M&M’s History       M&M’s has created a market share that has yet been unmatched by thecompetition. In 2004, M&M’s achieve...
War II, for the same reason that they were popular in Spain (M&M’s website). Theywere durable candies that could withstand...
inside the color mix with 54% of the total votes (M&M’s website). Also during thisdecade, three other varieties were broug...
M&M’s OverviewM&M’s Qualities - Product Features       The combination of qualities that sets M&M’s candies apart from all...
and other collectible memorabilia. In many cases, the candy that comes with the M&M’scollectibles is more of a complement ...
industry for being paranoid; theres a lot at stake…theres only so much you can do withchocolate, peanuts and caramel - if ...
In 2003 a new competitor to M&M’s emerged. Jelly Belly already had smallcandies similar in size to M&M’s, but did not have...
Marketing StrategyTarget Market       The brand is seen as a family brand that is wholesome, fun and that everyone canenjo...
dispensers and plush dolls of the Spokescandies (M&M’s website). Recently, M&Ms hasallowed customers to customize their ow...
to make the purchasing process less difficult. This also goes along with the fact thatM&Ms heavily promotes their products...
Customers have demonstrated their relationships by essentially using M&M’s as aconversation piece. They find out that they...
promotions, M&M’s exudes an image of fun and youthfulness that can be enjoyedregardless of age. With a brand awareness of ...
name. The M&M’s Spokescandies are personas that customers can visualize, and eachhas a personality of their own. This enab...
In the past decade M&M’s has made an appearance in a rather unlikely place thatback in 1954, no one probably would have ex...
It isn’t just M&M’s/NASCAR merchandise that is licensed and marketed tocustomers. M&M has a separate licensing entity that...
the past. In the last year and a half alone, they have endorsed several major motionpictures, with new products emerging f...
targeting the individuals for their tastes and preferences, as well as looking intocompetitive behavior.       Building re...
it is an abomination to sell a milk chocolate candy in support of breast cancer when dairyproducts in fact cause the cance...
Until recently, customers had to wait for a certain time of year to see their favoritecolors, but this is not so today. M&...
Future Predictions        There is no doubt that M&M’s has proved itself in the past 60 years as a popularAmerican brand. ...
Another factor to consider is expanding into more international products. At thispoint in time, they do have a considerabl...
Works Cited“Breast Cancer Statistics.” Susan G. Komen Foundation Website. 2005. November 15th,       2005.<http://www.kome...
“Product Timeline.” Hershey Museum. 2003. Hershey Museum. November 27th, 2005.<http://www.hersheymuseum.org/students/first...
Appendix                     DOLLAR SALES (in millions), 2004     250M&Ms,               201.4                  Hersheys, ...
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  1. 1. M&M’s History M&M’s has created a market share that has yet been unmatched by thecompetition. In 2004, M&M’s achieved an impressive $201 million in candy sales in theU.S. alone, making it the number one selling bagged or boxed chocolate candy in thecountry, beating out its nearest competitor, Hershey’s Kisses (Candy Industry). Thesuccess of M&M’s is due to many factors such as attractive and unique advertisementsand promotions, customer participation and feedback defining the produced output, and awide range of customized product possibilities. The creation of M&M began when Forrest Mars Sr. made a trip to Spain duringthe Spanish Civil War (M&M’s website). While there, he came across some soldierswho were eating chocolates pellets covered in a hard sugar coating. The main purpose ofthat hard sugar coating was to maintain the chocolate freshness and prevent it frommelting. Upon his return to the United States, Mars Sr. returned to his kitchen andinvented the recipe for M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candy (M&M’s website). As could bededuced from the name, the founder is a member of the Mars family, the groupresponsible for Mars Inc (M&M’s website). Mars today owns many companiesproducing and distributing products worldwide, one of which is MasterFoods; whichproduces M&M’s (www.masterfoods.com). By late 1940, M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candy became widely available to thepublic and received a great reception (M&M’s website). The public was impressed withthe unique qualities of the product that were previously unmatched in the market. It wassoon after that the candies became a favorite among American Soldiers serving in World M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 1
