Wednesday 8:14 PM
Dog Barking Oustide (as it does every night)
I have become fascinated with the success of McDonald’s since reading about their “turn key” operation as detailed by Michael Gerber in “The E-Myth Revisited.”
If you haven’t read the book, Gerber basically talks about how you want to strive to make your business run like a well oiled machine, similar to what McDonald’s has achieved. Your business should not depend on your every action in order to succeed.
It is pretty remarkable if you think of the case of McDonald’s…you are going to get the same burger and fries no matter which McDonald’s you go to in the country. You can expect the same “quality” of food in Hicksville as you would find in Hollywood.
The secret to this consistency is in their system…I am sure there have been many to take the majestic leap over the fences at the US border straight into the kitchen of a McDonald’s.
It shows that anyone can be shaped into a piece of the McDonald’s jig-saw puzzle.
But that is not the point of this post…I want to talk about something else that makes them so prominent, and that is the colors of their logo.
I am not sure if Ray Kroc is the man behind it, but whoever came up with the logo for McDonald’s is a genius. It’s not even necessarily the shape of the golden arches which draws our eye towards it, but the combination of red and yellow.
They are two of the loudest colors out there, as they rarely occur in nature. Psychologically, we can’t help but notice the colors like red, orange, and yellow more than we notice colors like blue, green, and brown. It’s human nature.
Yellow, orange, and red signal danger or caution in most cases, as evidenced by street signs, but they also seem to serve as an indicator of food quite often nowadays.
Next time you go for a drive (or walk), take notice of how many restaurants use the color red and yellow in their logos. Almost every single one of them will use one or the other.
They know that when you are cruising around and your stomach starts grumbling, your first instinct will be to eye up the passing signs, looking for sources of nourishment. Restaurants probably rely more upon impulse decisions than any other business, so it’s of utmost importance that are easily seen.
You may not realize it, but when you see the red and yellow together, that triggers the notion of McDonald’s in your brain before you actually perceive the shape of the arch and read the letters on the sign. You have been conditioned to associate the combination of those pronounced colors with the restaurant.
I am not sure if McDonald’s was the first to use red and yellow, but they have really set them apart as the only big fast food chain that uses solely those two colors on their signs. They may have trademark rights on the use of those two colors in the way they use them.
Anyway, the point is that the McDonald’s sign protrudes from the landscape… you can’t help but notice it. It serves almost as Batman’s bat signal, herding in the hungry of America. This I believe is one of the unheralded keys to their success.
The psychology of colors is an interesting topic…maybe I’ll delve into that later on. For now, just remember that getting noticed, even subconsciously, is important for a business.
Take it easy,