Did you know Australia is the only place in the world where McDonalds is called Macca’s? Nowhere else in the planet will you find a Macca’s sign above the fast food restaurant. Take that same sign and plonk it in front of a McDonald’s in Japan and it is unlikely people will recognise its meaning. Except perhaps those Aussies who happen to be in Japan at the time.
The abbreviation of the franchise name is proof of Australian culture’s influence on the brand. It is typical in Australia to shorten or abbreviate words and names. John becomes Jono, the postman is a postie, the musician a muso, and McDonalds becomes Macca’s (The list of words goes on, check this video for more!). We are known and recognised for this practice. It’s part of our identity.
The shortened name can also be seen as an Australian gesture of acceptance and inclusion. In a way, the brand is not just here, it has become one of us. When the company takes the name and uses it to identify itself, it symbolically takes on the ‘Australian identity’. This single act by the franchise, validates both Australian Culture and the Australian identity that clients have given the company name.
How does culture influence identity and why does matter?
Culture can influence identity and identity can influence culture, but none of it is possible without recognition. It is not enough for something to ‘be’, others must recognise and validate or accept its identity.
The key answer lies in the power people have to create, influence and accept identities. In fact, without others ‘identity’ is not possible.
Post: Mithzay Pomenta
Image: Mithzay Pomenta