Positioning of McDonald’s | STP Analysis of McDonald’s

Brand Positioning of McDonald’s

Understanding the Segmentation, Targetting and Positioning of McDonald’s


McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with a presence in over 35,000 locations and serving over 70 million customers in over 100 countries every day.

Known for its delicious hamburgers, McDonald’s also offers different types of chicken and beef sandwiches, French fries, breakfast items etc. McDonald’s modify its menu and offerings basis the region they are operating in, so as to suit the regional customers taste and needs.

Eg: In India, McDonald’s does not serve beef products and lay equal emphasis in promoting their non-veg (chicken) burgers and Veg burgers.  In USA, McDonald’s is famous for its Beef burgers.

In this article, we will talk about the Positioning of McDonald’s and how it segments and targets the market and then position itself differently for each market segment.

positioning of McDonald’s

Segmentation :

Market segmentation is the process of dividing up mass markets into different groups of similar needs and wants. The motive behind segmentation is  Get to know the customer in a much more detailed manner, gain a competitive advantage and be able to serve the customers’ needs and wants in a better way. 

McDonald’s uses different types of segmentation to break a bigger market into small customer groups.

1.  Geographic Segmentation: 

Geographic segmentation divides markets according to geographic criteria. McDonald’s breaks its business into different geographical segments like

  1. America
  2. Europe
  3. Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa
  4. Other Countries ( like Canada, Latin America)

Basis their geographic segmentation, McDonald’s optimizes its Menu and food offerings to suit the regional tastes and needs.

McAloo Tikki and McVeggie are available in India

Bacon Smokehouse Burger and Quarter pounder (beef) burger are available in the USA

McArabia Chicken and Beef Burger are available in Arabian countries.

2.  Demographic Segmentation

Segmentation according to demography is based on consumer- demographic variables such as age, income, family size, socio-economic status, etc.

McDonald’s mainly segments the market in below demographies:

1.  Children: McDonald’s offer a lot of goodies, toys, happy meals etc to attract this younger segment audience.

2. Young Adults (Age group between 18-29): Without much thinking, this segment is the main source of income for any business, let alone McDonald’s. This market segment may be having a disposable income which is lower than the average, their consumption patterns are far much more than old the other market segments.

3. Adults: The third segment is the adults’ segment, in order to target this segment, McDonald’s tweaked its menu and made its offering less in calories and healthy.



After segmentation, the company needs to decide on the Targeting strategy. Companies need to select the market segments that they want to focus on and put in their future business strategy. The marketer faces a number of important decisions:

  • What criteria should be used to evaluate markets?
  • How many markets to enter (one, two or more)?
  • Which market segments are the most valuable?

Below are three factors that are essential for evaluating a potential market segment.

  • Segment size and growth
  • Segment structural attractiveness
  • Company objectives and resources.

Above mentioned are the few potential market segments that McDonald’s chooses to target for driving their business strategy, sales and marketing activities.



Positioning is the final step in the S-T-P planning approach; Segmentation→ Targeting → Positioning; a core framework for developing marketing plans and setting objectives

On finalizing the market segments that the company wants to target, the marketer’s next step is to design a marketing program (also known as the marketing mix) that will resonate with the target market or markets.

In-depth knowledge of the key market segment’s like their buying behaviour, their likes, spending patterns, purchase drivers, media habits, etc are required before devising the marketing strategy or programs.

Developing customers personas is one step that marketers follow while creating profiles for customers in their target market segments.

Read more about what is customer persona and how to build it.

Positioning refers to decisions about how to present the offer in a way that resonates with the target market.

In order to position it’s products correctly in the target markets, McDonald’s uses segment insights or information about the consumer behaviour that are developed through market research.

The insights focus on the values, needs and lifestyle of each segment.

Using these insights, McDonald’s create a positioning profile for every product and then the creative team uses these profiles to create ads targetted to relevant segments as well as to the general population.

This concludes the positioning of McDonald’s

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