  2. 2. War II, for the same reason that they were popular in Spain (M&M’s website). Theywere durable candies that could withstand heat and wouldn’t perish over a long journey. By the 1950’s, the intense television and advertising campaigns designed tomarket M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candies had made them a household name (M&M’swebsite). In 1954, M&M’s expanded the brand offering and introduced M&MS PeanutChocolate Candies; sales of both varieties continued to grow (Candies with Attitude). This expansion gave way to the creation of the defining brand characteristics of today; the characters and the slogan. Red and Yellow made their debut in 1954, bringing with them the slogan, “Themilk chocolate melts in your mouth not in your hand (M&M’s website)." Both thecharacters and the slogan became the basis for continued TV and radio advertisements. Several decades later, the company determined it was time to expand its productofferings to provide customers with seasonal options. In the early 1980s, a special holiday line of M&MS Chocolate Candy products was launched (M&M’s website). The new seasonal color blends included red and green colors for Christmas, and pastel colors for Easter. Also in the same decade, M&MSBrand accelerated its international expansion entering the European, Asian andAustralian markets (M&M’s website). In 1981, M&MS Chocolate Candies were chosenby the first space shuttle astronauts to be included in their food supply (M&M’s website).M&MS Chocolate Candies are now on permanent display at the space food exhibit of theNational Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. (M&M’s website). In the 1990’s a huge marketing event surveyed Americans about the new color toappear in the traditional Chocolate Candies color mix. Blue color earned his position M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 2
  3. 3. inside the color mix with 54% of the total votes (M&M’s website). Also during thisdecade, three other varieties were brought to the M&M’S Brand portfolio, the PeanutButter Chocolate Candies, the Almond Chocolate Candies and the Chocolate MiniBaking Bits (M&M’s website). In 1996 a strong advertisement campaign utilizing the M&M’s Brand Characterscatapulted the M&M’s Candies Chocolate popularity and as a result of this campaign,which gained the first position among sixty different campaigns rated by USA today, thenew characters popularity became synonymous with Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson(M&M’s website). During 1997, M&M Worlds, the brands own retail store, launched itsgrand opening in the city of Las Vegas ( M&M’s Collectors Club). This unique storebrings to the customers all the colors and fun of M&M’s Chocolate Candies into a one ofa kind retail merchandiser, ranging from T-shirts, designer dresses, jewelry and furniture. In 2001 and 2002 M&M’s brand not only they launched a new global website toreach foreign markets, but they also conducted the M&M’s Global Color Vote wereM&M customers from 200 different countries voted for a new M&M Brand Color1(CNN/Money).1 http://money.cnn.com/2002/06/20/news/companies/mandms/ June 20, 2002: 9:08 AM M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 3
  4. 4. M&M’s OverviewM&M’s Qualities - Product Features The combination of qualities that sets M&M’s candies apart from all othercandies is unique and instantly recognizable. M&M’s candies are most noted for theirability to deliver chocolate inside of a hard candy shell that allows the candies towithstand temperatures that would melt conventional chocolates. The white stamped“M” that became the official indicator of authenticity in 1954 (Inventor) is still animmediate identifier for M&M lovers worldwide. The packages and the candies are frequently modified to coincidewith all major holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, specialoccasions such as weddings and baby showers, and current events such asthe Star Wars movies and NASCAR racing. Each of the modified unitsincludes a redesigned package and a special assortment of M&M’s colors.With over 21 colors available today, there are sure to please any and everyM&M’s consumer; colors are shown in the image to the right. The M&M’s packaging and website currently advertisethe option for consumer to choose custom colors and messageson their M&M’s. Customers may have the unique candyinscribed with up to two lines each containing up to eightcharacters. This process allows consumers to feel as thought they are apart of the creation process and helps them to feel a bond with the brand. Various packaging sizes come in small and larger sizes to accommodate trick-or-treaters, party throwers, and collectors alike. M&M’s are also sold in tins, dispensers, M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 4
