Insight-Driven Innovation

“You cut right to the core of the issue – ‘mobile blindness’ is a concept that our Shopper Insights team has yet to uncover. Why have I not heard about this?”

—Sr. Brand Manager, Mars

The ask:

In 1954 M&M’s introduced the now famous slogan “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” Everyone knows melted chocolate is not fun to eat. M&M’s, due to their candy shell, wouldn’t melt — not on a store shelf and not in the hand of a child in his Sunday best. The shell was an existing product attribute that, until then, had not been recognized as a serious consumer benefit, and the brand seized the opportunity to communicate it with a campaign centered around their classic slogan.

This type of insight-driven innovation that fuels brand growth without changing the product itself is known throughout Mars as Beyond Product Innovation (BPI).

Our team was tasked with uncovering an insight that would lead to a new BPI for M&Ms core products — plain and peanut. We knew from the start that in FDMC channels, foot traffic was down for the candy aisle — today’s health-conscious consumers were avoiding temptation altogether by not even venturing near M&Ms enticingly colorful packages. We started our research by observing customers in-store.

Two weeks later we presented our findings to a Senior Brand Manager – Innovation at Mars. She was incensed that — with IC (immediate consumption) bags floundering for the past two years — her Shopper Insights team had not brought the emerging trend of mobile blindness to her attention.