Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Five branding lessons Ray Kroc teaches us about creating McDonald’s Corp




 Contrary to popular belief, McDonalds Corporations wasn’t founded by somebody named McDonald, rather it was founded by a guy who did not have an ‘M’ anywhere in his name.

Richard and Maurice McDonald, the namesake behind McDonald’s chain of restaurants, are credited to the invention of a revolutionary kitchen management system called “speedy-service system” and creation the “Golden Arches” that still defines the brand today.

However, a nice emblem and an invention, no matter how revolutionary, doesn’t make for a brand. Creating a brand requires a lot more persistence than most designers and investors can deliver. It takes the zeal and perseverance of Ray Kroc, a milkshake maker salesman, who knew what the brand is capable of the first time he encountered it.

What your brand is called, matters

“It feels so good to pronounce it, it must be serving the best burger in the town” is what people think whenever the name McDonald’s resounds in their head.

I mean Kroc knew how McDonald’s operates, their kitchen assembly lines, their recipes, and everything in between. He could have easily imitated the model under a new brand and would be a success anyway. But he did not. He couldn’t come up with a name that sounded to him better than McDonald’s did. Kroc’s was, obviously, out of question for a restaurant.

Concisely, it was the name that touched him when he first heard one of the brothers saying it. He was delivering an order of milkshake makers the brothers and immediately fell in love with the name. He left his job and stroke a deal to be their agent. The rest is history.

Persistence is the key, you just can’t lose

McDonald’s is not an overnight success story that many make us believe. Kroc mortgaged his home to pay the debts when every bank manager in the city refused him a loan. But that did not stop. In fact, it made him enter the business of real estate. He started a real estate company that was outside purview of his contract with the brother.

Former McDonald’s CFO, Harry J. Sonneborn, is even quoted as saying, “we are not technically in the food business. We are in the real estate business. The only reason we sell fifteen-cent hamburgers is because they are the greatest producer of revenue, from which our tenants can pay us our rent.”

You can’t make it alone, watch your back though

When the McDonald brothers finally agreed to franchise the fast food joint, it was natural of Ray to persuade his wealthy friends to invest in. But that did not turn out quite that well. Being filthy rich, they weren’t quite interested in day-to-day management of the joint until and unless they were making money.

This ignorance led many McDonald’s in a state of utter chaos. Some were even selling fried chicken, and wraps against the franchise agreement.

Kroc soon realized that he need franchisees that actually need the money McDonalds is willing to make them earn. So he started giving loans to hardworking people who have a family to raise, would take franchising McDonald’s as an opportunity of a life time and would be more obliging towards the agreement terms.

Quantity makes money; Quality makes brand

When Kroc opened the first franchisee under McDonald’s Corporation in Illinois, he made sure the fast food delivery system isn’t hampering with the quality of food being delivered.

However, he can’t be there at every store checking their quality. So, he created a cookbook that every franchisee must abide to. The cookbook included precisely, step-by-step how to prepare the servings in minimum time without deviating from its taste.

He fixed the suppliers in each region so that the taste remains consistent everywhere. He made surprise visit to joints around the country and penalized whosoever was in disregard.

He created the supply chain solution of the future

Expansion is not a form of deviation, stick to the vision

No matter where you’re, Detroit or London, Shanghai or Tokyo, McDonald’s looks the same, works the same, tastes the same and serves the same.

It was Ray Kroc’s idea of brands and to this day not only McDonalds but most franchisees around stick to this model. All KFCs, Burger Kings, or Subways around the world are actually a part of a legacy created by the founder “Ray Kroc”.

Had it not for him, McDonalds wouldn’t have been an international phenomenon it is today, but a group of a small-time fast food restaurants confined to a few American states. You may hate him or love him, but it is him who made McDonald’s the most sought-after burger joint in the world.


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Advertisement
  • Advertisement
  • Blog Entries

