A few things worth knowing about
me: I love dancing, I love food and I absolutely love a good museum (I’d more
or less move into the V&A if it weren’t frowned upon). When I heard
about the latest Science Museum Lates, then I knew I was going to have to get
myself up to London to pay a visit. The last Wednesday of every month, it opens
its doors for an adults-only, after-hours themed night – featuring a silent
disco, excellent food, a bar and crucially, a whole host of different stalls,
talks and special guests. For my visit, the theme was Food and Drink:
exploring the senses, the future of food and why we like the food and drink
that we do. This was, of course, pretty much catnip to me, as I spend my
whole working life exploring how consumers interact with food, drink and
personal care products, and why.
The whole evening was
completely fascinating – however, the standout was the Fungi Laboratory –
showing how, with the right environment, mushrooms can digest plastic to create
more, completely biodegradable and non-toxic, mushrooms. As I wandered through
the museum, excitedly clutching my glass of wine, I thought about why this
event was working so well, why it felt so right. And I realised – it’s
because the experience was almost identical to how it used to feel when I
visited the Science Museum as a child – that sense of exploration, of wonder,
of magic. For me, understanding how fungi can digest plastic bags, how it
works, what that means felt like my whole mind was expanding, in a way I
haven’t experienced in years.
The Science Museum has clearly
understood so well what really makes it unique – and knows that to continue to
inspire future generations, they must capture this completely, and in a format
to appeal to those experiential millennials. The importance of knowing your own brand heartland, your
own magic is something that we’re very aware of here at MMR – and
that we believe is crucial for truly engaging consumers and ensuring success.
In the case of the Science Museum, their key equity of childlike wonder
is inspiringly conveyed by everything from the exhibits, to the food, to the
dancing, to the people.
With FMCG, we know it’s a little
more complicated – but in exactly the same way, brands need to know their own
magic, their core equity – and then strive to ensure this is communicated
at every touchpoint: brand, pack, product. Only when the equities communicated
at every touchpoint sing from the same hymn sheet, will the whole brand
experience feel right and ultimately, engaging to consumers.
Rosie Proudlove is Research Manager at MMR