Have you ever heard of Smarties? They’re little chocolate sweets very similar to M&M’s but they’re owned by Nestle and have been around since 1882!! They’re big in Europe.
M&M’s were first sold in 1941. Rumour has it that the founders of Mars Confectionary Company saw Smarties during the Spanish Civil war and copied the idea. Mars have been producing M&M’s since 1941.
History lesson over, let’s get back to present day…..
I enjoyed a family break to London recently with my wife and two kids. My kids are 8 and 10 years old so I use the term ‘break’ loosely.
One of the things my daughter was DESPERATE to do was visit M&M’s world. M&M’s World is a four storey building in central London dedicated entirely to M&M’s!
After hearing “can we go now daddy” for the one millionth time I thought we should check it out. I walked in expecting a shop selling M&M’s. That would be logical. But I was very wrong! I took one step inside M&M’s World and I literally felt like I was on another planet.
It was chaos, but in a good way. Upbeat music was blaring out the speakers all around you. Customers and staff were dancing around the place. M&M’s characters were wandering around high fiving everyone. The scent of chocolate was being pumped out of the air conditioning. Everywhere you looked someone was taking a selfie. This wasn’t a shop. It was an experience.
I couldn’t believe what was being sold inside this mad world. Every piece of merchandise imaginable was M&M’s branded and flying off the shelves. Candy dispensers, gadgets, clothes, jewellery, household goods, and everything else you could imagine. The person in front of me at the checkout spent over £600!
After a couple of hours I managed to get out and back to normality. I was surprised and impressed at how unique and engaging the whole experience was. I started to think about how Mars took a simple chocolate sweet, that wasn’t even original, and turned it into such a win-win situation with delighted customers and a profitable business. I wondered why so many people were devoted to the brand of M&M’s but not Smarties. A few things that stood out for me personally were as follows.
The points above are just my own thoughts based on my own personal experience. I would love to hear what you think. Please leave some comments in the comments box below if you have any.