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M&M’S augmented World

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M&M'S World in London: 4 floors dedicated to augmented product

I recently had the extraordinary experience of visiting M&M’S World in London.  For those who haven’t heard of it or know what it is, it is 4 floors of retail shop dedicated entirely to the humble M&M’S sweet.  Most of you have probably eaten an M&M’S  at some stage in your lives, and they’re each pretty small – let’s be clear that we are talking here about 35,000 square feet (3252m2) of retail space being filled by the humble little chocolate sweet, so how do they do that?  This is the most incredible story of augmented product!  Click here for the video clip

The first question is how do they manage to fill such an enormous retail space with a humble chocolate covered peanut?  And the answer is because this is augmented product at its finest.  Whilst clearly the M&M’S sweet is the heart of the activity, there are innumerable other merchandising products being sold that fill out the space (as they say at the entrance, ‘So much more than chocolate’!).  M&M’S World is clearly targeted at kids and tourists.  If you have any sense of style, taste or chic, prepare to be shocked and assaulted.  If you have sensitive sight, hearing and smell, prepared to be assaulted violently - M&M’S World isvery busy, full of people, full of noise, activity, hustling and bustling with sights and sounds to assault the senses.  Ugly, bright, garish colours, large M&M’S figures in variants of Perspex – everything is full- on, drilling the sight, sounds and smell of M&M’S into your inner parts.  For many adults, it’s tacky and in the worst of possible taste - but for kids, they love it!  It’s also great fun.  It’s lively, vibrant and entertaining.   What’s more the staff are really helpful – they are young and enthusiastic, and if they are not actually enjoying themselves, they are putting on a good show of pretending to be.

Theodore Levitt first articulated the concept of Augmented Product in1980, and done properly an augmented product delivers benefits for both customers and the Brand Owner.  Certainly customers appear to adore it, even if slightly reeling when they finish the check out and paying for baskets of highly priced merchandising that their kids think they need.   M&M’S management must love it – there are 27 million visitors footfall in Leicester Square and it’s anyone’s guess how many of them just happen to enter into M&M’s shop.   All of this is part of building one of the world’s most highly valuable brands ($2,75billion of M&M’S sweets sold in 2009), and yields at the London store are said to be 300% per kilo up compared to supermarket sales.   If marketers can create 4 floors of offer around a humble little sweet, there are serious lessons to learn.  The Application Note M&M Augmented studies M&M’s World in more depth and maps it to Levitt’s concept of Augmented Product.        



 

 

 

 

Posted on: Friday, February 03, 2012