  5. 5. and other collectible memorabilia. In many cases, the candy that comes with the M&M’scollectibles is more of a complement to the product rather than the final desired product. MasterFoods produces many varieties of M&M’s to accommodate a wide rangeof consumers. Different varieties of M&M’s include: milk chocolate, peanut, peanutbutter, crispy, almond, and dark chocolate. Different sizes of M&M’s include: minis,mega, and M-azing (candy bar version). From time to time, MasterFoods willtemporarily introduce a new variation of candy for a specific current event orsweepstakes. There has been a strong push lately to extend the product line past standardM&M’s that have been around for over fifty years. MasterFoods has also extended the M&M’s brand to incorporate products thattake advantage of the M&M’s brand name and identity. M&M’s dispensers, characters,boxes, banks, shirts, and hats are just a few examples of M&M’s memorabilia that isavailable not only online, but also in toy stores, grocery stores, and dedicated M&M’sstores.Mars vs. Hershey - Current Competition The chocolate industry is extremely competitive. Regarding the contest betweenMars and Hershey, the president of Hershey Chocolate, Joseph Viviano, said, "Were justas bad as Coke and Pepsi - probably worse . . . it’s just that we dont talk about it, sonobody pays any attention (Brenner, p. 11).” RichardOConnell of the Chocolate Manufacturers Associationstated, "Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up withsomething new in the candy business? I dont blame the M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 5
  6. 6. industry for being paranoid; theres a lot at stake…theres only so much you can do withchocolate, peanuts and caramel - if you get my drift (Brenner, p. 12).” The two companies are bitter rivals and would love the opportunity to gain moremarket share. There have been many attempts at legalactions, but both companies generally agree to eithersettle their differences out of court or simply ignore theissue entirely. The reason for this unusual behavior isthat customers’ perceive candy companies and theirproducts as the embodiment of fun and happiness (Brenner, p. 14). In addition to industry competition, M&M’sfaces direct competition on its product line. In Wal-Mart, Woodburn, OR, November 25, 2005 Top row: Hershey-ettes, bottom row: M&M’s1954, Hershey-ettes (Product Timeline) wereintroduced to directly compete and are very similar to M&M’s. They have not been verysuccessful and are generally only available for consumers around the Christmas season. In a new effort to directly compete with M&M’s, Hershey has extended theirwell-known Hershey Kisses brand; on November 17, 2005 Hershey’s launched a newsales campaign (Introducing) with a new product—Hersheys Kissables. The fact thatHershey is targeting the M&M’s market is evident from a quick review of their pressrelease (Introducing), the sponsorship of the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series race atDaytona International Speedway (Hersheys Kissables), the physical qualities of thecandy—such as the choice of colors, and their merchandising efforts (More HolidayGifts) as seen in the picture taken at Wal-Mart. M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 6
  7. 7. In 2003 a new competitor to M&M’s emerged. Jelly Belly already had smallcandies similar in size to M&M’s, but did not have any products in the chocolate side ofthe confectioning market (New Product Updates). The Jelly Belly candy, called JBz,were introduced to take a much closer aim at Mars’s M&M’s market, even shaping thecandy similarly like M&M’s. According to the Jelly Belly candy makers, “JBzChocolate Candies pair chocolate centers with candy shells with twelve delectableflavors.” (JBz Chocolate Candies) The official flavor count,however, is now up to twenty as Jelly Belly continues toexpand their product line. JBz candies come in many of thesame colors as M&M’s and even include a white JBz decalsimilar to the M&M’s white stamp. As more companies release products that are similar to M&M’s, it will becomeincreasingly difficult for Mars to continue to command the same level of market share inthe chocolate candy industry and the product has the potential to get lost in thesupermarket aisle. M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 7
  8. 8. Marketing StrategyTarget Market The brand is seen as a family brand that is wholesome, fun and that everyone canenjoy. Adults have grown up with the M&M’s brand and are able to share and enjoy itwith their kids. While M&M’s would like to appeal to a mass market, this is simply notpossible. Generally middle income families are the ones who purchase M&M’s candy.There has been a more concrete marketing campaign with the introduction of MegaM&M’s, M&M’s candy are trying to appeal specifically to an adult market, introducingcolors such as “come in six new hues that appeal to adults: maroon, teal, blue-gray, beige,gold and brown (M&M’s website).”Segmentation There are two kinds of markets for the M&M’s brand; those who consume thecandy on a regular basis and those who consume the candy on special occasions. Peoplewho consume the candy on a regular basis are typically children and families. People who consume the candy on special occasions such as Halloween, Easterand Christmas are more apt to buy M&M’s brand candy in the larger packages that comein special holiday colors; this is what M&M’s is best known for. Middle class mothersthrowing holiday parties are in this market segment. They see M&M’s as a special treatfor the holidays, with ranging colors appropriate for each holiday.Marketing MixProduct M&Ms comes in a variety of candy types, colors, sizes and that’s just the candyitself! M&MS also has 30 licenses to promote other products such as sweatshirts, M&Ms M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 8
