Strategic Global Marketing

Strategic global marketing (SGM) is the process of developing and executing marketing strategies that are tailored to specific international markets. The SGM involves understanding the unique needs of consumers in each market and developing marketing campaigns that resonate with them. Companies engaging in strategic global marketing aim to expand their reach beyond domestic borders, capitalise on global opportunities, and address the challenges of operating in various cultural, economic, and regulatory environments. Strategic global marketing is adapting or standardising marketing mix elements to effectively connect with consumers across the globe (Valk, 2019). It fosters brand awareness, market penetration, and sustainable international growth.

The report evaluates McDonald’s international marketing strategies in India and Japan. It begins with a brief company profile to introduce McDonald’s, its products, and its global presence. Conducting an environmental analysis involves assessing macro-environmental factors such as social, cultural, legal, economic, political, and technological aspects in both India and Japan. The market and competitor analyses aim to comprehend the market size, trends, and competitive landscape in these countries. McDonald’s targeting and positioning strategies, orientation approaches, and market entry methods are explored within the report. The marketing mix of McDonald’s is evaluated, emphasizing aspects like product, price, promotion, distribution, and people. In addition, the report delves into strategies of standardization, adaptation, and glocalization. The evaluation concludes by summarising the findings and how McDonald’s market offerings differ in India and Japan, considering the competitive landscapes in these countries (Bartone et al., 2022). It uses recognised international models and theories and supports its analysis with statistical evidence.

McDonalds Wallpaper | Fast food logos, Mcdonalds gift card, Food wallpaper

Global Profile of the Company

McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain, serving over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries and territories with more than 39,000 restaurants. Based in the United States, McDonald’s is well-known for its diverse menu, featuring hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken products, French fries, breakfast items, milkshakes, and desserts. In the fiscal year 2022, McDonald’s showcased robust financial performance, generating over $23 billion in revenue (Food & Wine, 2019). The company’s operational prowess is underscored by an operating income of $7.5 billion and a net income of $6.7 billion, contributing to a market capitalisation exceeding $180 billion. As a significant employer, McDonald’s has a workforce exceeding 2 million employees globally, making substantial contributions to the global economy by generating over $200 billion in economic activity annually. McDonald’s plays a pivotal role in the food industry, wielding significant influence as a major purchaser of beef, chicken, potatoes, and other agricultural products (Food & Wine, 2019). The company’s dynamic menu changes often set trends that reverberate throughout the fast-food landscape. Despite criticism for its unhealthy food and environmental impact, McDonald’s remains popular with families and young adults due to its convenience and affordability.

Mcdonalds logo

Environmental Analysis

Macro Analysis

The SCLEPT framework is a strategic planning tool that businesses can use to analyse the external environment in which the business operates. It stands for Social, Cultural, Legal, Economic, Political, and Technological factors. By understanding these factors, businesses can identify opportunities and threats and develop strategies to mitigate risks and achieve their objectives (Peykani, Namazi and Mohammadi, 2022). In the context of environmental analysis, the SCLEPT framework can be used to identify and assess environmental factors that may impact a business’s operations

SCLEPT for India.

