Posts Tagged ‘M&S’

Marks & Mars?

August 10, 2010

Is it me or does it just feel plain wrong to see other people’s brands in M&S food stores?


I can see the business case: encourage customers to do more of their regular shopping with us so they don’t feel as much need to go to other stores and see M&S as more of an everyday food shop.  This is the strategy behind Waitrose Essentials and it’s been pretty successful for them.

But with M&S it really jars for me: I go there to get unique yummy food and a feel good ‘treat’ experience that I can’t get anywhere else. The bubble is burst for me when I see ‘ordinary’ brands there, even if they’re quite iconic ones: Coke, Mars, Wispa, PG Tips, Yorkshire Tea, Kelloggs, Marmite.  I can see the business logic of catering for the Coke/Mars bar needs of some lunchtime sandwich purchasers but the risk of brand experience dilution for the wider audience seems high.

And the prices aren’t terribly competitive either and these are what supermarkets call Known Value Items: things that shoppers buy often enough to have a good idea of the prices. By charging a premium for them, isn’t there a risk that it will confirm people’s perceptions that M&S is pricey generally?