  9. 9. dispensers and plush dolls of the Spokescandies (M&M’s website). Recently, M&Ms hasallowed customers to customize their own bags of M&Ms by visiting the website andpicking out their preferred colors and even personalized inscriptions. What M&Ms isperhaps best known for is having their candies seasonally appropriate several times ayear. Pastel colors for Easter, red and green for Christmas and orange and black forHalloween are just a few of the color types offered for different times of the year. Thisdoes not include the special promotions offered during other times of the year which haveincluded in the past: tie-dyed colors and black and white.Price Pricing for M&M’s is modestly priced. This is an affordable candy that everyonecan afford and enjoy. Gourmet chocolates on the other hand, which can run $30 perpound are targeting a higher class of customer. Single serving bags are typically underone dollar. Large bags of M&M’s range from $2-$3. To buy a customized bag ofM&M’s will be a little more expensive. This selection gives you the option to put acustomized message on your candy and the ability to pick up to two customized colors.The price for one 8 ounce bag is $9.49, but the minimum quantity allowed is 4 bags,making the minimum total $37.96 (M&M’s website). The upside to this is that M&M’sdoes offer free shipping for your customized product.Place M&Ms in the distribution channel is sold at the retail level. Currently M&MS issold at many, if not all, food retailers throughout the U.S. and International markets. It isa ubiquitous product that is not hard to find. Many of their branded products can befound at these retailers as well, but the main place to find them is on the Internet atwww.M&M’s.com. M&Ms has made their products easily accessible to their consumers M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 9
  10. 10. to make the purchasing process less difficult. This also goes along with the fact thatM&Ms heavily promotes their products in many different advertising mediums, so it onlymakes sense that their products are easy to find.Promotion M&MS has many different advertising mediums applied to their brand.Television commercials, ads in magazines and promotion on their various websites arejust a few. In promoting their product, they use the Spokescandies, Red and Yellow,along with others from time to time. Using relatively the same format in promoting theirproduct makes the consumer more aware that the product advertised is M&Ms and willbe more likely to buy it because of that brand awareness. One of the unique M&Msbrand does in their promotion is include in the consumer in the decision making process.Promotions such as voting for a new favorite color, finding a missing color continuouslymakes M&Ms fresh and new to the customer and results in loyal customers.Brand Community RelationshipsCustomer-Customer Relationships The construction of the relationship between customers of M&M’s stems from acommon passion for M&M’s Brand and what it stands for. What does M&M’s stand for?Family, wholesome fun, quirky, generations growing up with M&M’s together are thecornerstones of America’s favorite candy, and the basis on which customer relationshipsare built on. These relationships span genders, ages, cultures, and countries, and enablepeople, regardless of where they come from, to relate to one another through the M&M’sbrand. M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 10
  11. 11. Customers have demonstrated their relationships by essentially using M&M’s as aconversation piece. They find out that they have their love for M&M’s in common, andcan share stories about their various experiences, collections, and thoughts about thebrand. The types of bonds can be formed over seemingly arbitrary things, such asindividuals’ favorite colors of candy, the order in which they eat them or simply theirfavorite variety (Almond, Peanut, Plain, etc.) can be very interesting to the die-hardcustomer who thinks they have the most original M&M’s story. Around the world there are clubs that M&M fans can join, including collectorsclubs and forums where they can interact with other who share their passion. The officialone (Collector’s Club) offers membership to avid fans who wish to meet others whoshare in their interests, determine more ways to expand their collections, and enjoy theirhobbies together. This is facilitated by group get-togethers at tradeshows, picnics,meetings, and