It’s Not Your Secret Catering Recipes, It’s Your Branding

I recently stumbled across a YouTube video that completely reinforced everything I have ever learned about overall company branding. And here’s the strange part – the video was made in a kitchen by the Executive Chef at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s is giving away the recipe for their secret Big Mac sauce. Won’t that make them vulnerable to competitors? The answer is absolutely not. They understand that it’s more than just a single sauce recipe that makes up their company. It’s the overall McDonald’s brand.

Everybody knows the golden arches, the happy meals, the mascot himself – Mr. Ronald McDonald, the play areas, and the low prices. The Baby Boomers might recall the original jingle; “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”!

They are consistent in everything they do, say, build, and introduce. Their “Plan to Win” includes – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. They have also been innovative over the years with launching new products such as fresh salads, Chicken McNuggets McCafe’s, yougurt, etc. They are charitable with the Ronald McDonald house and local youth programs. People are vary aware of their presence.

Their success has nothing to do with the recipe for the Big Mac sauce. They are successful because they are: McDonalds!

Now… I ask… do you think a new burger chain could take the Big Mac sauce recipe from the free video and compete with McDonalds? I’d like to see them try.

I’m not saying it would be a good idea to go out and make a video explaining how to make your famous tiramisu. The lesson from McDonald’s is to build your brand correctly from the ground up. You will naturally create recognition and solidify your place in the market.

As a catering company, does your entire operation, from the website to the business cards, have the same look and feel? Does your staff have branded uniforms (even those delivery drivers!). Do you only hire people that believe in your vision and core values? Is everybody in the organization an ambassador for your company? Are you well known for a specific service style –  or being cutting edge innovative? Are you the most customer service centric company in your area? I could go on and on, but you get the point.

The same rules apply to the Total Party Planner catering software company. In fact, our competitors CAN watch videos of how our software works. But that’s OK. There is so much more to the company than a few videos could ever show.

How about you? Share your branding story with us. We would love to hear from you!