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Did 'American French Fry Brother' Soften McDonald's China Price Increases?

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 16, 2012 10:03 AM

McDonald's is basking in the glow in the halo effect glow of some tremendously good PR in China. A young American working in Nanjing recently purchased some french fries for a homeless elderly woman — and proceeded to sit and share them with her. Faster than you could say "I'd like to buy the world some friends," the incident became the talk of the Chinese social web.

While the brand itself was not a proactive participant in the act of charity, thousands of mentions of "American French Fry Brother" came along with a mention of McDonald's. It was a bit of good fortune for the chain in China just before the new China Daily headline: "McDonald's raises prices again."Continue reading...

mobile marketing

Domino’s CEO Whets Customers' Appetite for Apps

Posted by Dale Buss on May 11, 2012 04:01 PM

Domino’s has gotten a lot of attention lately for its groundbreaking TV commercials, but now the brand’s CEO wants to become known for something else as well: Mobile innovation.

The big pizza chain posted lower sales and profits during the first quarter, in large part due to some extraneous factors. But CEO Patrick Doyle wants the chain to do a much better job helping its franchisees do well financially.

He wants to set the stage for long-term growth in the U.S. for Domino’s by helping shore up the entrepreneurs who own Domino’s outlets — and helping customers order more easily, via mobile and social apps.Continue reading...

health matters

McDonald's UK Faces Heat Over Five-a-Day Fizzy Drink for Kids

Posted by Dale Buss on May 11, 2012 11:44 AM

While there's plenty of attention given to getting children not to eat junk food, as a countermeasure to childhood obesity many brands are putting substantial efforts into persuading kids to eat healthier. This week two companies — one a veteran of "better-for-you" foods, the other not heralded for nutritious fare — have stepped forward to promote childhood consumption of fruit and vegetables.

McDonald's is the unlikelier player here. McDonald's UK is getting ready to launch a fizzy drink for children as an option with its Happy Meal packs on May 16th that claims to provide one of the recommended five-a-day portions of fruits and vegetables.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Increases Limited (Promotional) Attention Span

Posted by Dale Buss on May 4, 2012 04:14 PM

McDonald's has come a long way in its menu variety from variations on burgers, its iconic fries, the Fillet-O-Fish and Coke. And now the chain has incorporated its accelerated menu diversification as a main driver of sales and profits around the world.

In particular, McDonald's is relying on more "limited-time" offerings. The latest examples are a seasonal banana nut oatmeal, which will be available nationwide in the middle of May, and Cherry Berry Chiller, an iced drink that already is available everywhere. McDonald's began focusing on limited-time offers on a national scale last year after research showed that variety was a top priority for consumers, Wendy Cook, vice president of U.S. marketing, told USA Today.Continue reading...

diversity watch

McDonald’s Seeks More Diversity In Its Workforce and Menu

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 3, 2012 11:01 AM

McDonald’s is doing all right in building up a diverse employee base, as incoming CEO Don Thompson commented in January 2011 (above). But this week he told the Chicago Urban League that the company has a lot more it could be doing to keep the company’s diversity numbers going up.

"Diversity fuels innovation, and innovation fuels success," Thompson said, according to the Chicago Tribune. He also noted that the company’s work on diversity as well as inclusion "was the reason we were the No. 1 company on the Dow last year."Continue reading...

chew on this

Catching Up With McDonald's Cross-America Listening Tour

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 2, 2012 07:54 PM

As part of McDonald's cross-USA "listening tour" to discuss nutrition, health, sustainability and its menu and marketing (especially to kids), the fast-food brand recently sent Julia Braun, Director of Nutrition, and Jessica Droste-Yagan, Director of Sustainable Supply, to meet with Duke University students and professors to discuss nutrition and sustainable food practices. Listen in above, and check out earlier discussions on the tour that were held in March and August.

chew on this

McDonald's Keeping Its Eye on the Prize this Olympics Year

Posted by Dale Buss on April 24, 2012 10:33 AM

What does a brand do when most of its competitors are recasting or overhauling themselves in a highly competitive industry? If you're McDonald's, well, you keep doing what you've been doing. Because everyone else is — still — trying to catch you.

And as he takes over from Jim Skinner as skipper of a smooth-sailing ship in a high-profile year with the London 2012 Olympics looming, new CEO Don Thompson has pledged to do exactly that: double down on the fundamentals that have enabled McDonald's basically to skate above the Great Recession and global economic stagnation even since then, and keep finding ways to improve its brand, menu and customer experience.Continue reading...

chew on this

Brand Mas: Taco Bell Turnaround is Taking Hold

Posted by Dale Buss on April 20, 2012 05:05 PM

Someday, the moves being made by Taco Bell brand stewards may be considered in business schools as a textbook case of how to turn things around. For now, they're at least bringing some smiles to executives of Yum! Brands — and to Taco Bell aficionados everywhere.

It seems that the introduction of the widely awaited Doritos Locos Taco, as well as a breakfast rollout on the West Coast, boosted the company's fortunes considerably during the first quarter, with Taco Bell same-store sales up a remarkable 6 percent during the period compared with a 2-percent drop in the fourth quarter.

The brand had been dragging cheese lately because of a certain boredom with its products by its teen-male cohort; a faux scandal over the content of its beef filling didn't help matters.Continue reading...

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