The Coast News Group
The turquoise arches in Sedona, Arizona. Courtesy photo
Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

Don’t let local regulations leave you feeling blue

I’m going out on a limb to assume you’re familiar with McDonald’s Golden Arches.

The company spends $460 million-plus annually on marketing its 38,000 restaurants worldwide. It’s a safe bet its logo has been drilled into all our heads.

So how come the McDonald’s in Sedona, Arizona, has arches that are turquoise? Had I not seen it myself, I’d have been hard-pressed to believe it.

For those unfamiliar with Sedona, its amazing red rock scenery is worth a visit. The stunning landscape led local authorities to establish building construction rules prohibiting any hindrance or intrusion of the views.

McDonald’s wanted a location in this very upscale community but got a shock.

City officials felt the famed golden-colored ‘M’ didn’t suit everything else Sedona offers visitors.

Something had to give, and it wasn’t going to be the city.

Of course, with the prominence the arches have in our everyday lives, the restaurant itself has become a tourist attraction. Lots of locals and influencers flock to the eatery to click photographs with the sign.

Like the nearby Pink Jeep tours, the only non-golden McDonald’s in the world has become a destination.   

Mickey D’s situation isn’t unique, and businesses of many stripes deal with similar issues. Retailers typically must match the style of signs at their strip malls. Home offices have their home (and office) colors dictated by the local HOA.

And, like McDonald’s, the choice becomes simple: accede to local regulations or move the business elsewhere.

Without going too far down a political rabbit hole, I’ll admit to being surprised by the location of this anomaly.

After all, we’re regularly regaled with tales of Massachusetts, New York and California being places that are over-regulated. Florida, Texas and Arizona are typically portrayed as bastions of deregulation.

However, I’ll leave it to the pundits to debate such inconsistencies.

Here’s a little friendly advice: If you’re starting a business or thinking about a new location for your firm, be sure to check how local regulations might impact your business BEFORE you make any commitments.

Without such due diligence, you may discover too late there’s a negative impact on your branding, signage or ability to post promotions on the building or at the curb.

And, like the guys in Sedona, you may find yourself feeling blue.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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