A Magical Marketing Formula

Okay, I can not believe that I am right back on this McDonald’s vs. Starbucks topic, but it will not go away!

While Starbucks is launching its new better-for-you breakfast menu with minimal fanfare and questionable success (there ain’t no lines outside the stores), McDonald’s is reporting global sales surges.

According to some reports, recent Olympic promotions have helped to boost the sales. But that is a bunch of nonsense. And as much as it pains me to say it, McDonald’s is just out-marketing Howard Schultz.

The special sauce: Yesterday I stopped at Starbucks for my noon grande wet cappuccino, then breezed by McDonald’s for a McChicken sandwich and a small fry. The former set me back $3.35… the latter cost me two bucks.

McDonald’s seems to understand what Starbucks is unwilling to acknowledge: in difficult economic times, high-priced coffee becomes a luxury for the average Joe (plenty of whom were buying their coffee at Starbucks).

Somebody needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.