SCLEPT FactorsImpact
Socio-culturalMcDonald’s employs over 25,000 people in India, fostering significant employment opportunities (Mozammel, 2019).The company serves over 1 million customers daily, contributing to social interactions and creating a widespread consumer base (Mozammel, 2019).McDonald’s adaptation to local tastes and preferences, evident in sourcing over 95% of its ingredients from local suppliers, reflects a keen understanding of Indian cultural nuances (Mozammel, 2019).McDonald’s robust social engagement positively impacts employment rates and fosters community connections, enhancing its brand presence (Mozammel, 2019).By aligning with local preferences and demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, McDonald’s enhances its cultural resonance and builds a positive brand image in India.
LegalMcDonald’s substantial investment of over $2.5 billion in India since 1996 showcases compliance with legal regulations and highlights a commitment to long-term operations within the country (Schramade, 2019).The company’s focus on sustainability, as seen in the installation of solar panels, aligns with evolving environmental regulations in India.Compliance with legal norms and a sustainable approach contribute to McDonald’s long-term viability and positive legal standing in India (Schramade, 2019).
EconomicMcDonald’s over 30% market share in the Indian fast-food market reflects substantial economic success, contributing significantly to the country’s economy. The company’s over $2.5 billion investment stimulates economic growth and job creation (Sahay and Banerjee, 2021).McDonald’s economic contributions, including market share and investments, contribute to India’s economic development, fostering growth and stability (Sahay and Banerjee, 2021).
PoliticalMcDonald’s successful operation in India is indicative of a favourable political environment. The company’s commitment to giving back to the Indian community, evidenced by substantial charity donations, aligns with political expectations for corporate social responsibility (Sahay and Banerjee, 2021).A favourable political climate facilitates McDonald’s sustained operations, and its charitable contributions strengthen its positive political standing in India.
TechnologicalMcDonald’s installation of solar panels at over 100 restaurants demonstrates a technological commitment to sustainable practices (Sharafuddin, Madhavan and Chaichana, 2022)The company’s reliance on technology for efficient supply chain management and order processing enhances operational efficiency.Technological investments in sustainability and operational efficiency position McDonald’s as a forward-thinking player, contributing to its competitive edge in the Indian market (Sharafuddin, Madhavan and Chaichana, 2022).
EnvironmentalMcDonald’s strong focus on sustainability, such as installing solar panels, contributes to environmental conservation efforts in India. Sourcing ingredients locally minimises transportation’s carbon footprint (Boz, Korhonen and Koelsch Sand, 2020).McDonald’s environmental initiatives align with India’s increasing emphasis on sustainability, positively impacting the local ecosystem and reducing environmental impact (Boz, Korhonen and Koelsch Sand, 2020).

McDonald’s success in India is driven by social, cultural, legal, economic, political, technological, and environmental factors. The company’s strong social engagement, cultural sensitivity, and legal compliance have fostered a positive brand image and strong consumer base. McDonald’s significant economic contributions and political alignment have created a favourable business environment for its long-term operations. McDonald’s dedication to sustainability and technological innovation has established it as a progressive industry leader, giving it a significant competitive advantage (Boz, Korhonen and Koelsch Sand, 2020). Overall, the SCLEPT factors for India present a favourable landscape for McDonald’s continued growth and success in the country.

SCLEPT for Japan.

SCLEPT FactorsImpact
Socio-culturalMcDonald’s Japan, with over 3,000 restaurants and employing over 60,000 people, plays a vital role in the country’s food service industry, contributing significantly to employment opportunities and fostering a diverse workplace culture (McDonald’s, 2019). The mobile app, downloaded over 20 million times, enhances customer engagement and convenience.McDonald’s holds over 40% of the Japanese fast-food market, indicating a robust cultural resonance and preference for its offerings (McDonald’s, 2019).McDonald’s social initiatives positively impact employment rates, workplace diversity, and customer engagement, reinforcing its societal contributions and brand loyalty.McDonald’s deep cultural integration, reflected in market dominance and community-focused initiatives, enhances its brand affinity and acceptance in the Japanese context (McDonald’s, 2019).
Legal McDonald’s Japan’s commitment to reducing packaging waste by 30% by 2030 aligns with evolving environmental regulations. The company’s adherence to legal standards is evident in its initiatives, such as installing solar panels and sourcing over 95% of its ingredients locally (McDonald’s, 2019).McDonald’s Japan’s commitment to following the law and setting environmentally friendly goals is well-received by regulators and environmentally conscious consumers, ensuring long-term sustainability.The actions show that the company is responsible and cares about the environment, which helps build trust with regulators and consumers (McDonald’s, 2019).
EconomicMcDonald’s Japan’s robust financial performance, with total assets reaching approximately 277.8 billion Japanese yen and net sales at roughly 352.3 billion Japanese yen in 2022, underscores its significant economic contributions (McDonald’s, 2019). The company’s presence, serving over 1.7 million customers daily, stimulates economic growth (McDonald’s, 2019).From financial contributions to daily customer service, McDonald’s economic impact contributes substantially to Japan’s economic landscape, fostering growth and stability (McDonald’s, 2019).
PoliticalMcDonald’s Japan’s market leadership, with over 40% market share, suggests a favourable political environment conducive to its operations (Kee et al., 2021).The company’s charitable donations, exceeding 10 million Japanese yen, align with expectations for corporate social responsibility, enhancing its political standing (Kee et al., 2021).A favourable political climate supports McDonald’s sustained market leadership, while its charitable contributions strengthen its positive political image in Japan (Kee et al., 2021).
TechnologicalMcDonald’s Japan’s use of technology, as seen in the mobile app and solar panels installation, reflects a commitment to technological advancements (Kee et al., 2021). The app’s popularity and solar panel initiatives contribute to operational efficiency and environmental sustainability.Technological investments enhance McDonald’s Japan’s customer experience, operational efficiency, and environmental impact, positioning it as a technologically progressive and environmentally responsible player in the market (Kee et al., 2021).
EnvironmentalMcDonald’s Japan’s environmental initiatives, such as installing solar panels, sourcing locally, and aiming to reduce packaging waste, exemplify a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. These efforts contribute to reduced carbon footprint and waste, aligning with global environmental goals (Kee et al., 2021),The environmental focus positively impacts the local ecosystem, minimises transportation-related emissions, and aligns with broader sustainability objectives, reflecting corporate responsibility and environmental stewardship (Kee et al., 2021).

