M&Ms Offers Sweet Lessons on Reaching Your Target Audience


Allowing consumers to vote for the next M&Ms color was a brilliant way to reach the brand’s target audience.

Since their introduction in the 1940s, M&Ms have been inviting consumers to enjoy the confection that “melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” While most kids have tried melting those chocolate buttons just about everywhere (heating vents, hot chocolate and, yes, hands), the brand has managed to woo one generation after another with strategies effective at reaching their target audience.

Right about now, it’s probably safe to assume that you ran and grabbed some chocolate so that you could make it through this blog. It’s no accident that you’ve developed a Pavlovian response to the brand. M&Ms are more than just candy; they’re an experience.

How can you apply some marketing principles made famous by M&Ms to your target audience? Take a look:

Invite Everyone to the Party: M&Ms is one of the clearest examples of a company that invites consumers to be a part of their product development process. From voting for future colors and new flavors to the “Become an M&M” where consumers were involved in creating their own M&M personality, they are skilled at inviting customers to be intimately involved with the brand.

Get Social: Many companies use social media to connect with a target audience. Few go so far as to use social media for their character to connect with a target audience. Miss Green has quite the social presence, inviting followers to engage in a Facebook selfie competition and hosting a “Tour of Ireland.” M&Ms has a solid strategy that involves playful engagement with their audience, which makes their posts shareable and inviting.

Don’t Underestimate Word of Mouth Connections: It’s easy to forget that one of your best avenues is simply being awesome. That doesn’t mean you sit back and let everyone come find you; you encourage your happy customers to spread the word. M&Ms did this by asking their Facebook followers to simply invite two friends to claim a sample bag of Pretzel M&Ms.

Sure, you might be thinking, if my product was M&Ms, it would be easy. Well, your product is M&Ms to the person who needs or wants it. Part of the trick for word-of-mouth marketing is knowing who your target audience is and how to effectively get their attention.

While you’ve been reading this, our team at SJC Marketing has been clearing the shelves at local stores of all their M&Ms. Just because we’re marketers doesn’t mean marketing doesn’t work on us!  Ready to get started on your marketing strategy? Let’s get some great ideas going for your brand.

We’d love to learn more about you.