Can your brand cross the line?

Mm1 M&Ms have been around since 1941, when they quickly became a favorite of the soldiers in World War II.  In 1954, peanut M&Ms came to be and they went crazy in 1976 by adding an orange M&M to the mix.

In the subsequent 30+ years, we've all watched the evolution of the M&M.  Seasonal colored packages (green and red for Christmas etc.), almond M&M's, etc.

But the basic M&M tenet — inexpensive, candy coated chocolates that won't melt in your hand has pretty much stayed the course.

Until recently. 

M&M's as you probably know, launched M&M Premiums.  At $4 or more a package, these are being played up as something very special…not an ordinary candy at all.  Eva Longoria helped launch the new candies in New York City and the packaging and marketing all say — high end.

They also launched a media campaign to push the new offering.

(RSS feed and e-mail subscribers click here or on the headline to see the video)  But I've noticed that they keep getting less and less shelf space.  And no one is talking about them.  And I can't seem to find any sales figures, other than PR "we're pleased with the sales to date" sort of thing.

So here's what I am wondering.  Did M&M's step over the line?  Can they be both the inexpensive candy we have grown up with AND a premium candy?

We talk about how the brand lives in your consumers' head and heart.  They own the brand.  We can tell them who we are ut they get to decide if that's really the case.

Did M&M's try to stretch their brand beyond our comfort level?  What do you think?

Update:  See what Tobias Singer had to say about this brand extension.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]