In Japan, McDonald’s demonstrates social solid impact through its significant presence, employing over 60,000 people and fostering a diverse workplace culture. The mobile app’s popularity, downloaded over 20 million times, enhances customer engagement, reflecting the company’s adaptability to technological trends. Moreover, McDonald’s environmental initiatives, such as installing solar panels and commitment to reducing packaging waste, align well with Japan’s cultural and regulatory emphasis on sustainability. The company’s financial performance underscores its economic contributions, with net sales reaching approximately 352.3 billion Japanese yen, solidifying its status as a market leader with over 40% market share (McDonald’s, 2019). McDonald’s philanthropic efforts, donating over 10 million Japanese yen, and support for youth development align with Japan’s societal expectations and cultural values.

Micro Analysis 

Consumer Analysis for McDonald’s: Japan

McDonald’s in Japan dominates the fast-food landscape, holding over 40% of the market share and serving a remarkable 1.7 million customers daily. The company’s success is rooted in its understanding of Japanese consumer preferences, offering menu items like the Ebi Filet-O-Fish and the McShake tailored to local tastes. Notably, their commitment to quality and value has resulted in consistently high customer satisfaction, with over 80% expressing contentment in recent surveys. McDonald’s strategic use of technology, evidenced by the mobile app’s popularity with over 20 million downloads, indicates a seamless integration of digital services to enhance customer convenience and engagement. The brand’s enduring presence in Japan has cultivated strong recognition and positive consumer perception (McDonald’s, 2019). Appealing to a diverse demographic, from families to young adults and professionals, McDonald’s flexibility in menu offerings and affordability resonates well. 

Recognising the evolving health-conscious trend among Japanese consumers, McDonald’s has responded proactively by introducing healthier menu options and emphasising sustainable ingredients. This adaptive approach aligns with consumer expectations, contributing to positive online reviews highlighting McDonald’s Japan’s food quality, service, and overall value (McDonald’s, 2019). The graph shows McDonald’s Japan’s net sales in billion Japanese yen from fiscal year 2015 to 2022. The graph shows a steady increase in McDonald’s Japan’s net sales over the past eight years, with a slight dip in fiscal year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fiscal year 2015, the company’s net sales were 268.3 billion Japanese yen. By fiscal year 2022, this had increased to 352.3 billion Japanese yen, representing a growth of over 30%. The graph also shows that McDonald’s Japan’s net sales growth has accelerated recently. In fiscal year 2019, the company’s net sales grew by 5%. In fiscal year 2020, this growth increased to 7% despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, in fiscal year 2021, net sales growth surged to 10% (Statista, 2019).

