When you hear the term “Brand Home,” what comes to mind?
Perhaps a place of origin or a purposefully crafted space that deepens your connection with a beloved brand? Brand homes serve as immersive experiences that weave a brand’s identity into the fabric of your consumer’s memory, inviting you to become an integral part of their story. They shift perceptions, increase positive mental recall, and pump up that all important consumer engagement, ultimately contributing to higher customer lifetime value, which, after all, is what every brand’s really after. Let’s explore the enchanting world of the perhaps overlooked humble chocolate M&M and their remarkable brand home, a place where magic truly happens.
The Essence of Brand Homes
Brand homes aren’t a one-size-fits-all activation. Their genetic makeup, if you will, depends on the brand’s purpose and heritage. For some, they are the very birthplace of the brand, steeped in authenticity and history. For others, they are purposefully crafted permanent spaces designed to forge stronger connections between the brand and its customers, fans, or both. They’re homes after all, they’re not going anywhere, and the core idea behind them is to create immersive experiences that welcome you in, leaving a lasting impression and offer a deeper understanding of the brand’s history, products, and storyline.
Brand homes are where you become not simply a consumer but an active participant in the brand’s narrative, a pillar holding up its story. They’re the places where you shift from being an observer to a devoted advocate with genuine enthusiasm, where your perception of the brand transforms, and your engagement swells, leading to an increase in customer lifetime value.
A Fusion of Formats
The most successful and captivating brand destinations are a playground for the imagination, often blending an array of formats. Whether it’s a museum, art space, brewery, or a concept shop, these places are designed to envelop you in the brand’s world in unexpected, often marvellous ways. As previously mentioned, brand homes aren’t cookie-cutter destinations, they can home a whole host of sectors, tailored to consumer wishes and desires, populating all corners of the globe. Some great examples include Studio Ghibli’s museum in Tokyo where anime aficionados can be transported inside the worlds of the studio’s beloved films, offering them a glimpse behind the creative processes. We also can’t get enough of the enchanting, somewhat menacing Swarovski Kristallwelten in Austria; a theme-park stroke museum of crystals which, frankly, looks like something a cartoon supervillain would be lucky to inhabit.
M&M’s World: A Journey Into the World of Chocolate
M&M’s World is a brand home like no other. Created with the sole purpose of bringing the brand closer to its customers and fans, M&M’s World is a vibrant and immersive destination that captures the essence of M&M’s chocolates in all their colourful glory.
M&M’s World is a purpose-built brand home designed to amplify “what it means to be an M&M”. In an interview with Insider Trends in 2017, Patrick McIntyre, Director of Global Retail at Mars, describes it as “an unforgettable moment” where visitors can immerse themselves in the world of M&M’s. Whether you’re a tourist, a local, or someone looking for a fun way to spend your time, M&M’s World in London is a destination not to be overlooked.
Our MARVELS research has found that customers list the sensory dimension as the most important part of the brand experience. At M&M’s world, the magic begins before you even step inside the shop, with the smell of the chocolate escaping the shop’s four walls. As you enter, you’re greeted by the sight of the world’s largest chocolate wall, stretching almost 50 metres and adorned with M&M’s in every imaginable colour. We’ve found that people value experiences that evoke a sense of beauty, wonder and appreciation and their destination provokes exactly that.
But M&M’s World isn’t just about the chocolate. Okay, maybe a little. But it’s predominantly about creating a guest experience that goes beyond just selling products. As our Exchange lever dictates, successful experiences get people involved rather than simply entertain them – participation results in higher emotions and a higher motivation to process relevant information.
Which is exactly what M&M’s world puts into practice. You’ve the chance to have a personal message scribed or even your face printed upon the little chocolate pieces as a memento of your time in the shop. A personalised experience which will stay with you, whether you decide you’ll ‘save it for later’ and treasure it, or you give into your peckishness before you even leave the shop is up to you. Either way, we won’t judge. As you interact with the chocolate, you also engage with the enthusiastic sales team who are there to make your visit memorable. The focus is on having fun, sharing these personalised products, and building a genuine connection with visitors.
M&M’s World in London is one of five such destinations around the world, and it holds the title of being the globe’s largest chocolate shop. It’s a place where you can truly become part of the M&M’s story, immersing yourself in the magic of the brand.
Who knew a tiny chocolate treat could wield so much force?
Ultimately, brand homes like M&M’s World are a testament to the power of immersive experiences. They not only provide a platform for brands to engage with their customers and fans but also create memories that last a lifetime, and crucially, outlive that jangly key-chain you can’t remember purchasing. These brand homes blend different formats to deliver a captivating journey into the heart of a brand’s identity, making every visit a magical adventure. Willy Wonka’s Factory may just belong in the pages of Roald Dahl’s novel, perhaps if he’d built a brand home, we’d still be singing its praises.
Oompa-Loompa’s better get to work.
(Image Source: M&M’s)