Ok, I love M&M’s.  Who doesn’t.  My two year old daughter really loves M&M’s.  To her, it’s a food group.  Me, if I was trapped on a desert island and could only take one candy, it would be M&M’s.

I doubt I will ever be put in a position to make this kind of critical decision.  Although I sort of wonder what kind of creepy reality would force me to have to do this…but that’s another blog post.  Indulge me, it’s Friday.

I saw a tweet come through from a friend of mine, Virginia Miracle (veedub to her friends) about the M&M Mbassador program.  This factoid will be important later (veedub, not the program).

Being the good student of community, I followed the link to the Mbassador home page.  I immediately dove into the comments…before I even read the post.

There were about a half a dozen comments which oozed affinity and brand loyalty.  All sorts of love.  Several craved more interaction.  They essentially said, ‘”Hey M&M, here I am.  Involve me!  Work with me!  Tap me as a resource!  I’ll do anything, just don’t shut me out.”

I dove a little deeper.  Lots of comments and stories about the love people have for the melt in your mouth, not in your hand chocolate crack.

When I Googled M&M Mbassador program, there it was on the top of the list.  But there is a problem (can you find Waldo?) .

MnM_veedub

If you look carefully, I was dropped on VeeDub’s page straight from Google.  The page his hosted by SatMetrix.  C’mon guys, this sort of thing is bad form!

Here is how I got to it:

Google MnM

I finally went back to read the original post that was prompted by Virginia’s tweet.  Here’s how it reads:

MnM

I feel for Emma.  She sounds pretty down and out.  Reading between the lines, I’d bet that you don’t see any form of direct consumer engagement coming back anytime soon.  I hope it does.  Engaged and excited consumers who love the brand are a great way to extend understanding and product adoption and use.  Heck, just look at all of the UGC people have created on their own.

A friend and colleague of mine, Pauline Ores has a great line…”Community is like gravity’. It is the same for everything or everyone.”  Or at least it should be.  Good community works the same for Apple as it should for M&M.  That is to some degree if management gets it or understands its value.

My guess is the folks at M&M are making a short term P&L decision.  Understand it.  Too bad.  If I see more commercials of un-dead, man-sized candies playing good cop/bad cop on TV, I’ll be even more disappointed.  That means the brand chose the easy generic impression rather than an integrated customer engagement path.

What a bummer.

Steve Hershberger
Steve Hershberger