conventions. Similar to other consumer brands, the M&M Brand hasdeveloped a following that has created subgroups within their groups. There are regionalchapters of the club, each holding get-togethers outside of the national organization’sannual convention which is held every year in Las Vegas, home of the M&M WorldMuseum. Even if it isn’t an official club chapter, members often convene locally and areable to discuss M&M related issues and experience a sense of alliance around theirfavorite pastime.Customer-Brand Relationships M&M consumers have been able to develop a very close bond with the M&Mbrand. Through the vibrant colors, comical characters, and entertaining commercials and M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 11
  12. 12. promotions, M&M’s exudes an image of fun and youthfulness that can be enjoyedregardless of age. With a brand awareness of 99% (Candies with Attitude), it goeswithout saying that customers are aware of M&M’s and their products, but along withthat, they have grown to create an association with the brand that goes beyond just beingtheir favorite candy. Although the signature “M” has become a trademark of the M&M’s brand; themost recognized symbol of the brand has become their “Spokescandies,” the charactersthat grace all M&M’s packaging, advertisements, and memorabilia. Red and Yellowwere the first to be introduced to public in 1954 (Candies withAttitude), and today there are several candies representing thebrand. Each of these characters has unique personalities,which customers can learn more about by visiting the M&Mwebsite. Each of the characters; Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange, and M&M Minis,have their own profile on the site, along with games and picture of each. These characters have been proven a hit with consumers. Last year the, candieswere voted the favorite mascot in America, receiving over 700,000 votes and their ownstar on the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame (Sutter). As this demonstrated, the charactersare able to appeal to customers of varying demographics, whether male, female, young,and old, etc. Consumers can likely find a character that is similar to them, and strangelyenough, relate to the fictional candies. The positive connection customers make betweenthe characters, the brand, and themselves develops a unique relationship with the brandthat is appealing to a wide assortment of individuals. The difference between M&M’sand competitors, such as Hershey’s Kisses, is the ability to put a face with the brand- M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 12
  13. 13. name. The M&M’s Spokescandies are personas that customers can visualize, and eachhas a personality of their own. This enables customers to remember the Spokescandies,thus remembering M&M’s before other brands. This association makes customers moreapt to purchase the brand. There is much more to the M&M website than simple biographies of theirSpokescandies. This is a fully interactive site that customers can visit to perform anumber of activities. It serves as an online vendor of candies and memorabilia, a place tolearn the history of the brand and more about the company, a news source to keep up withwhat is happening in the M&M world, and fun and games site, and a place to find andshare M&M recipes. The website is there to facilitate a relationship between thecustomer and the brand that they want to learn more about. Not only does the brand relate to customers in the U.S. market, but internationalcustomers as well. The website offers worldwide access by allowing the consumer tochoose the country they represent, and visit that specific site. There are twenty threecountries to choose from, each customized to fit the country’s language, currentpromotions, pertinent news, and other cultural aspects that vary around the globe.Establishing the often overlooked difference between consumers in different areas of theworld gives M&M’s an upper hand because they are able to appeal to an even biggercustomer base. There are many interactive areas telling stories behind M&M products,such as the creation of the newest brainchild, Mega M&M’s. There has been tremendousamount of effort that has gone into the creation of the website, and it is merely for theentertainment of the customers who are interested in learning more about the brand. M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 13
