The leading quick-service restaurant in the world is McDonald’s. Its most iconic brand element is the Golden Arches. This iconic logo is distinguishable amongst all other QSRs and even brands from other industries. On those logo games from the App store that ask you to identify the logo’s, McDonald’s Golden Arches is always the easiest. McDonald’s revamped their visual identity in 2018 and featured new approaches to their Golden Arches to match new trends in minimalism.
The thing about McDonald’s is all of their brand elements are iconic. The logo is just one part. Their tagline is also one of the world’s most famous: I’m lovin’ it. This simple slogan is also a universal truth about the fast food franchise: everyone loves at least one thing from McDonald’s. All Americans grew up with a McDonald’s near them and have special memories there. Whether it’s a trip to the restaurant after a game from a youth soccer league or a random after school treat when your parents had a little extra cash, McDonald’s was always something special. It’s a family restaurant where everyone feels comfortable and happy. That’s another unofficial brand element: the customer experience that ties directly to the visual elements of the brand. Consumers see the Arches or the tagline and they’re immediately transported to happier times. Brand elements are most effective when a customer believes it. McDonald’s consumers have a reason to believe “I’m lovin’ it” and that’s why the line sticks.
And let’s not forget about the iconic McDonald’s characters from the 90s and early 2000s: Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar. Although not many brands now adopt a character, these worked so well in the 90s because it appealed to many kids. Chances are that most parents conceded and took their kids to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal out of a guilt. These characters were so effective because they targeted parents and their kids were able to convince them to visit a McDonald’s. The United States doesn’t allow direct advertising to children under the age of 13, but these ads do pop up on kid’s channels and they tell their parents they want some World-Famous Fries. They get away with it by showing kids with parents.
And younger generations still continue to be an influential factor for quick-service restaurant industry, but McDonald’s isn’t capitalizing on it like before. Read more about why Generation Z is one of McDonald’s biggest potential target segments.