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03/2019The LINK Institute has successfully supported McDonald’s Suisse in optimising their range

The situation: To ensure they are addressing customer requirements as broadly as possible, McDonald’s Suisse has consistently extended their range over the years. At the same time, the constant expansion of what they offer has increased the complexity of product manufacturing. The LINK Institute was commissioned to undertake a representative customer survey to look at achieving a trade-off between the size of the product range and the rising costs of guaranteeing quality for the customer. The aim of the study was to effectively optimise the portfolio in the long term in such a way as to meet diverse customer wishes, but without jeopardising sales and ultimately revenue. Critically important questions to accompany this concerned a general evaluation and acceptance of the products, but above all, also the degree of substitution by other products from the range, if a product were no longer to be offered.

Our research solution: For the optimisation of the product range, the LINK Institute deployed a wide and sophisticated mix of methodologies for McDonald’s Suisse, consisting of the causal analytic identification of success drivers (visit and consumption motivation), implicit brand and product evaluation (unconscious-spontaneous preference) as well as a discrete choice experiment (demand simulation with the reduced product range). This qualified mix of methodologies ensured on the one hand, an extensive customer perspective based on modern insights and methods of behaviour and neuro-economics. On the other hand, this approach served to identify a sound indicator for each product along evidence-orientated lines, which reflects the value from a customer perspective.

The result: Besides general insights for targeted customer communication, the marketing management of McDonald’s Suisse received an internal product evaluation comparison for a focused portfolio. McDonald’s Suisse was able to undertake a successful reduction in products and stabilise demand at the same time via evaluation of the portfolio performance, the identification of impact and relevance, as well as the substitution simulation. Following a test phase, McDonald’s Suisse rolled out the focused portfolio to all Swiss branches, in order to be able to better serve their customers by preparing products of the best quality.