Success Case Study: McDonald’s Japan – Investing in market research and modernization to revitalize business and woo back customers

McDonald's Japan had grown into the biggest quick-service restaurant in Japan by 2013. However, the company was hit by a series of food scandals in 2014 and 2015. McDonald's Japan made a strong comeback from the crisis in the following years through a more consumer-oriented approach.

Towards the end of 2014, McDonald's Japan was struck by a major food safety scandal, which attracted a huge public backlash and led to a steep decline in guest-count and sales revenues at restaurants. The company's management implemented a four-pronged business revitalization plan that was rooted in customer feedback. Subsequently, Japanese diners returned to McDonald's, with restaurants registering a strong turnaround in guest-count and sales.


– McDonald's management invested in market research, sourcing feedback from diners and restaurant staff to refine its operations and bridge the gap in customer expectations.

– Restaurants raised their quality and safety standards, and took steps to communicate the same to diners in order to restore customer confidence in the McDonald’s brand.

– The company adapted its restaurant menu to suit local tastes and budgets.

– McDonald’s launched a digital marketing campaign including a successful promotion based on the Pokémon Go video game, and modernized its restaurants with digital technologies to attract tech-savvy Japanese consumers.

Reasons to buy

– Reduce the risk of failure by learning from brands/products that have under-performed: failed innovation can severely impact profit and reputation.

– Understand the relevant consumer trends and attitudes that drive and support innovation success so you can tap into what is really impacting the industry.

– Gain a broader appreciation of the fast-moving consumer goods industry by gaining insights from both within and outside of your sector.

– Access valuable strategic take-outs to help direct future decision-making and inform new product development.

Companies mentioned

McDonald's Holdings Company Limited

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. What?

3. Why?

4. Take-Outs

5. Appendix


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