Edition 16: M&M’s Brand Refresh

July edit

This month we listened to a podcast from A Change of Brand all about M&M’s with special guest and Design Director at Jones Knowles Ritchie, Kristie Malivindi.

M&M’s is a global confectionery brand we all know and love (unless your team Smarties). The multi-coloured, button-shaped chocolate has been around since the 1940s, supplying the world with delicious crunchy snacks. And it’s clear that the brand has stood the test of time, but not without subtle changes along the way.

The Concept

The global branding agency, Jones Knowles Ritchie, was tasked with a brand identity refresh. But there was a catch. They weren’t allowed to change the logo. So, they had to focus on other assets, like the characters, copy and typography.

The team pitched two concepts to the confectionery brand, with both ideas focusing on emotional connection. It had to align with the internal strategy and purpose – a world where everyone feels they belong.

And this was key, as the brand was a bit fragmented and needed a better sense of cohesion. One thing we all associate with M&M’s is the characters. So, this was the catalyst for the agency to create a purposeful brand with a subtle refresh to make it cool and relevant again, as well as alluding to the idea that M&M’s are for everyone.

The Refresh

At first glance, it might be a case of spot the difference with the character refresh. But, put them side by side (literally) and you’ll notice. Representing a more modern world, the characters were put under the spotlight and given personalities that we can all relate to.

We all agreed that the custom typeface is a distinctive asset of the M&M’s brand. Drawing on the current and historic iterations of the logo, the warm typeface was created with an identity that mirrors the chunky shapes of the chocolate.

Along with the tagline one for all & all for fun, we think that this brand refresh by the creatives at Jones Knowles Ritchie perfectly reflects the current and future position of the brand in the global market. Here’s how it all comes together, M&M’s: For All Funkind.

A Brand of the Future

This was a unique evolution that pulled the logo along with it, rather than powering forward with a complete redesign. And by updating the other assets, it’s become clear that we wouldn’t need to see the logo to recognise the brand – the assets are strong enough on their own. Especially in the hands of a global branding agency.

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