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MKTG3350 Principles of Marketing Emotional Connection University of Arkansas at Little Rock

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

MKTG3350 Principles of Marketing Emotional Connection University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Product icons are essental for having a successful brand because theyare the image
and personality of the brand, that delivers the product’s message to the consumer. A lot of tme
and money is spent in marketng research, design, and developing thebrand messages to
create a product icon (Agius 2016). Before going into any specific brand icon, I will first briefly
explain what a product icon is and how it relates to marketng.
Consumers in many cases will base their purchasing decisions on the brand image
instead of the product itself and is what the consumer remembers about the brand (Vaeson
2016). That is why having a successful brand icon is so essental. Icons, or characters, are a way
to bring the brand together and give it a voice and personality, which helps consumers
remember the product, think of the product more ofen, and gives them a way to relate to the
brand and sometmes even develop an emotonal connecton with the brand (Agius 2016). They
help show the consumer how the product fits into their lifestyle. Another benefit to a good icon
is that it helps with building brand loyalty and trust. It builds positverelatonships with the
consumers and helps turn the brand from something impersonal into something that people
can relate to.
There are brand icons everywhere today. Some have such a strongbrand identty that
people instantly recognize what brand they represent without the need of any words (Johnson
2015). To be effectve, characters must make the ad memorableso the customer will remember the product and brand recogniton is gained (Johnson 2015). One way todo this is for the icon
to tell a story or have a narratve to get the message across about how to use the product or
how it fits into the consumer’s lifestyle(Vaeson 2018). Peoplealways like a good story- it helps
us learn, relate to, and understand things.
One of the most successful brand icons in America today is Mars Chocolate’s M&M
characters. They are among the most popular animated charactersin U.S. pop culture and have
grown over the years to the iconic status. They can be seenin many different mediums such as
commercials, social media, digital campaigns, sponsorships such asNascar, in retail stores as
costumed characters, movie theater previews, and they even havetheir own M&M branded
store on the Las Vegas Strip.
To help you understand how these litle candy-coated chocolate characters became
such a big success for M&M’s, I will discuss the product’s and characters’history, its image and
modificatons over the years, and the level of consumer loyaltyto the icon and brand.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF M&M’S

Forest Mars, Sr., son of Mars founder, Frank C. Mars, came up with the idea for M&Ms
during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s when he saw soldiers eatng pieces of candy-coated
chocolates that prevented them from meltng in the sun.(M&M 2008) Mars then went back to
America and partnered with William Murrie, son of Hershey’s founder, to ensure a steady
supply of chocolate. The name was taken from the initals of the two men, M&M.(Klara 2016) In
1941, the first M&M’s were produced and sold in the plain milk chocolate flavor. This was
during World War II, and because there was a chocolate raton during this tme, they were sold

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MKTG3350 Principles of Marketing Emotional Connection University of Arkansas at Little Rock

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