Repositioning: a case study of McDonald's New Zealand

Chang, Steven
Hyde, Kenneth
Parsons, Andrew
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Master of Business
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Auckland University of Technology

Repositioning is one of the strategic decisions commonly undertaken by today’s businesses. The purpose for businesses to reposition themselves is to close or minimise the gap between the firm’s offering and the demand from the customers. Repositioning is a continuous act which is implemented by organisations in order to adapt to the changing business environment. From 2003 onward, McDonald’s and its global franchisers have been undertaking changes in its menu toward the trend of being health orientated. The aim of this research was to examine whether Yakimova & Beverland’s (2005) model of brand updating ability explains the success of McDonald’s repositioning. Furthermore, this research examined McDonald’s repositioning based on the three elements (market orientation, brand-supportive dominant logic and generative learning) from Yakimova & Beverland’s (2005) brand updating model. This research applied the single case study research methodology. The secondary data was collected based on a number of business magazines, news articles and company reports. The primary data was collected from the senior member from the marketing team at McDonald’s New Zealand. Moreover, thematic analysis was applied when analysing the data. The findings of this research indicate the repositioning activities that have been undertaken by McDonald’s and its global franchisers demonstrated a linkage with market orientation and generative learning; McDonald’s has been continually gathering information from both customers and the market to maximise its performance. Nevertheless, the findings suggest McDonald’s only has a reasonable level of linkage with brand-supportive dominant logic. The findings suggest McDonald’s is less likely to implement brand improvement activity as an ongoing process. This research produces both theoretical and managerial implications. From a theoretical perspective, this research suggests that in order to acquire updating ability, it is important to focus equally on market orientation, brand-supportive dominant logic and generative learning. From managerial perspectives, managers should develop the brand orientated organisational culture within the company. The limitations of this research are a lack of primary data, over use of secondary data and a singular unit of analysis.

Case study research , Business strategy , Organizational culture , Marketing
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