  14. 14. In the past decade M&M’s has made an appearance in a rather unlikely place thatback in 1954, no one probably would have expected to see them; the race track. M&M’sbecame the primary sponsor of NASCAR in 1998 (Tapping into New Fans), and nowAmerica’s favorite candy and their favorite sport “have formed a partnership”. Thisformation has not only been financiallybeneficial, but has also informed both M&M’sand NASCAR of an audience that will beconsumers of the products. Research has shownthat fans of NASCAR are three times morelikely to purchase products from companies thatsponsor the sport (Tapping into New Fans). Conversely, if a fan is particularly loyal to acertain brand, they will be more likely to cheer for the driver who represents thatcompany. This brand association will benefit M&M’s brand enormously. NASCARenthusiasts who are fans of Elliot Sadler, the driver of the M&M’s car, will become morelikely to purchase the M&M’s brand, as well as current M&M’s consumers will becomebigger fans of Sadler. This has provided a mutual appeal for both parties in their attemptsto grow their firms. As a part of their sponsorship efforts, M&M’s has developed an extensivelicensing network that creates merchandise associated with the sport. As of mid 2004,the partnership had 21 licenses for merchandise associated with M&M’s/NASCAR(Tapping into New Fans). This partnership has created a relationship between thecustomer and the brand because it has combined two brands that are of interest to a widevariety of consumers. M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 14
  15. 15. It isn’t just M&M’s/NASCAR merchandise that is licensed and marketed tocustomers. M&M has a separate licensing entity that produces $170 million in salesannually through 30 licenses that create a plethora of products sold worldwide (Candieswith Attitude). The relationship that customers have developed with the brand isapparent in the fact that they purchase an enormous amount of merchandise in manyforms, simply to be wearing the M&M logo, or the characters.Customer-Company Relationships There is no doubt that MasterFoods, the company behind the M&M’s brand, hasmade a continuous effort to make connections and form relationships with customers.The customers are without question the first priority, and MasterFoods strives to meettheir wants and needs, while making the M&M experience fun for all ages. There is adefinite positive relationship between customers and the company, because the customersfeel valued and that they are a part of the organization. In order to create this image ofcustomer concern and attention, MasterFoods asks for an extensive amount of customerparticipation in promotions, contests, and brand networks so they are able to get close totheir targets. In 1995, the company had decided that expanding the color choices ofM&M’s was a must in order to increase their desirability. They decided that the best wayto do this was to let customers choose the newest color to join the mix. Overwhelmingly,10 million plus people made the decision that Blue would be the fresh new character in the M&M’s brand, and he has remained since (M&M’s website). Anyone who has visited the grocery store has seen at least one of the promotions that M&M’s has run in M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 15
  16. 16. the past. In the last year and a half alone, they have endorsed several major motionpictures, with new products emerging from each (M&M’s website), launched three newadditions to their candy brand (Dandy Candy), and have had several contests with payoffsin the form of money, prizes, or candy. The bottom line is that the company is alwaysproviding something to catch the customers’ eye and a way for them to get involved.Everyone should feel as though they are a part of the company and their participation andopinions are valued by those who run the organization. Anyone who visits M&M’s U.S. website has the opportunity to become a “BrandVIP”, essentially a member of the M&M and MasterFoods family. Every section of thewebsite that a patron visits, markets the chance to be the first to learn about upcomingnews and promotions. Upon signing up for this club, the members receive newslettersvia email and postage that offer news, promotions, and new product information that isn’tavailable to the average consumer. In addition to learning about the company beforeothers, the newest members gain access to the official Collectors Club. It is here thatcustomers learn of the most recent merchandise to hit the shelves, as well as becomeinformed about local Collectors Events that they can attend. The company provides this service to any M&M customers, but in exchange forthe services that it offers, the company is able to collect information on their customers.When signing up to be a Brand VIP, the form asks not only demographic questions, butalso inquires about buying behavior and competitive patronage. Questions ask thefrequency of consumption, as well as for what purpose (i.e. snacking, entertaining, etc.),and also how often competitors’ brands are consumed. This is an informal way of M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 16
