With aggressive growth intended for its market in China, McDonald's launched the seventh Hamburger University in China in order to develop local talent into future leaders to take on the challenge of rapid expansion. That commitment to provide the best-in-class training and career development opportunities to their employees is reflected in the University's tagline “Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow”. Using this tagline and a combination of multiple, complimentary communication strategies geared at brand awareness, the Hamburger University in China hoped to attract high performance learning professionals to work there, as well as to engage employees in China to embrace learning as an integral part of McDonald's culture.
|Challenge||Expanding rapidly in a new market while maintaining a consistent brand experience.|
|Solution||Use the branding of the corporate university to drive awareness and alignment|
|Results||Growth and consistency metrics met, 18 months in.|
|12th Annual Learning Excellence and Innovation Award||Exemplary Practice: Branding|
Members of CorpU can watch the presentation and read more detail about these award-winning efforts.
Is it possible to open 333 restaurants per year and be successful?
McDonald's thinks so.
Over the past 19 years, McDonald's has opened 1,000 restaurants in the China market. That comes to an average of approximately 53 restaurants a year, or 4 restaurants a month. That is tremendous growth in and of itself, but McDonald's China Company Limited has new plans to open 1,000 more profitable restaurants in just 3 years, which — to put it into perspective — would be an average of 333 new restaurants a year, or 28 restaurants a month. That is a daunting goal, and McDonald's knew they had to establish strong leadership strength in China — fast — in order to achieve it. So, after some initial planning, in March 2010 they decided the best way to achieve these outcomes would be to launch another of its famous McDonald's Hamburger University (HU) in China.
However, launching a new HU in another country does not automatically mean that people will flock to it. Significant efforts had to be made to bring awareness of the University and its services to current and prospective employees of McDonald's. Having launched several learning organizations in the past, McDonald's knew just what needed to be done, and the following list includes a few of their key brand-awareness strategies:
With a vision of being the world's best Training Institute in service training and leadership development, McDonald's knows that it needs not only a strong global brand, but also a strong local brand. With these brand awareness strategies, McDonald's has attracted both the personnel and the employee participation necessary to be well on their way to success a year and a half into the aggressive China market growth plan.
McDonald's was awarded the Exemplary Practice award by Corporate University Xchange in the Branding category at the Corporate University Xchange Learning Excellence and Innovation Awards Program in May of 2011. Below you can view a poster panel session from the CorpU 2011 Global Leadership Congress led by Faith Krebs, Senior Director in charge of Learning and Development with McDonald's Corporation. In this presentation, the efforts described above are explained in more detail.
Video: 2011 GLC Poster Panel Presentation by Faith Krebs, McDonald's, Senior Director, Worldwide Training, Learning & Development
This article supports the CorpU 12 Dimensions of Learning Excellence - Organize (Branding).
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