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Culture and International Business - Essay Example

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Title: Globalizing Locally: lessons from McDonald’s experience I. Introduction II. Development Section I – McDonald, a victim of its own branding? Without doubt, McDonalds has one of the strongest brand in the world. Over the years, it has cultivated its strong brand presence that had served the company well especially when it enters into a new market where it capitalized on its strong brand presence to immediately establish a market share…
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Download file to see previous pages Yet, McDonalds own brand also gave the company problem that is more pronounced than any other american brands. Perhaps there are no other American brands which had been patently labeled and stereotyped as a symbol of American imperialism than that of McDonalds. This issue is magnified by the fact McDonalds typically becomes a target (usually by vandalism) everytime there are protests against the American government abroad. The irony of it is that perhaps there are no other fast food chain in the market that exerts that much effort than McDonalds to assimilate with the local culture where it operates. Its franchises outside of North America are not even run by Americans but by the locals who took pains to customize its offerings just to cater to the local preference. But no matter what it does, McDonalds will always be associated with American imperialism. This misconception about McDonalds is not only limited to cultural labeling but extends to social status as well. Section II: McDonalds, cheap yet classy? McDonalds is also having a social stratification issue on how it should position itself in the market. Shall it serve the mid section and upper section or the upper section of the market? Market response is ambivalent that it proves difficult to categorize which market should McDonals concentrate. In emerging markets such as Russia, China, even including South Asia, McDonalds is considered to be a restaurant that is a class above the rest and highly esteemed as a brand. Eating at McDonalds can even be considered as a status symbol. Yet in its major market in the United States and Europe where it derives two thirds of its revenue, the fast food chain is considered to be a cheap food, something to be eaten just to survive not to mention unhealthy. As a food, McDonalds does not have the respect in its major market compared to the esteemed it have in emerging markets. In UK, it even came to a point that McDonalds will be taxed alleging that it is damaging people’s health and costs the health care substantial amount. In the United States, parents are even suing the company for misleading them over its nutritional value. These ambivalence of market’s reaction towards McDonalds makes it difficult for the company to adopt a universal market strategy to penetrate the global market. What it does is to constantly adapt to the eccentricities of its local market whose magnitude of its assimilation may have already changed the company itself. Section 3. Who influences who with McDonalds? In its effort to assimilate with the preferences of its local markets, McDonalds customizes its menu in a myriad of ways to the point of departure to its original menu. In Germany, McDonalds can be served with beer. In Israel, McDonald’s burgers does not have cheese. In India, its patties are not made of beef. In UK, traditional supersize meals are no longer welcome and is replaced by healthy offerings. The list goes on and on with the changes McDonalds have implemented just to cater to the differing taste preference of its local market. These change is not only limited to McDonald’s food offerings but also extends to its suppliers. Along with the changing menu is also the change of suppliers to make such change in menu possible. These change in suppliers makes it patently un-McDonald because a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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