  • Similar Content

    • By william.equal
      Hey, I just finished a new episode of "Game Audio Lookout"! This time it's about musical sound effects in the Super Mario series. Here's the link to the video on YouTube:
      Musical Sound Effects in the Super Mario Series | Game Audio Lookout
      We’ll have a deeper look at musical sound effects in the Super Mario series in this episode of "Game Audio Lookout".
      I guess everybody has heard the sounds of the Super Mario series before. But I believe most of us don’t exactly know how these were constructed and what efforts were taken in later instalments of the series to produce sound effects that even harmonise with the game’s music.
      Feel free to let me know what you think
    • By OConquestGame
      Hello there!
      I’m the creator and producer of an upcoming visual novel / video game. 
      My team and I are looking for artists (character and background), writers (experienced in writing relatable characters and witty dialogue), and programmers (familiar with unity and creating mini games). 
      Our team is a group of close friends looking to break the mold of the traditional visual novel and create something new and positive. This game will be highly promoted and be a great portfolio piece. Rates are negotiable!
      If you are interested please contact/message us today! OConQuestGame@gmail.com
    • By Gafami
      Dear community,
      I would like inform you that "War IOM" v2 have been re-work graphics and added more feature to serve user experience.
      Here is my banner screenshot: 

      You can access to the website and play it directly on your phone (Chrome mobile, Safari iPhone, iPad) or your Laptop
      Link to play: https://www.iomgame.com/wariom/
      ++++ Game description: 
      The rule to win the game is very simple: buy the soldiers, defeat the enemy army and then destroys the flag. Try to use fireball to wipe out the enemy. 
      The game had the shop to buy new soldier, upgrade soldier and choose the team out. 
      Game data be stored on both user's device and server so never lost data again.
      ++++ Here is the look and feel of War IOM icon on your Home-screen phone

      Rumor: You can get double gem receive if you beat the mini boss at level 3. Also win level 3 will give you a lot of Gem, use it to buy new solider and upgrade your army!
      My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Iomgame-245553622715070/
      /******** Change log update 08/26 ********/
      -- Add new game play for level 6.

      -- Improve camera.
      -- Improve game performance.
      /******** Change log update 08/31 ********/
      -- Improve sound load time. No painful for waiting sound loading any more!
      /******** Change log update 19/09 ********/
      -- Add level 7 with new game play.
    • By Gas Lantern Games

      I have spent the last year and a half developing a game in my spare time in Unity! I am releasing it soon on Steam. Ant Empire is a strategic remake of some older games. It is influenced by games such as Ant Empire and Civilization.

      I am currently doing a kickstarter to help fund an AI before launch.

      I have attached some images (tried some gifs but they were too large) to show the current stage of Ant Empire, which is nearly completed.

    • By MarkNefedov
      So, initially I was planning to create a base class, and some inherited classes like weapon/armour/etc, and each class will have an enum that specifies its type, and everything was going ok until I hit "usable items".
      I ended up with creating UsableItem class, and tons of inherited classes, like Drink/Apple/SuperApple/MagickPotato/Potion/Landmine/(whatever that player can use) each with unique behaviour. I planned to store items in the SQLite database, but I discovered that there are not many ways of creating variables(pointers) with type determined at runtime (that preferably get their stats/model/icon/etc from DB). So, I think that I need to use some variation of the Factory pattern, but I have no idea how I should implement it for this particular case (giant switch/case 😂 ).
      It would be really nice if you guys can give me some advice on how I should manage this kind of problem or maybe how I should redesign the inventory.
      Inventory storage is an array of pointers. I'm working with CryEngine V, so RTTI can't be used.
      Example code:
      namespace Inventory { enum ItemType { Static, Building, Usable, Weapon, Armour }; class InventoryItem { public: virtual ~InventoryItem() = default; virtual ItemType GetType() = 0; virtual string GetName() = 0; virtual string GetIcon() = 0; virtual void Destroy() { //TODO: Notify inventory storage delete this; } }; class UsableItem : public InventoryItem { public: struct Usage { int Index; string Use_Name; }; virtual CryMT::vector<Usage> GetUsages() = 0; virtual void UseItem(int usage) = 0; }; class TestItem : public UsableItem { int Counter =0; ItemType GetType() override { return ItemType::Usable; } string GetName() override { return "TestItem"; } string GetIcon() override { return "NULL"; } CryMT::vector<Usage> GetUsages() override { CryMT::vector<Usage> Usages; Usages.push_back(Usage{1, "Dec"}); Usages.push_back(Usage{2,"Inc"}); Usages.push_back(Usage{3,"Show"}); return Usages; } void UseItem(int usage) override { CryMT::vector<Usage> uses = GetUsages(); switch (usage) { case 0: for (int i =0; i<uses.size(); i++) { CryLog(uses[i].Use_Name); } break; case 1: Counter--; CryLog("Dec"); CryLog("%d", Counter); break; case 2: Counter++; CryLog("Inc"); CryLog("%d", Counter); break; case 3: CryLog("%d", Counter); break; default: CryLog("WRONG INDEX"); break; } } }; }  

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!