Forbruger-brand relationer til McDonald’s i et postmoderne samfund

Jonas Vigger Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Sociologists like Ronald Inglehart believe that some early industrialised societies are now moving into a new and very different type of society - the so-called postmodern societies. This paper theoretically arguments that societies are becoming postmodern, creating a new consumer behaviour based on postmodern values. Consumer identity is to a large degree being shaped through reflexive consumption and only those brands that contribute with postmodern cultural meaning can be successful in a postmodern society. Companies therefore feel a need to adapt their brand strategy to a postmodern mindset if they want to keep pace with this rapidly growing segment. McDonald’s is generally known as a company with a very modern set of values, why there seems to be a lack of correspondence (conflict) between the values that McDonald’s represents and the values of the postmodern consumer. In this context it is relevant to analyze the consumer-brand relation between Danish postmodern consumers and McDonald’s in Denmark in order to find out whether the company could benefit from integrating postmodern values to their brand strategy. By analyzing the meaning the organization behind the brand and institutions are embedding in the brand it has been possible to see to what extent postmodern consumers find meaning in McDonald’s. This was done by first analyzing what values postmodern consumers associate with McDonald’s way of doing marketing and then by analyzing the meaning several institutions as mass media and science were transferring into McDonald’s brand. The analysis demonstrated that postmodern consumers attach strong modern values to the brand which involve an understanding of a company that prioritize economic profits higher than people’s welfare. This also implies a perception of a brand that carries values associated with cultural imperialism and capitalism. The consumer-brand congruence is characterized as low why postmodern consumers don’t find McDonald’s to be a meaningful brand in their identity construction process. However, McDonald’s has started to implement postmodern initiatives through a new visual green and white brand image and a healthier product range. But it doesn’t seem to be enough to convince the critical postmodern consumer. This conclusion is supported by measurements of brand strength placing McDonald’s at the bottom of the list. McDonald’s therefore needs a new brand strategy which integrates postmodern values. This paper provides a suggestion for a new strategy based on five core areas where the company should integrate postmodern values in order to become a meaningful brand for postmodern consumers. These five areas consist more specifically of acting local, a higher degree of transparency and honesty in all what they do, a healthier and more ecological product range and finally consistently demonstrate that they are not capitalists. This strategy should be implemented first and foremost by changing how they do business in respect to the above mentioned areas, but also through co-branding using brands where the sought cultural meaning already is resided.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages100