Updated: Mar 3, 2020
FUN FACT: My favorite thing to do is to travel to cities all over the world and understand the culture of what makes people buy.
My most recent trip to Guatemala City bettered my vision on horizontal segmentation. Businesses right now try to figure out how to save money. McDonald's has figured out a way to make MORE MONEY for their brand.
Notice the marketing on the roof of the McCafe Bistro in the downtown Oakland Mall. For the people looking down and consider this as a choice for their needs. This stand is for people who want to buy a salad and/or coffee.
This is an idea that started in Australia but has yet to make it to the United States. Imagine a bunch of McCafe stands all around the US. Coffee is a multi-billion dollar industry. "But why? Starbucks has the best coffee beans there is that's why it's so expensive", you say.
There is no hierarchy in the food and beverage industry in sum. You may, however, create the hierarchy in your own mind. And guess what, you are right. On the contrary, not everybody wants a $5 coffee from Starbucks. Maybe the best coffee, is the 99 cents from a McCafe. That $5 you pay is not for the taste of the "best coffee" that $5 is for the Starbucks experience - free wifi, cozy atmosphere, personalized cups (writing your name on your cup). I personally like my local coffee shops the best - keeping the money in the city...
These marketing geniuses in Guatemala put a stand in the stores so you can buy your own coffee beans and drink it later. Every time you make a coffee at home you are forced to subconsciously see the McCafe logo every time you open the bag - reinforcing the brand. You may even drink it in your McCafe coffee cup for double reinforcement.
And when coffee isn't what you are craving, guess what?
They have dessert stands...
I have to note they didn't brand these as well as the McCafe. In Spanish, Postres is dessert and Helados is ice cream. They had a couple of these stands in downtown where people can go to get an ice cream dessert. Imagine these being right next to the McCafe (to save on building costs). The only difference is, as the marketing exec, I would change the branding of the name the McFlurry and make certain that every dessert McDonald's sells is available at these stands. Including ice cream, mcflurry, shakes, and every single pie imaginable.
I personally, have not been to McDonald's since the first time I went to college. Solely a preference from being a professional athlete. If McDonald's puts the McCafe and the McFlurry's all around the US - I'd be forced to go. Sometimes you want something sweet, or need a boost of the mind.
And if they change every drive thru sign to this - I'm sold that McDonald's is going to be here forever. I have no idea what Auto Mac means, but I love it. It reinforces the brand. I bet with this store particularly sells more fries than the stores without the fry box. Auto is car in Spanish, but it also slightly feels like a play on Automatic, and reinforces the brand. Automatically order some fries in your Auto for your best "MacDonald's" experience.
I loved what I saw from McDonald's in Guatemala City. I'll be following this post with ideas to resurrect the struggling economy in Guatemala City.
Marketing lesson: Horizontal Segmentation is where effective ideas will generate more revenue for your company.