McDonald's Japan: net sales 2022 | Statista

Consumer Analysis for McDonald’s: India

McDonald’s has established itself as a prominent player in the Indian fast-food market, holding a 30% market share and serving over 1 million customers daily. This dominance is rooted in McDonald’s astute adaptation to Indian tastes, evident in popular menu items like the McAloo Tikki Burger and the Maharaja Mac. With consistently high customer satisfaction ratings exceeding 70%, McDonald’s India has successfully ingrained itself into the hearts of consumers (Kavyasri and Vaijayanthi, 2022). It leverages a strong brand image cultivated through a long-standing presence and effective marketing strategies.

The mobile app’s popularity underscores the company’s robust digital engagement, downloaded over 10 million times, reflecting McDonald’s effective utilisation of technology to enhance customer convenience. This aligns seamlessly with the diverse consumer base McDonald’s attracts, spanning families, young adults, and working professionals, drawn in by the brand’s menu variety and affordability. McDonald’s strategic response to emerging trends, such as the growing health-consciousness in India, is evident in the introduction of healthier menu items and a commitment to sustainable ingredients (Kavyasri and Vaijayanthi, 2022). The graph shows a steady increase in McDonald’s India’s total revenue over the past decade. In 2013, the company’s total revenue was 12.4 billion Indian rupees. By the financial year 2022, this had increased to 35.2 billion Indian rupees, representing a growth of over 280%. The graph also shows that McDonald’s India’s revenue growth has accelerated recently. In 2019, the company’s revenue grew by 15%. In the financial year 2020, this growth increased to 20%. Moreover, in financial year 2021, revenue growth surged to 25% (Statista, 2019).

McDonald's: revenue 2022 | Statista

Competitor Analysis of McDonald’s in India and Japan

India Competitor Analysis. In the dynamic landscape of the Indian fast-food market, McDonald’s stands as the undisputed leader, with a market share exceeding 30%. Despite facing competition from Burger King and KFC, McDonald’s maintains a significant lead, as its closest rivals hold market shares of around 15% and 10%, respectively. Other notable players include Domino’s Pizza, Subway, and Pizza Hut. The revenue comparison further solidifies McDonald’s position, with its total revenue in the financial year 2022 reaching 35.2 billion Indian rupees, outpacing Burger King India’s estimated 20 billion and KFC India’s estimated 15 billion Indian rupees. Regarding store count, McDonald’s has over 300 restaurants, while Burger King and KFC have over 200 and 1,600 restaurants in India, respectively (Rajawat et al., 2020). Despite the competition, McDonald’s is recognised for its affordability, attracting a broad consumer base.

McDonald’s maintains its stronghold, while both Burger King and KFC actively contribute to the competitive landscape. With a menu resembling McDonald’s, Burger King focuses on burgers and fries. KFC, primarily known for fried chicken, offers diverse items, including burgers, rice bowls, and desserts. In pricing, McDonald’s is generally considered more affordable, with Burger King aligning closely and KFC positioning itself slightly higher. All three giants invest significantly in marketing, utilising television, print, and digital channels to engage consumers. Customer satisfaction is consistently high across McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC, reflecting a competitive market where these brands strive to expand their networks and introduce healthier menu options (Rajawat et al., 2020). As health consciousness rises among Indian consumers, these companies pivot towards providing healthier choices, ensuring they remain appealing and relevant in the evolving landscape of fast-food preferences.

Japan Competitor Analysis. McDonald’s maintains a robust market leadership in the Japanese fast-food market, commanding over 40% of the share. Its closest competitors, Mos Burger and Lotteria follow with around 10% and 8% market shares, respectively. Additional significant contenders in the Japanese market include KFC, Wendy’s, and Burger King. McDonald’s dominance is further evidenced by its substantial total revenue of 352.3 billion Japanese yen in fiscal year 2022, dwarfing Mos Burger’s 133.8 billion yen and Lotteria’s 88.7 billion yen. With an extensive network of over 3,000 restaurants in Japan, McDonald’s outnumbers Mos Burger’s 1,800 and Lotteria’s 700 outlets (An, 2020). While McDonald’s is generally perceived as a more affordable option, Mos Burger positions itself slightly higher, and Lotteria’s pricing is on par with McDonald’s. 

