What's Eating Jdavies?

and other marketing stories

McDonald's versus Jollibee


A page from my marketing book opens yet again. The case study this time is a must read for Filipinos, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals.

Tan Caktiong had no choice but to reinvent Jollibee.

The International Herald Tribune has this to say:

Sometime in the late 1970s, Tony Tan Caktiong, the owner of a small ice cream parlor in a lower- middle-class neighborhood here, learned that an American hamburger chain was coming to invade the Philippines.

Worried that his store, which had just started selling burgers, might get floored by the new competition, Tan Caktiong, a Filipino of Chinese descent, took a leaf from the Chinese military tactician Sun Tzu: he flew to the United States to know his future enemy.

When he returned to the Philippines a few weeks later, Tan Caktiong brought with him an arsenal of ideas on how to fortify his store, called Jollibee, to face the newcomer.

What followed was a classic tale of survival that quickly became a Filipino legend that is now being retold in the country's business schools, often with a tinge of nationalistic pride directed against the U.S. burger chain in question, McDonald's.

Tan Caktiong had no choice but to reinvent Jollibee.

"He was told that either he sold Jollibee to McDonald's or be its franchise holder here. 'They will eat you alive,' his friends told him," said John Victor Tence, vice president for corporate and human resources of Jollibee Foods.

Described by friends as self-effacing and frugal but determined, Tan Caktiong told his friends, "I have a third choice: I can fight McDonald's."

And fight he did... Read the article here.

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posted by Jdavies @ 6/01/2005,


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The Author


Jdavies lives in Quezon City, Philippines and has been blogging since 2002. A brand manager in a leading technology company and a freelance new media/web strategy consultant, he has refocused his blogging from personal, political & sociological observations, to marketing-related efforts and Internet trends that are relevant to his career and branding advocacies.

About This Blog

This blog is a depot of thoughts and observations on marketing trends which remain personally relevant to the Author as far as his marketing career is concerned. Having evolved from the personal blog of Jdavies, much of the earlier work contained herein are laced with personal speculation, political views, and similar advocacies. These posts are being kept for posterity's sake and for no other reason. No effort is being made to claim that the author will not contradict himself from his previous positions or that such advocacies are absolute.


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