McDonald’s Brand Struggle

McDonald’s is one of the most recognizable names in the world. Starting out as a simple hamburger joint, the chain now boasts more than 36,000 restaurants and serves approximately 69 million customers daily around the world. It has been tempting customers with Happy Meals, Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets, and other favorites for over 60 years. Known for its fast service and low cost meals, McDonald’s often tops the list of most successful fast food restaurants. However, McDonald’s is now experiencing competition like it never has before.

For the first time in a decade, McDonald’s experienced a decline in sales in 2014. For 2015, the chain continued to struggle to increase sales. While the third quarter and fourth quarters of 2015 show a slight increase in sales, the chain faces continuing challenges of keeping up with its competition and the changing tastes of its customers.

For these reasons, McDonald’s has been experimenting with various menu changes. One of its most successful changes seems to be the all-day breakfast option. Also, to appease customers who worry about treating animals humanely, the company promises to switch to antibiotic-free chicken over the next two years and cage-free eggs over the next decade. In addition, the chain will focus on offering milk products that come from cows that have not been treated with artificial growth hormones.

In recent years, McDonald’s began to offer more café choices, in the hopes of attracting customers away from Starbucks. While McDonald’s café choices have become popular, the drinks take more time, costing the restaurant one of its most valued benefits: fast service. Further, focusing on its beverage offerings has not proved beneficial as many customers didn’t go to McDonald’s for their drinks in the first place. Therefore, the inevitable decline in sales is happening.

Along with some food and beverage changes, the chain has been changing its appearance. Its restaurants are being refurbished to look more attractive, contemporary, and inviting. By changing its appearance and offering Wi-Fi and higher-end products, the chain hopes to lure customers that normally do not go to the fast food restaurant.

Despite all of its changes, McDonald’s still struggles to keep up with new restaurants that offer more organic and fresher ingredients, such as Chipotle and Panera Bread. It is a challenge to keep the image and products that made the restaurant so popular in the first place, while trying to appeal to different generations. However, it is evident that McDonald’s is willing to try new things to find the happy medium.

Like all brands, no matter how popular, changes must take place in order to keep value. Brands must appeal to their audience and keep pace with consumer tastes. Otherwise, consumers become bored and dissatisfied, making the brand value decline. With McDonald’s willingness to make changes, it is likely the chain will regain a positive sales outcome. However, it could take some time. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see all of the new offerings and changes McDonald’s makes to get there.

Pellegrino & Associates Influences IP Valuation Industry

Determining who to hire for any type of service can be a daunting task. This is especially true for valuations because conducting valuations is a non-exact science. However, IP valuation firms with the expertise and proper methodology can provide credible valuations that stand up in a courtroom and make good business sense. While a number of IP valuation firms exist, the following explains why P&A should be at the top of your list.

Since the founding of Pellegrino & Associates (P&A) more than a decade ago, we continue to set standards for the IP valuation industry. We bring excellent services, sound expertise, and a strong position to the industry. We have worked on a variety of valuation engagements numbering more than 300 for more than 200 clients, ranging from Fortune 100 companies like IBM, GE, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, American Express, and Lockheed Martin to startups. Judges, attorneys, and government entities such as the IRS and the SEC have widely accepted our work product. Courts at the state and federal level, tax jurisdictions, and arbitration panels have accepted our work for issues including bankruptcy valuations, estate tax valuations, copyright infringement claims, trade secret misappropriation claims, patent infringement claims, breach of contract claims, and others. One North Carolina court stated that our P&A’s work is “clearly in the mainstream of IP valuation methodologies” and that our qualifications were “outstanding.”

Our company experience positions us as a market leader in intangible asset valuation. We offer first and second editions of BVR’s Guide to Intellectual Property Valuation, written by our company president. To date, we have sold more than 700 books to a variety of customers including attorneys, tech transfer officers, business valuation firms, competing IP valuation firms, and more. In addition, our finance- and software-related articles appear in internationally and nationally recognized outlets, such as IAM Magazine, CFO Magazine,,, and others. We have taught thousands of people about valuations. Various venues around the globe, including law firms, universities, accounting firms, appraisal firms, valuation firms, state bar associations, and other organizations, frequently request our expertise at speaking engagements regarding intangible asset valuations and the tax effects of embedded application software and intellectual property. Some of the venues include the following:

  • Professional societies: American Society of Appraisers, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators, The Association for University Technology Managers, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, the Oregon State Bar Association, and state CPA societies from Florida, Maryland, New York, and Ohio.
  • Government agencies: The National Institutes of Health, The Malaysian Government, the Malaysian Patent Office, and the International Visitor Leadership Program, which was part of the United States Department of State
  • Others: Purdue University, the University of Illinois School of Law, the Indiana University School of Law, the Indiana University School of Informatics, Georgetown University Law Center, TEDx, the Management Roundtable, and Business Valuation Resources

In addition to speaking engagements, we teach webinars regarding valuation and related topics. To date, students number more than 1,200 and include those across most major economic analysis firms, the IRS, financial institutions, and others. For instance, students come from Charles River Associates, Stout Risius Ross, Inc., Wells Fargo, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. We have also taught scores of technology transfer and IP managers from the likes of Baxter Healthcare, John Deere, DSM, Harley Davidson, Novelis, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, Nestle, Alcoa, Dow, Georgia-Pacific, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kraft Foods, Celanese, SC Johnson, Altria, AB Inbev, James Hardie Building Products, Avery Dennison, Vale, Exxon Mobil, United Health Group, General Electric, FedEx, The Hershey Company, and Baxa Corporation among others.

We have taught on IP valuation to officials from the governments of Brazil, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Thailand, Guatemala, and New Zealand on behalf of the U.S. State Department. We have counseled and testified before legislators about valuation issues.

In addition to our valuation expertise, our president has developed a state-of-the-art patent analytics tool that provides key insights and intelligence into the patent landscape. This system removes information asymmetry rampant in the patent marketplace by consolidating millions of disparate records into a user-friendly database.

As you can see, we have the experience, the knowledge, the ambition, and the credibility to serve the most challenging IP valuation needs. Contact us today to learn more about our firm!