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McDonald’s Tries Branding Itself Simply as “M”

Filed under Design/Decor, Global Burgers, LTO, Marketing, Menu, Pricing, QSR Burgers

Here, some call it “Mickey D’s” or just “McD’s.” In Australia it’s “Macca’s” and in France it’s commonly “McDo.” But McDonald’s lately is choosing to position itself simply and stylishly as “M,” branding itself with a single letter that mimics its Golden Arches logo.mcd_best
The latest incarnation of the “M” persona is a new “Best of M” menu introduced this week at McDonald’s across Austria. This follows the “M Selections by McDonald’s” menu (including its Angus burgers) added last year in Australia and New Zealand and upscale “Le M” burger in France and “Der M” burger in Germany.

Steakhouse Classic

Steakhouse Classic

The Austrian menu promises a new tandem of burger and chicken sandwich each month over the next three months. Added this week were the Steakhouse Classic burger (two patties, two cheese slices, bacon, lettuce, red onion and “grillsauce”) and the Chicken Sensation (chicken patty, tomato, lettuce and honey-mustard sauce).

On March 31, these will be replaced by the Beef Supreme burger (a single patty with Cheddar cheese) and the CBO (chicken, bacon and onion). They’ll be offered until April 28, when the menu switches to the Roadhouse Classic burger (another double-patty burger with lettuce, red onion, bacon, Cheddar and pepper sauce) and Country Cordon Bleu (crispy chicken stuffed with turkey bacon and cheese). Available at all times during the three-month promotion are deep-fried shrimp with chili sauce and curly fries with sour-cream dip.

McDonald’s has used the Chicken Sensation and CBO in the past as LTOs on other European menus (the CBO recently appeared in the UK), but the burgers and other chicken sandwiches-especially the stuffed Country Cordon Bleu-are new.

With these “M” initiatives, McDonald’s isn’t trying to distance itself from its name and brand personality, as Starbucks did in opening 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea in Seattle last year. Rather, the “M” appears to be more a manifestation of the sophistication in menu and décor that McDonald’s has adopted in Europe and that it no doubt would like to do here at some point in the future.

Europe was a standout for McDonald’s in 2009, with same-store sales for the region up 5.2%, twice the 2.6% increase for the United States. But the UK, France and Russia accounted for much of that gain and the chain is trying to recharge sales in Germany, Austria and other markets.

One Response to McDonald’s Tries Branding Itself Simply as “M”

  1. Tobias

    If this rebrand hadn’t been coupled with ‘the sophistication’ that McDonalds have adopted over the past year or so, then I’d probably be criticising it! However due to the successes of the rebrand as a whole, how can anyone doubt this latest strategy?