Tag Archives: McDonald’s

McDonald’s and Millennials


When was the last time you ate at a McDonald’s? Long the staple of families, teens, and college students, sales at the world’s largest restaurant company have been in a slump. For U.S. locations (about 40% of its restaurants), sales at McDonald’s restaurants have been flat or declining for much of the past year.

According to data compiled for The Wall Street Journal, the problem seems to be one of age – not age of stores, but age of its customers. A large portion of McDonald’s sales have traditionally been to customers age 20 – 30. However, that age group is now in search of healthier, fresher fare and has been switching their loyalties to restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Five Guys, and Panera.

Although McDonald’s has introduced new, healthier McWrap sandwiches and is increasing digital marketing to help win back millennial customers, there are more choices than ever for fast-food patrons. A decade ago, there were more than 9,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S., plus another 14,000 McDonald’s; today, there are nearly 21,000 fast food restaurants competing with 35,000 McDonald’s. That’s a lot of competition for the same dollar.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about their fast-food eating habits: What restaurants do they frequent? Why?
  2. Next, ask students when was the last time they ate at McDonald’s? Why?
  3. Discuss the factors that millennials use to choose a fast-food restaurant.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a list of criteria that they (as millennials) use to determine which fast-food restaurants they frequently eat at.
  5. Next, have each team select five of the criteria and create a plan for McDonald’s to use to attract more millennials.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Most Disliked Companies in America


There are companies that everyone loves, and then there are the ones that are intensely disliked, even hated, by consumers. Most of the companies consumers dislike are on the “bad” list for reasons of quality, customer service, stock performance, poor management decisions, and generally bad employment practices.

Which companies are the most disliked in America? Some of these may surprise you, but most will have consumers nodding their heads in agreement. The company, 24/7 Wall St., analyzed metrics for customer satisfaction, stock performance, and employee satisfaction, using data from the Consumer Reports Naughty and Nice list, the American Customer Satisfaction Index, management decisions in the past year, and more.

Top (or should it be bottom) ten companies include familiar brands: McDonald’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Electronic Arts, Sears, DISH, Walmart, JP Morgan Chase, Lululemon, BlackBerry, and JC Penney.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
1. Divide students into teams. Have each team agree on a top ten list of companies they cannot stand.
2. Build a complete list of the hated companies on the white board. Note the differences and which lists contain the same companies.
3. What companies are on the classes’ top ten most disliked list?
4. Show the lists compiled by 24/7 Wall Street and Consumerist.
5. Class discussion: what put these companies on the disliked list? What can these companies do to improve their images?
6. Assign each team one of the disliked companies. What would the students suggest to get these companies onto a list of most admired companies?

Source: 247Wall Street.com, Brandchannel.com, Consumerist.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

McDonald’s New Strategies


McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest and best-known businesses. Yet, even this company has faced its share of challenges in operations and consumer relevance. Recently, the company’s executives addressed how the chain plans to tackle problems. It boils down to three primary strategies: improving marketing, focusing on core products, and stepping up digital efforts.

Improving marketing: Reorganizing from a product-based marketing approach to one organized by consumer group (e.g., families, adults, millennials).
Core products: The company had operational problems when it launched four new products in the U.S. too quickly (McWraps, blueberry-pomegranate smoothies, Egg White Delight McMuffins, and new line of Quarter Pounders). The focus will be more on core products like burgers and breakfast.
Digital efforts: Testing digital payments and digital ordering around the world.

The key is to focus on a specific strategy, and manage products and tactics to fit that strategy.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
1. Before discussion McDonald’s in class, discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
2. Ask students which strategy should McDonald’s use, and why?
3. Can it use multiple strategies? How and why?
4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market McDonald’s.
5. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
6. Debrief the exercise and share McDonald’s strategy.

Source: Ad Age Daily, USA Today, other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities