Brave Commerce Podcast: Candy, Culture and Commitment in Marketing

Learn how Mars Wrigley is expanding its brands beyond mere snacking

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On this episode of Brave Commerce, Gabrielle Wesley, chief marketing officer at Mars Wrigley, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to talk about brand strategy, the importance of Halloween in the candy industry, and the company’s commitment to fostering an inclusive internal culture.

Wesley delves into how Mars Wrigley ensures its brands remain culturally relevant. While awareness of its products is not an issue, her team focuses on accessibility and being present wherever consumers think about indulging themselves. Halloween, in particular, holds immense importance as it serves as an entry point for consumers to discover Mars Wrigley’s brands.

She also shares how Mars Wrigley is expanding its brands beyond mere snacking. A cultural phenomenon, M&M’s has evolved far beyond its product offerings, emphasizing inclusivity and creating experiences that align with the brand’s essence of unity through fun.

Discussing the unique company culture at Mars Wrigley, Wesley elaborates on the associate concept, where ideas can come from anyone regardless of their position. She also shares her insights on supporting women in their careers, particularly during pivotal life transitions like marriage, motherhood and leadership. Wesley advocates for transparency, vulnerability, and accepting that balance can be subjective and ever-changing.

While acknowledging the challenges posed by additional responsibilities, Wesley also highlights the positive shift towards prioritizing mental health and well-being. She expresses concerns about lingering expectations and responsibilities on women but remains optimistic about the increasing flexibility and choices for employees.

Key takeaways:

  • Think beyond product sales and create experiences that align with your brand’s essence.
  • Foster a company culture where conversations about well-being and work-life balance are encouraged and supported.
  • Develop a workplace culture where ideas can come from anywhere, promoting innovation and inclusivity.