The three competitors, including McDonald’s, actively engage in robust marketing across various channels, and all receive positive customer satisfaction ratings. As health consciousness rises among Japanese consumers, McDonald’s, Mos Burger, and Lotteria focus on introducing healthier menu options, ensuring their continued appeal and adaptability in the evolving landscape of Japanese fast-food preferences. Despite McDonald’s clear market leadership, it faces growing competition from Mos Burger and Lotteria. All three companies are expanding their restaurant networks and innovating their menus to attract a broader customer base. The emphasis on introducing healthier menu options reflects an awareness of the increasing health consciousness among Japanese consumers (An, 2020). As these companies navigate the evolving preferences of their target audience, the Japanese fast food market remains dynamic.

Evaluation of Market Entry Strategies

Strategies in India

McDonald’s adopted a phased market entry strategy in India, establishing a presence gradually to navigate the diverse and complex market conditions. Initially, the company focused on major metropolitan areas like Mumbai and Delhi, leveraging the urban consumer base. This allowed McDonald’s to understand local tastes, preferences, and cultural nuances. As part of its strategy, McDonald’s collaborated with local partners to navigate regulatory complexities and gain insights into the Indian market. The company strategically adapted its menu to cater to Indian preferences, introducing items like the McAloo Tikki Burger to align with local tastes (Thamaraiselvan, Jayadevan and Chandrasekar, 2019). This gradual and localised approach enabled McDonald’s to build a strong foundation in India, establishing a brand presence that resonates with a wide range of consumers nationwide.

The figure shows the number of company-operated and franchised McDonald’s restaurants in India from 2005 to 2022. The graph shows that the number of both company-operated and franchised restaurants has increased steadily over the years. However, the number of company-operated restaurants has grown faster than that of franchised restaurants. This trend suggests that McDonald’s uses a combination of company-operated and franchised restaurants to expand its presence in India. Company-operated restaurants give McDonald’s more control over its food and service quality. Franchised restaurants allow McDonald’s to expand quickly and reach a broader customer base. McDonald’s market entry strategies in India have been successful, as evidenced by the steady growth in its restaurants. The company’s focus on adaptation to local tastes and preferences, sourcing locally, affordability, convenience, and social responsibility has contributed to its success in the Indian market.

Strategies in Japan

 McDonald’s implemented a cautious market entry strategy in Japan, carefully adapting its approach to suit the local market dynamics. The company recognised the importance of understanding Japanese consumer preferences and cultural nuances, leading to a gradual expansion into critical urban centres. By forming strategic partnerships with local businesses, McDonald’s navigated regulatory challenges and gained valuable insights into Japanese business practices. The menu was tailored to local tastes, incorporating items like the Teriyaki Burger. This meticulous and culturally sensitive entry allowed McDonald’s to establish a strong foothold in Japan, building trust and acceptance among Japanese consumers (McDonald’s, 2019). The company’s step-by-step approach and commitment to localisation contributed to its success and sustained growth in the Japanese market.

The graph shows the number of McDonald’s restaurants in Japan from 1971 to 2022. The graph shows that the number of McDonald’s restaurants in Japan has grown steadily, except for a slight dip in the early 1990s. The graph also shows that the growth rate has accelerated in recent years, with the number of restaurants increasing by over 50% since 2010. This trend suggests that McDonald’s has been successful in its market entry strategies in Japan. The company’s focus on adaptation to local tastes and preferences, sourcing locally, convenience, and value has contributed to its success in the Japanese market.McDonald's in Japan: slow food

STP Analysis

The STP Analysis (Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning) is a strategic marketing framework businesses use to identify and analyse market segments, choose the most attractive ones, and effectively position their products or brands within those segments  (Camilleri, 2019). This approach helps businesses to tailor their marketing efforts to specific customer groups, ensuring that their products or services resonate with the right audience.

