obese, diabete. But this is still marginal and not a main concern.