Have you seen the new McDonald’s ads on TV? They paint the portrait of a caring company that is positive, friendly and honest. According to one TV spot in the campaign, your local McDonald’s is more than just a restaurant, it’s a partner in your community. Subsequent commercials have urged kindness and sharing. On the corporate scale, the company slogan for all of this is to “choose lovin’.” The ads are backed up with new signage, employee uniforms, social media strategies, training for employees and much more. It’s a major undertaking in rebranding a worldwide restaurant franchise.
So why did McDonald’s spend millions on all of this? That answer is easy – sales are down and the heat is on. Every company, no matter how big or how dominant, needs to adapt and change to stay on top.
The Takeaway for Precasters
But the important takeaway for your business is not the strategy, messages or tools. It is the concept of proactively telling customers who you are. McDonald’s wants you to know that it is a company that cares. Its restaurants are part of your community. It encourages good will among men and women. The company is dictating these messages to you.
When is the last time you told your customers (or potential customers) who you are and what you stand for? If you don’t define your company, customers will define you based on any number of factors out of your control. Do you want to be a fun company that people enjoy doing business with? Do you want to be known as the source of quality products in your area? Are you the company that has capabilities no other company has? Is your company a partner rather than just a supplier?
Once you decide how you want to be perceived, make sure everything you do dictates that – your website, social media, sales materials, and any other place a customer sees or interacts with you. It’s a big task that takes a lot of planning, but if your book is going to be judged by its cover, wouldn’t you prefer to have a say in what that cover looks like?
Director of Communication & Marketing, NPCA