Fast food: from America to the UK and back again?

McDonald’s is the definitive icon of fast food around the world, and having started in the 1950s and maintained this image for so long, there is no sign of it changing any time soon. However, there have been many subtle changes in its branding over the years, and this has only been made possible through its different methods of developing in different countries.

The iconic yellow M logo may remain the same in every country around the world, but there isn’t much else that’s set in stone for McDonalds’ branding. In Asia and Europe especially the incarnations of the brand are quite different to the famous imagery we see from America, and this is due to the company recognising the need to adapt to each very different market it has entered.

For example, across the UK and Europe the branding moved away from the yellow and red colour scheme many years ago, and the more neutral colours alongside an ongoing advertising campaign focused on authentic ingredients has helped enforce the idea that McDonald’s isn’t so unhealthy after all. Since countries like the UK are especially health conscious compared to Americans this change was necessary early on, and although people are under no delusion that fast food is exactly healthy, the brand’s image as a provider of fatty snacks has certainly softened.

In America, there have been examples over the past couple of years of this branding style making its way back across the pond. However, not only does the classic image of the fast food chain arguably need a long overdue makeover, but there is a business trend being incorporated too. Across the world McDonald’s has been improving its customer service with technology, adding touch screen menus that allow people to order and pay for their food without having to wait for service. American restaurants are gradually getting this technology installed along with the ability to customise your own burger from scratch, a new venture that could eventually revolutionise the way McDonald’s works.

We think this case study is a great example of how something can start off in one country and be influenced by progress elsewhere. Particularly the US and the UK are famous for helping each other make progress and this is what we like to see!

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