The Power of Storytelling in the Shopper's Journey at the Point of Sale: Mars Panama - Creating Unique Experiences with Customized Displays

The Power of Storytelling in the Shopper’s Journey at the Point of Sale: Mars Panama – Creating Unique Experiences with Customized Displays

Discover how storytelling can completely transform the shopper’s journey at the point of sale. Through the case study of M&M’s in Panama, we will explore the development of experiential custom displays that provided customers with interactive and enjoyable connections.

This generated increased interest in M&M’s chocolates, promoted active shopper engagement, and strengthened the emotional association with the brand and its characters. In terms of sales, there was a remarkable 16% increase in product turnover, as well as higher participation and brand visibility on the shelves and mini check-out displays in retail supermarkets and convenience stores in Panama.


One of the primary benefits of in-store marketing is offering memorable experiences to shoppers. However, to achieve this, brands must tackle the following challenges:

  1. The brand must establish genuine connections with shoppers beyond the ability to see and touch the product.
  2. The brand needs to find the ideal touchpoint with shoppers during their journey at the point of sale, leveraging impulse purchases.
  3. The brand must stand out and capture the shopper’s attention within the first 3 seconds of sensory contact (auditory, visual, gustatory, olfactory, and tactile).
  4. The brand faces the challenge of creating awareness and educating shoppers about the brand’s purpose, benefits, or proper product usage.
  5. The brand must foster emotional connections and leave lasting impressions on shoppers through the overall experience.

However, the most significant challenge for the brand at the point of sale is seizing the opportunity of real-time interaction with shoppers to quickly tell its story. If we’re talking about the power of storytelling, or the narrative that allows target customers to somehow participate, interact, or relate to the brand, it generates the most crucial ingredient in the equation: “Emotions” that drive shoppers to make a purchase.

Moments to Share

A clear example of in-store marketing based on experiences was the “Moments to Share” campaign we developed at Diforma Group in collaboration with Mars Panama. The objective of this campaign was to increase distribution, availability, and sales of M&M’s products through a strategy focused on traditional business owners, establishing strong and beneficial relationships with retailers, and improving the brand’s positioning in the minds of consumers.

After an exhaustive analysis, we identified the challenges and opportunities for the brand. We found that shoppers in Panama perceived quality chocolates as expensive and believed they were only for special occasions.

Therefore, there was a need to change this perception through compelling storytelling, leveraging the recognition that M&M’s characters have in highlighting the diversity of personalities and colors of the chocolates. Additionally, there was a goal to increase distribution and brand visibility at different touchpoints during the shopper’s journey at the point of sale.

The creative strategy of the M&M’s campaign focused on strengthening the brand’s perception as a creator of happiness and smiles in people’s daily lives. To achieve this, we developed a creative rationale based on emotional connection, joy in every bite, versatility, and the creation of special moments that M&M’s offers to consumers.

We implemented a comprehensive strategy that included the design and creation of interactive displays for M&M’s, providing customers with a fun experience using humor and interaction between the characters. Moreover, we designed various cross-category M&M’s displays at the checkout area, aiming to increase impulse sales and improve brand visibility.

The implementation of the strategy involved executing various tactics, such as display design, point-of-sale promotions, creation of M&M’s promotional items, and the implementation of an experience-based strategy at different touchpoints during the shopper’s journey at the point of sale, making consumers feel part of M&M’s fun and colorful world.

The results were outstanding: the campaign successfully increased distribution, availability, and sales of M&M’s products. Furthermore, brand visibility improved at different touchpoints during the shopper’s journey, strengthening relationships with retailers and enhancing brand perception among consumers.

Throughout this process, compelling and emotional narratives, reflected in various functional display pieces, captivated customers, piqued their curiosity, and strengthened their natural connection with M&M’s characters. This contributed to creating a unique and memorable experience for shoppers, further amplifying the impact of M&M’s experiential marketing strategy.

The positioning of a brand at the point of sale through themed exhibitions based on storytelling is now crucial for brands’ success in retail channels.

To achieve this, it is essential to understand the emotional triggers that motivate customers, develop displays that capture their attention and create an emotional connection. Nowadays, shoppers choose a specific brand because they have heard its story and feel an emotional connection when they see its products.

In this regard, the creation and narration of compelling stories become a powerful tool to position the brand and deliver a meaningful experience at the point of sale.