McDonald's is one of the most successful restaurant chains across the globe. As of 2019, it operated and franchised a total of 39,168 restaurants in 118 countries and territories, generating a worldwide revenue of $19.2 billion in 2020 (Statista, 2020). McDonald’s global success can be attributed to many reasons with one, in particular, being the organization’s ability to adapt to different cultures and innovate across different countries.
McDonald’s strategic aim to adjust product offerings to local markets highlights its effective geographic segmentation that allows them to maintain a competitive advantage across many markets. The company credits its global success to its ability to segment its target audience and exercise cultural awareness.
For example, McDonald’s strategy in Japan is much different than it is in the U.S. “Initially, McDonald’s in Japan retained the menu for the U.S. market. However, it gradually rolled out new menu items such as the Rice Burger, Seaweed Shaker, Teriyaki Burger, Ebi (shrimp) burger, green tea milkshakes, and ice cream to cater to Japanese preferences. Even the product sizes are different in Japan than in the Americas. For instance, a large drink container at a McDonald’s in Japan is significantly smaller than that in the U.S.” (catalystagents.com, 2020). In Germany, meat and beer are major components of the average consumer’s daily diet. Therefore, McDonald’s created a burger that combines beef with Nürnberger sausages and began to offer beer in their German locations.
In India, McDonald’s customized menu offerings to cater to consumer preferences by replacing beef with chicken, being that the majority of the Indian population consider cows as sacred animals. McDonald’s also tried to appeal to vegetarians by creating more vegetarian-friendly options such as the McAllo Tikki, Masala Grilled Veggie Burger, and McVeggie.
Overall, in order to be a successful global brand, organizations need to cater to the unique cultures they are targeting while retaining their brand integrity. Despite McDonald’s global brand recognition and cross-cultural marketing strategies, Mcdonald's has continued to provide its consumers with the same experience wherever they are in the world.
Catalyst Agents. (2020, June 2). The Cultural Marketer: How McDonald's achieves brand success through cultural adaptability. The Cultural Marketer | How McDonald's Achieves Brand Success Through Cultural Adaptability. Retrieved March 2, 2022, from https://catalystagents.com/blog/2020/3/22/the-cultural-marketer-how-mcdonalds-achieves-brand-success-through-cultural-adaptability
Lock, S. (2021, August 31). McDonald's. Statista. Retrieved March 2, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/topics/1444/mcdonalds/#dossierKeyfigures
Racoma, B. (2021, September 9). McDonald's international strategy: Adapting around the world. Day Translations Blog. Retrieved March 2, 2022, from https://www.daytranslations.com/blog/mcdonalds-international-strategy-adapting-around-the-world/