Mars has rebranded to embrace purpose marketing and better represent its broad business footprint.
The company, which boasts brands as diverse as Snickers, Uncle Ben's Whiskas, Dolmio, Wrigley and wellness brand CocoaVia, has moved into purpose marketing and tasks its 115,000 associates to "make a difference" in the world.
It has put a renewed focus issues around climate change and worker conditions, both of which will require it to look closely at its supply chains which are formed from around one million people.
It claimed that the restructure and purpose pursuit was established before it the brand was scheduled for a digital update to align it with these new ideals. Reflecting the diversity of its products, Mars has also created identities for Mars Food, Mars Petcare and Mars Wrigley Confectionary, tying into the new identity.
In many respects like Weight Watcher's recent rebrand to WW, the company has moved away from its legacy to better define the business it wants to be moving forward. This new identity has tried to build out the corporate logo to form a more cohesive brand.
A new M logo has also been produced. Mars describes it as "bold and progressive, but also optimistic and proud".
Grant Reid, chief executive officer at Mars, said: “Our corporate purpose is an inspiration for pushing boundaries and challenging ourselves to do business in a way that will create enduring benefits for us and society – not just today, but for generations to come. Our purpose isn’t a new concept, it’s deeply rooted in that which has differentiated us for more than 100 years – our principles, and our long-term view, enabled by being a family business and having the financial freedom which gives us control of our own destiny.
“Purpose has a clear role to play in business. Purpose without performance isn’t possible, and performance without purpose is meaningless. We’re a large company, and with that scale comes both the responsibility and the opportunity to have a positive impact. Our culture encourages Mars Associates to consider every business decision through the lens of whether it is helping establish the tomorrow we want to create.”
Founded in 1911 in Illinois, Mars is now one of the largest privately-owned companies in the US and commands a powerful marketing budget to push its many brands globally. It launched as a candy store under Frank C mars in 1911 and remained in the family since then. It saw multiple iterations until the Milky Way was created in the 20s and was an instant hit. During WWII, it moved into instant food products like rice that would soon become Uncle Ben's.
The holding company's move towards purpose puts it more in line with fellow giants Unilever and P&G with the mission statement: "The world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today.”
Mars explains the reasoning behind the change in the below Twitter post.
Chris Moody, global chief design officer at brand consultancy Wolff Olins, said: “The new Mars identity signals a resurgence in ‘masterbranding’. At a time when the public is hyper-sceptical of big multinationals, it’s wise to be transparent and take ownership of your actions. The new expression - and particularly the sentiment of the language around it - is aligned to Unilever’s way of presenting itself as a friendly holding company. The reason why this is important is not because of an external audience but the internal one. Creating a meaningful brand for employees is as important as it is for customers.
“There is however a minor gripe around the execution; though the RGB colours and lower-case sans scream, ‘You can trust us, honest’, there’s a nagging suspicion that this is still an old school corporate. The choice of ‘techworld’ blue and a harmless ‘We’re on your side’ sans serif is a bit safe. This rebrand could be seen as a way to ‘modernise’ and represent accountability – but equally it could be read as adopting a new kind of camouflage, where the core of true corporateness goes unseen.”