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Can the New M&S Marketing Strategy Drive Stronger Conversation?

Published by Steve Thomson May 10, 2017

Marks & Spencer unveiled a new brand campaign and strategy last week, and as ever, its actions were widely discussed in the widely discussed in the marketing community.

It’s well known that the brand’s fashion business faces a challenge in staying relevant and interesting to younger consumers (read: anyone under 50). M&S needs all the help it can get from social interaction – louder excitement and stronger advocacy among younger fashion buyers would obviously help make the brand more relevant to all ages.

Relevance is the key here. In offline conversation, for example, sentiment is actually very positive in both food and non-food, though food is better:

                                                      Net Sentiment in Offline WOM



Non-food (excl. finance)


It’s not that young people are negative towards M&S – the brand is just not on their radar. A high proportion of M&S talkers are aged 40+, so an immediate challenge is to get into the conversations of younger people. A secondary issue is that sentiment dips among the 40-49 age group, a target group which should be accessible to M&S.

Can the new campaign turn this around? Let's watch this space.

Are you interested in reading more about how the importance of a balanced social influence strategy? Check out our ebook called "Social Misfits: Brands That Have a Split Personality, in Social Media vs. IRL, U.K. Edition"