Taste tests after taste tests have shown that Filipino fast-food customers prefer, for example, Jollibee’s hamburger with its cooked-in taste versus McDonald’s’ original “bland”-tasting hamburger. Many say that McDonald’s was slow to learn this and adapt. The truth is that it’s the “bureaucracy” at Headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, that was responsible for why McDonalds Philippines took such a long time to come out with a “built-in taste” hamburger to challenge Jollibee’s. So, a key factor in Jollibee’s market share leadership comes from its “customer intimacy,” its tailoring its menu items to the changing Filipino palate.
That happens to be the very reason how in Greece, Goody’s was able to overtake McDonalds as fast-food market leader even though in Greece it was McDonald’s who was first in the market. This insight then negates the proposition that it was Jollibee’s first mover advantage that’s responsible for preventing McDonald’s in taking over market leadership. In sum, it’s adhering to “consumer centricity,” to honoring the “consumer-is- king” rule that’s the secret to market leadership.
‘How come McDonald’s never beat Jollibee as market leader?’