Beware ye fellow doubters and conspiracy theorists. I gotta call it as I see it. And I am talking about a McDonald’s “experience” that moms across the country might approve of. Hard-working moms, discerning moms, cash-strapped moms. And teens, tweens, dads, uncles and aunts too. While I’m not suggesting it’s fit for date night, it was an eye-opener for this semi-jaded consumer and brand consultant.
Last week, I took the boys to a pumpkin patch east of Portland, stopping at Mickey D’s for fries and a bathroom break before hustling to sister’s soccer game. Hah! The 5 min intended visit morphed into 25 min of complete joy for the boys while, in truth, I didn’t want to leave so quickly either. The visual impact of a thoughtful, good-looking restaurant made me rethink (or at least forget about) what is really important to this mammoth capitalist machine.
But don’t overlook the power of overt and nuanced design to shift perceptions of quality and value.
See what I see?
- varied seating zones with nooks and crannies to fit most every personal style / group size
- four walls brand storytelling that manages to be both modern and nostalgic (if overblown — “classic gourmet everyday”)
- smart placement of digital media (see my boys glued to ski-jump games while munching on “gourmet fries”)
- sweet looking beverage station with nice nod to a local favorite (the mighty salmon)
- divider glass providing sound and sight separation from the more chaotic order area
Well done, you big corporate beast. Experiments like this may change the playing field for everyone, and for the better.