As humans are realizing how much junk food affects their health and rejects fast food restaurant, McDonald’s is trying to revamp its image. First, McDonald’s introduced salads to its menu, then there were McCafes and now they have a futuristic menu, fit with a futuristic environment in their Hong Kong franchise. I’m sure that you have even seen some slight changes in your very own local McDonald’s – some items are bumped off the menu and a more modern looking seating area, maybe the play area for children has even been removed.
The golden arches of McDonald’s are iconic, a symbol of America. They are even a strong part of the collective conscious around the world. Remember the long lines of people waiting for the first McDonald’s to open in Moscow in the 90s? The golden arches stand for fun, families and friendship. There are memories for every person connected to a McDonald’s and creating a new menu or restaurant will be hard to adjust to. I can remember the very first time that I went to McDonald’s as well as stopping there for breakfast during road trips, hanging out there late at night after a movie with my friends and even now, stopping in when I just can’t get a McFlurry off of my mind. Does McDonald’s simply have too much baggage to change?
There is no question that the pressure to change is very strong. However, the reinvention of such a large and iconic brand seems unimaginable. If McDonald’s does decide to change it’s brand on a worldwide scale, it would need to be significant changes to really make people think of McDonald’s as more of a healthy option rather than standing for fat and bad diets. One thing that I think that McDonald’s should hold onto are the colors and form of the golden arches. However, everything else will need to change from the original or else people will only think of the original.
Rejuvenating a brand is quite the balancing act. Knowing what to keep and what to let go of is a very important design challenge as well as understand how the implications will be perceived by old and new customers. What will McDonald’s decide to do in the future? We will have to wait and see. Would you be sad to see the iconic brand significantly change or are you in support of them embracing a healthier menu and updated atmosphere?