Design is global. How does this affect the development and marketing of a product or brand?

There are a lot of successful bands all over the world in different field. According to Olins (2003, pp. 17), “Disney, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nike use powerful, all-inclusive emotions to target a worldwide audience”. Taking McDonald’s as an example, this essay will discuss how does the company became one of the world best recognized fast food brand. Moreover, it will discuss what changes have McDonald’s make to let those countries which do not considered burgers as first choice start to accept them.

McDonald’s is one of the biggest fast food companies in the world, it can be called as the global leading brand that everyone recognized and respected. There are more than 30,000 restaurants over 100 countries on six continents. McDonald has the name itself “Mc” prefix, using the yellow and red colours, with the arches of the M shape to gives strong first impression to let people easily remember their brand image. They are not only selling the food to their customer but a concept of happiness and they like to make connection with their customer. To suit the eating habit and local culture for the people in different countries, McDonald’s is willing to change their menu, ingredients and also the flavor of sauce used in their hamburgers. There are several good examples, in East Asia, rice has always been the staple food and first choice of every meal. In Taiwan, McDonald’s creates a new product that combined the characteristic of hamburger and rice, using the best rice from the local market to replace burger buns and change burger to soy sauce stir-fried beef. This innovative food product is successfully selling to Taiwanese consumers. The reason why this rice hamburger can be popular in Taiwan is that most of the older generation does not eat fast food, so when they walk in with their grandson, they do not know what to choose for the meal but now they have different option in McDonald’s.



McDonald’s have been so successful because they have a changeable menu. Not only selling their original product, such as big Mac, cheeseburger, but also includes different types of product all over the world. McDonald’s have respected that different countries have their own unique culture and different eating habits; they are welling to change the recipe for every countries that have McDonald’s. Based on the McDonald’s official website, it says that” We try to adapt our menu to reflect different tastes and local traditions for every country in which we have restaurants. We’re keen to respect cultural differences and so every country has its own policy of developing menu items.” However, there are some products that are always selling in their store such as Big Mac. The purpose of maintaining offering this kind of typical American food in every country is to keep their brand personality and in some way, may have chance to influence others eating culture.




Olins,W.(2003) Wally Olins on Brand. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.

Olins,W. The Brand Handbook. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.. P17.

McDonald’s. (2013). Why is the McDonald’s menu different in different countries?. Available: [Accessed 07/12/14]

Watson, J. L. (1997). Golden arches east: McDonald’s in East Asia. Stanford University Press.

Figer 1 Business weekly (2012) McDonald’s. Available from: [Accessed 7/12/14]


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