TAKE A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE
“Try to remember the kind of September, when life was slow and oh, so mellow…” I have fond memories with this song, who sang by the late Patti Page as it reminds me the very first time I had my McDonald’s. Back in 2001, being able to have McDonald’s in a place where I grew up is just like you see diamonds through the walls Minecraft. The franchise is somewhat wider than the parliamentary and has sparked off a feeding frenzy in my town. I still can remember that familiar smell of double cheese hamburger, slowly penetrates into the air vents and fumigates my dad’s old Datsun. I welcome it into my nostrils, and soon after that, I started drooling. I was totally blown away by the flavors unraveling in my mouth.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CONSUMER BEHAVIOR AND MARKETING STRATEGY
‘Without a strong, recognizable brand name, a product is no more than a commodity, without advertising, there is no recognizable brand name.’ (Wright 2000, p. 89). Customer buying behavior relies heavily on awareness and recognition which attained from the advertisement. The advertisement is an effective means of communication which most of the ad contains a rhetorical element of sales, besides creating brand loyalty. Today, McDonald’s is one of the largest brand advertisers on Malaysia television. Promotional activities together with exceptional sales technique within the restaurant have a tactical role to play in getting the customer to return to the restaurants regularly.
Before a person makes the decision, a series of alternatives must be available. When a consumer has an option whether to buy or not to buy, a choice between brand A and brand B, or a choice of spending time with swimming or cooking, that consumer is in a position to finalize a decision. Customer choice depends on many aspects since human brain divided into two hemispheres which are on the left and right. It is essential for an advertisement to combine the rational element with emotional dimension in a brand proposition.
Four types of psychological factors affecting the consumer buying behavior are perception, motivation, learning, beliefs, and attitudes. Psychological factors play a significant role in determining buying decision. For example what kind of image the pound saver menu has shown or how the customer feels when they purchase it. In other words, the ad of the product must link with the realism of the consumer buying behavior. If the advertisement clicks with the customer’s emotion, then the chances of a positive result are high. Jill McDonalds, CMO of McDonald’s UK reveals the idea of ‘Black Box Model.’ is they wanted to be confident about what they are and what they stand for as McDonald’s have always been customer oriented. The messages that delivered by the company through advertisement is to make the consumer feel positive about their product besides building a brand image.
Perception is how you interpret the world around you and make sense of it in your brain. You do it through stimuli that affect your different thoughts which are sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Consumers bombarded with McDonald’s various types of marketing strategy such as the television, radio, magazines, and internet. User’s perception of it become heightened as it is popping up everywhere. In the case of selective attention, McDonald tries to attract customer’s attention by promoting new menu based on the festive season such as GCB Hamburger which only available on Chinese New Year and Hari Raya celebration. McDonald will retain the information based on customer’s needs and how well it matches with their values and beliefs. McDonald offered free drinks for the client to try in conjunction to promote their new line of coffees and cakes.
McDonald always strives to provide products which demanded by their loyal customers. McDonald always prioritizes on excellent customer service, product quality, hygienic and cleanliness in their restaurants. McDonald successfully launched New Chicken Legend Burger and fried chicken in competing with KFC for their best selling chicken bucket. The company also launched a broad range of healthy products such as organic milk, salads, and vegetarian burgers. The sales price of the McDonald’s product reflects the targeted customer’s decision to purchase the benefit which it related in pricing rationale to value, profit, and volume of the product. McDonald has always maintained their product quality when there is cutting cost to compete with another fast food chain.
The statistic shows that fast food is developing and expanding immensely. Hence, many people are consuming fast food and take it regularly either lunch or dinner and even breakfast. The nature of working force increased due to the rise in numbers of women employed, including international students and foreign workers have arisen. Thus, it leads to less time allocated in food preparation at home and indirectly made an enormous contribution to fast food industry.
The fast food is driven by multi-cultural people in Malaysia. Thus, McDonald makes an effort in promoting the different cultural promotional menu like The New Rio Burger Uniquely Brazilian in conjunction with Olympic games 2016. The idea of launching free internet service in the McDonald restaurants helps to get customers walk into the restaurant. The free wifi concept attracted students which helping them in saving money on the web indirectly. Consumers can make payments with hassle free via card payments which prove to be convenient and no minimum amount restriction. The fast-food trend takes away the concept of cooking in the house where people would not bother to dine in trains or buses as long it helps them to save time.
McDonald used the idea of sub-culture by diversifying few of the restaurants into ‘Halal’ restaurant to accommodate with Muslim customer. Considering the fact about the diverse number of different ethnic background, McDonald operates various events with a promotional item to attract the client. McDonald successfully marketed their products to their targeted customers and developed well-positioned great deals for a manageable group of target segments by offering the right product that meets the client’s expectation. McDonald’s customer profile is considerably diverse. Family comes with their children for a sweet treat; kid’s visits McDonald’s for seeking fun and young adults come for a value meal.
1.McDonald’s Corporation 2016, ‘I’m Lovin It’, Golden Arches Restaurant Sdn Bhd, retrieved 30 July 2016, < http://www.mcdonalds.com.my/company/history>
2.Iacobucci, D 2013, Marketing management student edition, 4th edn, Cengage Learning, South-Western, USA