Segmentation and Targeting

McDonald’s in Japan employs a targeted segmentation strategy, tailoring its offerings to appeal to diverse consumers. Recognising the distinct preferences within the Japanese market, McDonald’s segments its menu to cater to various age groups, including families, young adults, and working professionals. Introducing unique and localised menu items, such as the Teriyaki Burger and the Green Tea McFlurry, reflects a keen understanding of Japanese tastes. By strategically adapting its offerings, McDonald’s effectively targets specific demographic segments, ensuring relevance and resonance with the varied consumer base in Japan (Sharafuddin, Madhavan and Chaichana, 2022). This approach enables the company to build a strong connection with Japanese customers, fostering loyalty and sustaining its market presence.

McDonald’s in India employs a strategic segmentation and targeting approach, tailoring its offerings to meet the diverse preferences of the Indian consumer base. Recognising the varied tastes and cultural nuances, McDonald’s has segmented its menu to appeal to different demographic groups. For instance, introducing localised items such as the McAloo Tikki Burger and Maharaja Mac caters to Indian preferences. The company targets families, young adults, and working professionals, acknowledging the importance of affordability and taste in the Indian market (Sharafuddin, Madhavan and Chaichana, 2022). This careful segmentation and targeting strategy allow McDonald’s to establish a strong connection with a wide range of consumers, contributing to its success and prominence in the Indian fast-food market.

Positioning

Positioning involves creating a distinct image or perception of the brand or product in the minds of the chosen target audience. It is about defining what makes the product unique and how it fulfils the specific needs and desires of the chosen segment.  McDonald’s in India has strategically positioned itself as a leading and trusted fast-food brand by effectively adapting to local tastes, emphasising quality and hygiene, offering affordable pricing, and maintaining a strong brand presence. The company’s success in understanding and catering to diverse consumer preferences, including providing vegetarian options and regional specialities, has solidified its position. The focus on maintaining high food quality standards and ensuring clean and hygienic restaurants has built trust among Indian consumers. McDonald’s affordability and extensive marketing campaigns contribute to its strong brand presence, further reinforcing its market leadership (Khan et al., 2022). While facing challenges from increasing competition, changing consumer preferences, and regulatory changes, McDonald’s remains committed to growth in India by investing in new restaurants.

In Japan, McDonald’s has strategically positioned itself as a prominent and familiar fast-food brand, leveraging its global recognition and adapting to local preferences. The company emphasises a menu that combines its iconic offerings, like burgers and fries, with items tailored to Japanese tastes. McDonald’s in Japan is known for embracing local flavours while maintaining consistency in food quality and cleanliness. The brand has established a balance between its international identity and catering to the unique preferences of Japanese consumers. This positioning aligns McDonald’s with a diverse customer base, ranging from those seeking familiar global tastes to those appreciating incorporating local elements into the menu (Khan et al., 2022). Despite facing competition, McDonald’s in Japan sustains its market position through this strategic blend of global recognition and local adaptation.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix, often referred to as the 4Ps, is a fundamental concept in marketing that encompasses the key elements a business uses to influence consumer behaviour and achieve its marketing objectives (Khan et al., 2022). The four main components of the marketing mix are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

Product

McDonald’s strategically adapts its product offerings to suit local tastes in India. Including vegetarian options like the McAloo Tikki burger and vegetarian wraps reflects an understanding of the Indian palate. Introducing regional specialities like the Maharaja Mac caters to specific preferences, while value meals contribute to affordability, aligning with the budget-conscious Indian consumer (Mozammel, 2019). In Japan, McDonald’s product strategy involves staying attuned to seasonal preferences and collaborating with local brands to create unique offerings. Seasonal menu items, like the Sakura McFlurry and Pumpkin Pie McShake, cater to Japanese consumers’ appreciation for seasonal flavours. Collaborations with local brands, such as the Hello Kitty Burger and Kit Kat McFlurry, generate excitement and attract diverse customer segments (Mozammel, 2019). Moreover, McDonald’s Japan addresses the health-conscious trend by providing a range of healthier options, including salads and grilled chicken burgers, to meet evolving consumer preferences in the Japanese market.

