That standby of fast food, McDonald’s, has announced a new brand vision for 2015. The move is one of a series of changes the company has made over the past few years, including a redesign of its stores in 2011. But while this most recent announcement does mention “new packaging and signage,” the focus is not on the physical.
The first part of the announcement emphasizes the long-standing McDonald’s slogan, “I’m lovin it,” and follows up by saying that the company’s philosophy will go from “billions served” to “billions heard.” Together, the two phrases paint a picture of happiness and connection—a picture that doesn’t include specific details about how the actual McDonald’s products will change.
Judging By The Cover
Rebranding is a form of organizational change that can be almost entirely about opinion instead of actual products. Take a look at the two biggest discount retailers in the U.S., Walmart and Target. They’ve always been about offering low prices, but these industry giants expanded their market by changing the way they looked to customers.
Target tells you to “Expect More. Pay Less.” Similarly, Walmart moved from “Always Low Prices” to “Save Money. Live Better.” It’s not just about how much you’ll spend at these stores, but what you’ll get in return: something that will improve your life. The merchandise isn’t necessarily different (though Target did add designer apparel), but now they’re selling an aspirational vision alongside it. They changed the image that the customer sees, both of the shopping experience and themselves as consumers.
The revamping of stores and menus is certainly a part of this overall update. But McDonald’s is well aware that the only way to revitalize its business is to shape the brand image into one that customers want to see. That’s because organizational change is about more than physical products and manufacturing procedures. A vital part of change—and sometimes the most important part—is about what goes on in customers’ minds.