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This was the state of affairs leading up to end of 2002. McDonald’s was a brand in trouble. The brand had slipped and was mired in mediocrity. McDonald’s leaders had fallen into the trap of believing that merely being bigger was enough rather than becoming bigger by being better. They believed that more of the same would continue to bring fortune and fame. They believed in a world that no longer existed and in customers who would never change. In 2002, McDonald’s was a big brand, but it was tarnished. It was familiar, but it had lost relevance, differentiation, and authority. McDonald’s was a brand ripe for revitalization.

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