Breathing New Life into M&M Food Market
Posted September 29, 2017, Sklar Wilton & AssociatesCase study
The M&M Meat Shops brand was tired. It had retained its original, core consumer group but had not brought in new, younger consumers over the years. They needed to elevate and revitalize the brand through all touch points. It was hypothesized that negative and often false perceptions around the frozen food category were holding them back.
This multi-stage journey leveraged Sklar Wilton & Associates’ expertise in strategic advisory services, facilitation, and market research. By first understanding who to win with, we defined a compelling, differentiated brand promise, and specific how to win strategies. Through our qualitative and quantitative research, we discovered that frozen food categories continue to be popular and growing among all age groups. Indeed, negative consumer perceptions were not the problem to solve. Instead, convincing consumers to choose M&M by elevating the shopping experience, food offering, and service model were key.
First, with a name change from M&M Meat Shops to M&M Food Market, the corporate identity was rejuvenated to remind consumers that M&M offered frozen foods that were more than just appetizers and desserts – they have a broad selection of healthy and tasty food items for every occasion. This change resulted in a new logo and packaging design.
Then, the customer experience was overhauled with a more hands-on retail vision. These changes led to the development of two new prototype stores in 2015 which were launched, measured, and optimized prior to national rollout. New food and merchandise items were created to support the new direction.
The final stage in the journey included generating full engagement not only from franchisees, but also from employees. This entailed developing an internal brand purpose, behaviours, and company valuesto shape the new M&M culture and enable success. This could only be done if franchisees were supportive of and included in the journey.
---- Sklar Wilton & Associates applies strategic advisory services and marketing research and analytics to solve tough business challenges. Research techniques are selected to solve the challenge at hand and may include, among others, biometrics, communities, ethnography, focus groups, gamification, interviews, sensory research, social media research, surveys, and/or text analytics.
M&M Food Market is now rolling out new stores and re-training employees. Stores that have implemented the new corporate identity and brand purpose strategies have increased their sales in comparison to old format M&M stores. And, early results of socializing the brand purpose have already seen great impact. Employees at the head office are focusing on initiatives to help the broader community and to better manage their own work/life balance. Read more about M&M’s journey here.