client stories

Understanding culture surrounding food

The challenge

The role of food in our lives is constantly evolving. Quadrangle helped reposition and promote the M&S Food brand, building on what customers expect from M&S and encouraging them to consider M&S Food when buying, preparing and eating food.

Our solution

Partnering with a leading semiotics expert, we mapped how the attitudes and expectations towards food have evolved over the past 10-15 years, from the desire for perfection in dining to seeking meaningful connections to food. We married this understanding with a quantitative survey that identified brand assets M&S distinctly owned in the category.

Through a series of co-creation sessions, we brought client and customers together to assess what worked and what needed changing.

The outcome

Based on our recommendations, M&S Food developed several new branded concepts for testing.

We demonstrated that M&S has its own, unique manifestation of humour and value in shoppers’ minds, which formed the basis for a playbook of ‘dos and don’ts’ to inspire future development. Our work also helped to guide thinking behind the famous M&S Food ‘This is Not Just Food’ advertising campaign.

We helped M&S with: 

  • Strategy
  • Brand definition
  • Positioning

What was involved:

  • Semiotics
  • Quantitative research
  • Co-creation

Specialisms that helped:

  • Running customer closeness events
  • Being collaborative, flexible and open in our approach
  • Combining behavioural data with research data
  • Embedding research and insight into strategy