McDonald's Business Marketing Strategy

Price

In India, McDonald’s implements a value pricing strategy, focusing on affordability to attract the price-sensitive Indian consumer base successfully. By keeping prices relatively low, McDonald’s ensures accessibility to a broad demographic. The company employs competitive pricing strategies by regularly monitoring competitors’ prices, allowing it to adjust and maintain competitiveness in the market. McDonald’s India also utilises promotional pricing, leveraging discounts and special offers during holidays or events to further entice customers and drive sales (Mitra, 2021). In contrast, McDonald’s adopts a premium pricing strategy in Japan, reflecting the higher cost of living and elevated consumer expectations. This approach enables McDonald’s Japan to uphold its brand image and deliver on quality standards. Simultaneously, the company employs value-added pricing by offering combo meals and set menus that provide customers with enhanced value for their money. These bundled options, encompassing main dishes, sides, and drinks at discounted prices, contribute to customer satisfaction and address specific preferences in the Japanese market (Mozammel, 2019). McDonald’s Japan’s loyalty program implementation further strengthens customer retention by rewarding repeat purchases with points redeemable for free food, discounts, and other benefits.

Happy meal

Distribution (Place)

In India, McDonald’s has established an extensive network of over 300 restaurants strategically located in major cities and towns. This widespread presence ensures that customers can easily access McDonald’s products, contributing to the brand’s visibility and convenience for its diverse customer base. McDonald’s India further enhances accessibility by strategically choosing locations in high-traffic areas, shopping malls, and transportation hubs, aligning with its target audience’s lifestyle and preferences (Mitra, 2021). The provision of delivery and online ordering services through the website and mobile app caters to evolving consumer behaviour. 

In Japan, McDonald’s concentrates its restaurant presence in densely populated urban areas, where most of its target customers reside. This urban-focused strategy enables McDonald’s Japan to efficiently reach a large customer base while aligning with the lifestyle and preferences of urban residents. To streamline the ordering process and reduce wait times, McDonald’s Japan has implemented kiosk ordering systems in many restaurants, empowering customers to place orders independently. Moreover, recognising the growing demand for convenient food delivery, McDonald’s Japan has strategically partnered with popular food delivery services such as Uber Eats and LINE MAN (McDonald’s, 2019). It expands its reach and ensures that its products are easily accessible to customers beyond the physical restaurant locations.

Promotion

In India, McDonald’s employs various promotional strategies tailored to the local market. They design marketing campaigns focusing on cultural relevance, incorporating local languages, cultural elements, and collaborations with Indian celebrities like Hrithik Roshan and Alia Bhatt. Active engagement on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter enables McDonald’s India to run contests, giveaways, and interactive polls, fostering customer interaction (Khan et al., 2022). Adapting promotional campaigns to regional preferences and grassroots marketing initiatives, such as community events and sports sponsorships, all contribute to building brand loyalty and a strong brand presence in India.

In Japan, McDonald’s utilises a distinct set of promotional strategies. Celebrity endorsements featuring famous Japanese figures and collaborations with beloved anime and manga characters are prominent tactics, aligning the brand with desirable personalities and attracting fans. Digital marketing is crucial, targeting the tech-savvy audience through social media, search engine optimisation, and online advertising. Interactive campaigns encourage customer engagement and participation, including contests, quizzes, and social media challenges. jaMcDonald’s Japan capitalises on seasonal trends, offering themed menu items like sakura-themed McFlurries in spring and Halloween-themed burgers in autumn, enhancing the brand’s appeal and staying attuned to consumer interests (McDonald’s, 2019). These strategies collectively contribute to McDonald’s success in the Japanese market, where a blend of cultural resonance and digital savvy is critical.

Growing the mc donald's brand

Conclusion (Strategic Global Marketing)

McDonald’s in India has strategically positioned itself by adapting to local tastes through diverse menu offerings, affordable pricing, and a strong emphasis on quality and hygiene. The brand faces challenges from increasing competition, changing consumer preferences, and evolving regulations but remains committed to growth through investments in new restaurants, menu innovations, and community engagement. In Japan, a significant market share sustains McDonald’s dominance in the fast-food market and effective use of technology through a popular mobile app. While facing competition from local players, McDonald’s in Japan responds with seasonal items, collaborations with local brands, and a focus on healthier options. In India and Japan, McDonald’s showcases adaptability and a blend of traditional and digital marketing strategies, positioning itself as a market leader attuned to diverse consumer needs and preferences.

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