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Customers Don’t Care About French Fries
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Customers today want and expect transparency from brands. They are more interested in business practices, materials used, and how products are made. It’s this transparency that helps create engagement with certain brands and also gives a deeper look into “who” the brand is and what it believes. But transparency also needs to feel real and authentic in order to gain that positive response from customers. Maybe transparency isn’t one-size fits all.

There has been a shift in the last decade where brands are forced to reveal what used to be private brand information. Customers are more interested in the inner workings of a brand and many times use this information to decide what to buy and where to shop. And brands have accepted this challenge, pouring out internal information and practices to get a customer set supporting their brand and ultimately sharing this information with others. It seems like a brand win, but it must be done in a way that feels natural, not forced, in order to gain that positive response.

McDonald’s French fries — an indulgent and common food item among Americans. Some view them as a treat, others a side to a kids' meal. Either way, consumers weren’t really asking for their back story. McDonald’s, however, wanted to share. In theory it makes sense — show sourcing, show product, and show preparation so customers understand it’s all real. It exceeds what they may have thought and gives an inside look into the brand. But is this what customers really wanted?

It seems McDonald’s forced this YouTube video sharing its French fry story. Not allowing comments and with footage that seems ordinary, this video may not be the insight the brand wants customers to see. Maybe consumers just want to eat their french fries and would be better served knowing other aspects of the business. An inside look into the brand can’t simply be what the brand wants to tell, but instead must be what consumers want to know. Oh, and make it a little more exciting!

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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