Showing posts with label McDonald's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label McDonald's. Show all posts

Friday, November 21, 2008

Global Brands Make the First Impression

I felt the global nature of Prague first, before I felt the Czech nature of Prague. There is so much that is familiar here, especially the brands. My TV set is Daewood. The Kleenex is Kleenex. The laundry soap I'm using is Tide.

Even the “international brands” are familiar. It’s as if the “international aisle” in an American grocery store had just been expanded to many more aisles.

It really struck me when I got over here and saw all of these familiar names what an accomplishment it is to have your product for sale all over the world and to dominate one's global niche so completely. Even in the grocery store, the song the store is playing is about a guy’s girl named Delilah. The exact same song is playing back in America.

One of the upsides of familiar brands is that one is supposed to know what to expect at each encounter no matter where it happens. Right? No surprises. Take McDonald’s, for instance. I know there will be Big Macs for sale in America, coast-to-coast, every time I go into a local store. I also know there will probably be a Playland and a bathroom I’m welcome to use.

Not so in the Czech Republic! McDonald’s charges Czechs to go to the bathroom! So some poor Czech mom, juggling two rowdy children, has to dig out the coins to give her kids a bathroom break.

McDonald’s, say it ain’t so! When I ask Czechs what represents American culture to them, they always cite McDonald’s. So, McDonald’s global headquarters in Oakbrook, Illinois, you’re representing our entire nation! Please quit charging the Czechs and let them go to the bathroom for free.

Besides, I want my own experience of your brand to be the same globally as it coast-to-coast. Free the bathrooms! I respectfully ask -- is this the sense of hospitality that got you where you are today?
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