Back in 2003 McDonald’s was suffering from a lack of execution that was affecting its top and bottom lines. The CMO at the time was given credit for turning things around with the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign. As I noted in an earlier post, the ad campaign may have induced trial or retrial, but without improved execution, the campaign would have “bombed.”
Today it’s widely reported that MacDonald’s is having similar problems and it’s postulated by some that the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign may be on its way out. Perhaps because customers aren’t lovin’ it?
Expert opinions abound about what’s wrong this time. My opinion is that the same thing is wrong this time as last time: failure to deliver on the brand promise. Perhaps because they are trying to do too many things and no longer have an affinity with Millenials. (I noted also in an earlier post that focus matters.) Perhaps because corporate is disconnected from the franchisee? Maybe because the product is not as good as it needs to be? All of the above?
If they want to know, some bodies from corporate needs to get out of the headquarters and spend more time in stores. This problem did not happen overnight and a new branding campaign is not going to fix it. If you want to prevent this kind of crisis, get out more. And once it happens, you’d better get the troops out of the tower and into the trenches.
And how does a great company keep having the same problem anyway?