McDonald’s Customer Behavior and Competitive Advantage

Introduction

McDonald’s is a multinational company specializing in the provision of catering services across the world. During its initial days, the company operated solely in the US where its headquarters are located (Sankaraan, 2016). However, in the recent past, it has grown tremendously to the extent that it is now present in many countries around the world. The rapid growth of the business is attributed to the leadership of the successive leaders who have invested heavily in human capital and technology.

Since its inception, the company has undergone numerous changes to keep up with the pace of the contemporary business environment. Innovation has been at the heart of the company’s changes. It has facilitated McDonald’s acquisition of a considerably large local and global market share (Shah, Kumar, Kim, & Choi, 2017). This paper explores the company’s consumer behaviors and the factors that cause clients to embrace the corporation’s products and services.

McDonald’s Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior generally refers to the purchase patterns exhibited by customers. The buying pattern is largely influenced by factors such as the customers’ culture, social factors, personal aspects, and psychological elements (Wang, 2017). For McDonald’s, customer behavior is largely influenced by the stated factors and hence the reason why different clients have diverse purchase behaviors. Cultural factors that influence customer behavior in McDonald’s include general beliefs and taboos, religious convictions, and nationalities among others. Aware of the cultural differentials among its customers, the company offers a carefully standardized menu, which reflects the cultures of the different groups of clients.

For example, in the Middle East countries, the company offers McArabia, which denotes a type of meal made of grilled halal chicken with Arabic spices and bread (Sankaraan, 2016). The meal is only available to Arabian customers. Additionally, the business offers vegetable meals in many parts of India since most customers in the stated country do not consume meat. For the Hindus, the hotel has avoided beef in the past since cows are perceived as a sacred creation.

Under the purview of social factors, customer behavior is largely influenced by the family, reference groups, and the status of the clients. The company is aware of this fact and offers a wide variety of meals to suit the social needs of all its customers (Sankaraan, 2016). Additionally, the company offers high-quality meals to benefit from reference groups in the backdrop of the increased use of the Internet and social media by customers to make reviews about a product or a service.

In addition to the social factors, the company’s customers are also influenced by personal elements, which include their economic situation, occupation, age, lifestyle, and self-concept (Sankaraan, 2016). The company uses a discriminative pricing strategy to accommodate the economic situation of different customers across the world. Additionally, the company allows its customers to customize their meals to reflect their tastes and preferences based on their income, age, and lifestyles.

What Makes Clients Want to Dine in McDonald’s?

One of the factors that attract customers to McDonald’s is the exceptional services offered by the restaurants. The company specifically uses the recently introduced technology to make customer service exceptional. The stated technology allows clients to place orders for burgers using their smartphones (Wang, 2017). The company’s investment in technology comes a time when the competition is high in the hospitality industry, with large firms making considerable deals in IT to outsmart their rivals.

The use of smartphones to place orders by customers not only saves time but also gives a digital look to the services offered by the company. Additionally, each table is equipped with a tablet that customers can use to play their favorite games. Given that majority of the clients are either youthful or computer literate people, the availability of games in the hotels is a major milestone to achieve customer satisfaction.

McDonald’s resolved to implement the Hi-Tech expertise in response to the gourmet burger rivals who had installed similar devices in their respective businesses to win customers’ loyalty (Shah et al., 2017). If McDonald’s did not respond promptly to the rivals’ innovation, perhaps it could lose a part of its market share to the competitors. Therefore, the primary goal of the new strategy is to maximize customer satisfaction.

Another major strength of the company centers on the quality services it offers to its customers. It operates under the concept of customer-centeredness that emphasizes the issue of prioritizing clients’ needs (Shah et al., 2017).

The highly motivated and committed workforce facilitates the achievement of the company’s primary goal of providing exceptional services to clients. The services are characterized by a warm welcome at the entrance by an enthusiastic team of personnel who direct customers to their destinations. Inside the hotel rooms, consumers enjoy free Internet and other forms of entertainment such as music. The company offers different types of food to satisfy the needs of all individuals based on their age, gender, and cultural affiliations. Additionally, customers have the power to tailor the menu to reflect their dietary needs as dictated by their cultural or religious beliefs.

What Makes McDonald’s so Irresistible?

One of the factors that make McDonald’s products irresistible is the quality impression created on customers. The company has managed to create loyalty among its customers, a move, which has resulted in a strong brand equity perception (Wang, 2017). Since its inception, the company’s operations have been guided by the customer-centered goods and services strategy, which entails focusing on customers’ interests, hence achieving exceptional customer satisfaction.

Client fulfillment is the key to a successful business, especially for organizations operating in the service industry. Other than the customer-centered services, the company also employs other strategies to ensure that clients remain satisfied and to buy their loyalty. The business produces high-quality meals, which it sells to its customers at considerable prices (Shah et al., 2017).

The achievement of strong brand equity is facilitated by employing highly qualified personnel and/or offering continuous training to make them more efficient in the backdrop of the rapidly changing business environment. In the recent past, the company has introduced a health feeding campaign, which entails enlightening customers about the importance of robust physical conditions. Such campaigns come in the backdrop of the rising awareness of health among customers.

The other reason why customers are inclined to dine in McDonald’s is that it allows them to modify their meals to accommodate their diverse needs. Currently, McDonald’s customers are empowered to include the ingredients they want in their ordered burgers (Sankaraan, 2016). The company’s clients mostly include tourists who come from different parts of the world. The tastes and preferences of such customers largely depend on their respective cultures.

Additionally, the company operates in different countries across the world, implying that it operates in environments that are characterized by cultural and religious differentials. Therefore, the empowerment of customers to customize their burgers is a major strength since it ensures that each of them enjoys his or her favorite meals. Additionally, it allows them to take care of their health needs by adding healthy ingredients. By empowering customers to customize their food during the ordering stage, the company achieves an enhanced competitive advantage compared to its rivals. This strategy increases the level of customer satisfaction, which is at the heart of the company’s operations.

Conclusion

The heightening competition among companies in the hospitality industry has caused businesses in the sector to invest heavily in their workforce to achieve customer satisfaction. Buyers’ contentment is central to the achievement of competitive advantage. As a result, companies must utilize any tool at their disposal to achieve such satisfaction. Customer behavior varies from one client to the other depending on the individual’s culture, age, and lifestyle among others. McDonald’s is one of the businesses that have been in the frontline in the study of customer behavior, including integrating the relevant evidence to achieve satisfaction.

The company’s customer behaviors are largely influenced by personal, social, and cultural factors. To meet the needs of each customer, the business offers a wide variety of foods. It also allows its customers to customize their meals to reflect their cultural and personal needs. Additionally, the company offers exceptional services to its customers inside its hotel rooms, a strategy that includes a warm reception by friendly personnel and various entertainment services.

References

Sankaraan, V. (2016). Consumer behavior: McDonald’s marketing strategies. Web.

Shah, D., Kumar, V., Kim, K., & Choi, J. (2017). Linking customer behaviors to cash flow level and volatility: Implications for marketing practices. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 54(1), 27-43.

Wang, T. (2017). Social identity dimensions and consumer behavior in social media. Asia Pacific Management Review, 22(1), 45-51.