  17. 17. targeting the individuals for their tastes and preferences, as well as looking intocompetitive behavior. Building relationships in this way informs customers that they are important to thecompany as though they have a leg up on less loyal customers. At the same time, theyare able to collect information from the customers so they can determine the uses of theproduct, and better serve unmet needs. MasterFoods and the M&M’s Brand is alwayslooking for ways to gain customer approval, and insure they are providing customers withan experience that will be pleasurable and memorable for the whole family. Another way that M&M’s is building customer relationships is by joining socialcauses currently affecting certain demographics. Since 2003, MasterFoods has soldspecialty bags of M&M’s containing pink and white candies in support of breast cancer awareness during the fall months (Who They Are). A portion of each sale is donated directly to the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation in support of research of this disease which will likely be diagnosed in over 200,000 women this year alone (Breast Cancer Statistics). The donation made in each of the past two years has been$250,000 and this is expected to be matched this year as well (Who They Are). This iscurrently a hot topic, and especially sensitive with women. By lending their support to asocial cause, M&M’s has proven they are interested in their customer’s well being andtrying to make a difference. By showing they care, MasterFoods and M&M’s is seen as acorporate company who cares about social issues and is doing their part to help. This hasbeen well received by many customers, but also met its fair share of critics. Cynics claim M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 17
  18. 18. it is an abomination to sell a milk chocolate candy in support of breast cancer when dairyproducts in fact cause the cancer (Forum). This is not necessarily the opinion of thegeneral public, because all in all this has been seen as a positive step toward finding acure for this fatal disease.Customer-Product Relationships For over sixty years, people everywhere have been enjoying the small chocolatecandies that “melt in your mouth, not in your hand.” Over the years, M&M’s candies ofmany varieties have become a part of American culture, changing seasonally and whenpromotions or new varieties are introduced. M&M’S candy has grown from plain andpeanut varieties, to almond, peanut butter, crispy tastes and also to mini and mega sizes. One very common appearance of M&M’s has been as a finger food at parties,events, or just on the coffee table at someone’s house. This has been facilitated by therapidly changing color schemes that appear whether it’s Christmas, Easter, ValentinesDay, Independence Day, or Halloween. There are individuals who consume M&M’salmost as a decoration, having only the current colors to represent their favorite holidayseason. They are also used as gifts and in baking, which also tend to have holiday flair tothem. Customers often see the changing colors of M&M’s as a sign of the upcomingseasons, and for those consumers who are highly loyal, it can evoke a feeling ofexcitement because it is known that a season of entertaining friends or family is justaround the corner. M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 18
  19. 19. Until recently, customers had to wait for a certain time of year to see their favoritecolors, but this is not so today. M&M has followed in the footsteps of companies likeNike and Lands End, and has added a customization option to theircandies. Now, customers are able to choose from 15 differentcolors to add a message or from 21 custom colors, based on theirindividual preference or their entertaining needs (Cashing in on thenew world of Me). Customizing colors and messages has broadened the possibilities forM&M’s from the consumer standpoint, and now there are even more ways for them toenjoy their favorite candy. From birthday parties to weddings, consumers are buyingcustomized candies to reflect their own personal identity with the candy and to enjoythem to the fullest. M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 19
  20. 20. Future Predictions There is no doubt that M&M’s has proved itself in the past 60 years as a popularAmerican brand. The future is unclear for M&M’s, but the information collected aboutthe current status of the brand and company can determine where they can potentially gofrom here. M&M’s relative advantage with their products is that they are continuouslycreating new products. With their candy lines, they have evolved from plain and peanutvarieties to crispy, peanut butter and almond types. They have also created Mini M&MSthat are smaller than regular M&M’s and recently, M&M’s has introduced mega M&M’swhich are 55% larger than regular sized M&M’s (M&M’s website). By creating all ofthese different products, M&M’s is attempting to cover every aspect of their candymarket. This is also to appeal to every kind of consumer, where they offer something forevery type of consumer and their personal preference with candy. Although it may seemlike a good idea to cover every facet of the candy arena, over time M&M’s faces suchissues such as saturation and cannibalism. Saturation will occur due to an over presencein the market, consumers will become tired of new products being introduced andpreviously when they purchased the product, they will be reluctant in the future.Cannibalism may occur because there are so many varieties of M&M’s, consumers thatwere loyal peanut fans, may become new peanut butter fans thus eating away at sales inthe peanut variety. Cannibalism will only occur when M&M’s offers too many choicesfor consumers and they become confused with what product to buy and will lose loyaltyto their favorite variety. M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 20
