When the German branch of the American hamburger giant celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011, McDonald’s marketing experts started a campaign called Mein Burger (“my burger”) in order to establish and strengthen ties with the national fast food community. For McDonald’s, the innovative approach of customer integration was so successful that it was re-launched in January 2012. For us, this was reason enough to dedicate a blog entry to the campaign.

Mein Burger – what’s it about?

Mein Burger allows hamburger enthusiasts to get involved and share their personal burger preferences directly with McDonald’s. With the help of an online tool called the “burger configurator”, registered users can choose between over 70 different ingredients and upload their personal creations to the virtual burger gallery. It is now up to the online community to choose their favourites. The 20 burgers with the most votes make it to the next round. The successful inventors are now invited to a test kitchen, where they prepare their burgers together with McDonald’s experts for an independent jury. Five selected burgers will then be offered for one week in McDonald’s restaurants all over Germany and Luxembourg and customers make their final decision.

This year’s winning burger, the McPanther, was awarded on March, 31st.  Besides the media attention and the fact that one’s own burger is temporarily produced and sold in McDonald’s restaurants all over Germany and Luxembourg, the winner was sent on a trip to Chicago. The US-American city is where the company’s success story started back in 1955, when burgers were still configurated offline…

Why is it so clever?

For the Mein Burger competition, users don’t only come up with their own recipes, but are also in charge of developing a complete marketing concept: they think up an innovative name for their burger, produce commercials to be broadcasted on youtube, and launch social media campaigns via facebook.

The many marketing campaigns set in motion by the different burger creators help McDonald’s to increase its customer base, gain valuable insight in people’s food preferences, and simultaneously collect tons of free personal contact data which can be used for further advertising purposes.

via OpenAlps

McDonald’s goes Open Innovation

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