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Where’s Ronald?

November 13, 2008


QP shopsMcDonalds, one of the most well known brands in the world is shedding its brand name for a suprising new type of marketing approach in Japan… No-Brand marketing. Across Tokoyo, McDonalds has opened up what they are calling Quarter Pounder stores, and not a golden arch in site. The stores have a minimalist decor of black and red, with generic packaging…and get this… a two item menu. You can chose between a quarter pounder or a double quarter pouder. WTF? Where are my fries and chocolate shake? What about the toy in my happy meal? What if I want to supersize? Where is lovable (and kinda creepy) Ronald?

The no-brand marketing effort is driven solely by viral tactics, a stark no-brand website, and an onine marketing campaign called “The Quarter Pounder Big Secret.” It’s written in Japanese so I really don’t know what it is saying… but I am intrigued. Can anyone translate?

Word on the street is that curious people are lining up to check out these shops.

Recently a number of companies have successfully pursued “No-Brand” strategies, examples include another Japanese company Muji, which means “No label, quality goods” in English. Although there is a distinct Muji brand, Muji products are not branded.  Another brand, closer to home, which is thought to follow a no-brand strategy is American Apparel – who uses the same minimalist no brand decor in their shops and on their products.

One has to wonder what Micky D’s objective is here…and if it will work. If so, will other brands follow the no-brand branding strategy? It seems to work for American Apparel, but they started from day one with a no-brand strategy. What will happen when McDonalds, the queen of branding (to the BK king), goes no-brand?

And what is the Quarter Pounder secret? Any ideas? They’ve caught my attention!



One Comment leave one →
  1. Crystal permalink*
    November 14, 2008 8:38 pm

    I wonder if it qualifies as no branding with a product brand as strong as Quarter Pounder? I’m intrigued by taking it back to the signature sandwich in a sandwich concept store … But they gotta have Coca Cola to wash it down at least. Very interesting.

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