  21. 21. Another factor to consider is expanding into more international products. At thispoint in time, they do have a considerable presence in international markets such as HongKong and Japan, but are missing some key global players such as mainland China,Taiwan and the Pacific Islands. Potential expansion to Eastern Europe and Middle Eastshould be considered by M&M’s and MasterFoods, but should not expand until furthermarket research is done. By increasing the Asian presence they will be able to reach alarge demographic given the region’s large population and interest in American products. Another future prediction for M&M’s Brand is following the market need forsocial needs and wants. The market is currently moving towards more gourmet andspecialty chocolates for both consumption and gift-giving. M&M’s is currently notactive in this market, therefore potential diversification to provide customers withspecialty products will keep them in line with market trends. Current diet trends such asthe South Beach Diet and Atkins is leading to a growth of consumer’s requests for sugar-free and low carb candy options. This could prove to be a big market for M&M’s if theydecide to enter this growing market segment. M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 21
  22. 22. Works Cited“Breast Cancer Statistics.” Susan G. Komen Foundation Website. 2005. November 15th, 2005.<http://www.komen.org/intradoc-cgi/idc_cgi_isapi.dll?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&ssDocName=BreastCancerStatistics>Brenner, Jol Glenn. The Emperors of Chocolate: inside the secret world of Hershey andMars. New York: Random House, 1999.“Candies with Attitude”. Retail Merchandiser. 44.7 (2004). 3-6.“United States candy industry by product type in dollar sales, unit sales, and percent change for 2004.” Candy Industry. 170.42. March 2005.“Dandy Candy.” Convenience Store News. 40.13. (2004). 28Forum. “Susan Komen Foundation Supports Breast Cancer.” Global Healing Center. 2005. November 15th, 2005.<http://www.ghchealth.com/forum/susan-komen-foundation-promotes-breast-cancer-discussion-1080.php>“Hersheys Kissables To Sponsor DIS Busch Series Opener.” Daytona International Speedway. 2005. November 27th 2005.<http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/news/news.jsp?news_id=893>“Introducing Incred-Able ... Munch-Able ... Hersheys Kissables.” The Hershey Company. 2005. November 17th, 2005<http://www.hersheyfoods.com/news/release.asp?releaseID=784327>“Inventor of the Week: Mars.” INVENTION dimension. Mar. 2005. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. November 27th, 2005.<http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/mars.html>“JBz Chocolate Candies.” Jelly Belly Website. 2003. Jelly Belly. November 27th, 2005<http://jellybelly.com/Cultures/en-US/OurCandy/JBz+Chocolate+Candies/Jbz+chocolate+candies.htm>M&M’s Website. 2005. Mars Incorporated. October 30th, 2005.<http://www.mms.com/>“More Holiday Gifts.” Hershey Gifts. 2005. The Hershey Company. November 27th, 2005<http://www.hersheygifts.com/navSubDepartment.aspx?Name=MoreChristmasGifts(Hershey)>“New Product Updates.” Candy USA. 2003. National Confectioners Association. November 27th, 2005<http://www.candyusa.org/Media/general/newproducts_2003.asp> M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 22
  23. 23. “Product Timeline.” Hershey Museum. 2003. Hershey Museum. November 27th, 2005.<http://www.hersheymuseum.org/students/first100.html>Schlosser, Julie. “Cashing in on the New World of Me.” Fortune. 150. 12 (2004). 244-250.Sutter, Stan. “Advertising week north.” Marketing Magazine. 109.32 (2004). 3.“Tapping Into New Fans.” Retail Merchandiser. July 2004, 44.7, 10-12.The M&M’s Collector’s Club. 2005. November 12th, 2005.<http://www.mnmclub.com/>“Who They Are, M&M’s Chocolate Candies.” Susan G. Komen Foundation Website. 2005. November 15th, 2005.<http://www.komen.org/intradoc-cgi/idc_cgi_isapi.dll?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&ssDocName=masterfoods> M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 23
  24. 24. Appendix DOLLAR SALES (in millions), 2004 250M&Ms, 201.4 Hersheys, 186.3 200 Hersheys 150 Kisses, 123.9 Hersheys Reeses, Nuggets, 100 York 64.7 64.4 Private Peppermint Label,Kit Kat, Cadbury, Patty, 50 Snickers, 34.2 32.6 31.6 29.9 50.8 0 M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis 24

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