Page 1: Introduction
The Mars bar is part of our cultural heritage. Our parents and grandparents were brought up with Mars, and instantly recognise the product by its wrapper and distinctive taste. Most of them can instantly recall the famous strapline 'A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play'. Mars has been the number one selling single chocolate bar since records began. Today, Mars bars are sold in over 100 countries worldwide, and over 95of the UK population has eaten one recently.
However, even cultural icons have to change over the course of time. This does not mean abandoning their strengths, but rather adapting to a changing environment.
The business environment faces several forces or pressures for change including:
- changed legal requirements (e.g. new environmental laws that reduce unnecessary packaging)
- actions of competitors (e.g. a rival markets a new product)
- shifts in consumer demand (e.g. consumers seeking more sophisticated products).
Intelligent companies therefore use market research as a guide to ensuring that consumers' needs are met by relevant products and services. To achieve a positive impact, any changes to the marketing mix (e.g. product, price, advertising message) should be communicated to various publics. In this case study we show how Mars skilfully used public relations to gain the positive support of new and existing customers when it re-launched the Mars bar in March 2002.