Four Marketing Lessons from McDonald’s

All companies, all brands, and all marketeers have blind spots.
Mcdonald’s started a new concept “all-day breakfast” which became a huge success.

We can learn 4 lessons from this success:

1) Efficiency Blindspot.

Mcdonald’s makes the fastest and cheapest burgers but in this zeal, they forgot what the customer wants.
“All Day Breakfast” provided an economical meal throughout the day which went well with customers.

Can we tweak our brand offering to take care of consumers’ new demands or wants?
We can still be super-efficient.

2) Category First Blindness

Companies box products into categories like health foods, snacks, low fat, etc.
Instead, products should be sold as per moments.
Like McDonald’s, all-day breakfast breaks the stereotype that you cannot have breakfast after 10.30 am. Even most of the hotels and restaurants close breakfast around 10 am.

If products are sold as per the moments, you will have products like after-dinner mints, protein bars after workouts, travel snacks, etc

3) Precedent Bias

This sentence has killed more than a million good innovative ideas.
You only have to say, “we have always done it this way “ and this ends the argument.

McDonald questioned the basic idea, “ Why breakfast should end at 10.30 ?”Most marketing departments have people with antiquated ideas and sub-optimal thinking, which does not allow new ideas to take shape.

A good marketeer has to question every assumption and disrupt the status quo.

4) Innovation is not about the product only.

We are not talking about better features, more variants, or new SKUs.
Innovation can take place in packaging, delivery methods, communication, or
telling a new story about the brand.
McDonald’s innovation was extending product usage.
PaperBoat came out with innovative packaging which gave customers a feeling that they were squeezing a fruit.
Indulekha hair oil came with an applicator which was the most desired thing by women using hair oil.

Innovation is seeing the same object with a different mindset.
As Yogi Berra said, “You can see a lot just by looking”.
To see new marketing ideas, you have to remove blind spots.

#neetibrandaccelerator #mcdonalds #innovation #marketing #success

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Hemant Mishrra

About the author: Hemant is the Founder & CEO of branding and marketing firm ”Neeti Brand Accelerator” in Mumbai. He is a brand strategist and has worked with more than 150 brands during last two decades. He is also mentor and coach to SMEs and startups. You can visit the website You can also contact him at

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