Can Your Small Business Replicate the Success of McDonald’s McRib?

November 1 brought the much-loved McRib back to the McDonald’s menu. The legendary sandwich will be available for a limited period at participating restaurants nationwide.

The marketing tactics of the return of one of McDonald’s most iconic products provides some invaluable lessons for small businesses.

McRib Marketing Creates a Cult Following

The announcement of the McRib’s return was made by McDonald’s on Twitter.

The fast-food giant’s announcement of the return of its saucy sandwich on Twitter was deliberately teasing. The provocative tweet roused considerable engagement, with consumers citing their approval and McDonald’s competitors joining the conversation.

The tweet demonstrates the importance of social media when launching or relaunching products and the value of cleverly worded posts to help generate maximum engagement.

The Value of Seasonal Products and Marketing

The return of the McRib in time for the holiday season also shows the value of making products only available for a limited period, particularly during holiday seasons.

Seasonal items are an important marketing tool for small businesses in many industries, particularly retail and food.

McDonald’s isn’t alone in implementing successful seasonal product marketing tactics. Starbucks rolls out its iconic Pumpkin Spice Lattes during Halloween season, much to the excitement of consumers.

Alexander Chernev, professor of marketing at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, notes the importance of seasonal items:

“When you have these exclusive products, which exist for a short period of time, it gives people reason to come to the store,” he tells CNN.

Seasonal products not only encourage customers to return to a store to purchase a favorite speciality item, but they also act as a reminder to how much consumers like a brand’s ‘standard’ items.

Popularity of Seasonal Items

Seasonal items also celebrate a specific season, giving consumers even more reason to enjoy a product they associate with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and other holiday seasons.

Having a product available for a limited period only also creates urgency that consumers must make a purchase imminently or they will miss out.

McDonald’s success with its much-loved McRib, which only proved successful as an item brought out for a limited period, provides a valuable lesson for small businesses on seasonal marketing, and, of course, promoting products on social media.

Image: Depositphotos

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a professional freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

One Reaction
  1. Also remember that McDonalds didn’t launch the McRib with the intention of it becoming a limited time, seasonal hit that people would drive miles for. They had to learn, iterated and adapt just like any business.