Chocolate Marketing Ideas

Chocolate Marketing Ideas
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When it comes to marketing chocolate, there are many different strategies that chocolate businesses can take. How marketers have featured chocolate in the past has relied on numerous factors ranging from the type of chocolate to the history of the parent brand.

European chocolate makers, for instance, have a long history of production and rely on that history in their marketing efforts. Prestige brands of chocolate distinguish themselves partly by setting higher prices that suggest the chocolate is more than just another candy.

When choosing a marketing strategy, there are numerous sources of inspiration from which chocolate businesses can draw. From case studies of chocolate makers to marketing reports, there are many sources marketers can draw from for ideas. However, each chocolate business will need to assess their own position and products before settling on a marketing idea.

Chocolate Marketing Research and Ideas

Marketing research among premium chocolate brands has revealed how these brands were marketing themselves in such a way that they continued to experience significant revenue increase despite their higher price point. One way that these companies positioned themselves was by featuring their health benefits.

While not a marketing tactic that all chocolate makers might be able to use, makers of dark chocolate have a potential avenue for featuring health benefits that other chocolate types cannot. Dark chocolate, associated with health benefits for the heart and brain, can be featured in marketing materials in such a way that these benefits are highlighted.

Using Smaller Portions of Chocolate

One interesting tactic that chocolate businesses have made, which allowed them to diversify their product offerings and open up a new marketing avenue, was the use of smaller portioned chocolates.

The first benefit of offering smaller portioned candy was the potential for marketing a chocolate product that potentially had a lower overall calorie count, which would help these businesses again focus on potential health aspects of their products.

The use of smaller portioned products also gave these companies a chance to sell candy at a lower price, which appealed to a broader range of consumers.

Featuring Chocolate as a Reward

Of course, one of the most tried and true ways of marketing chocolate is by featuring the product as a reward. In other words, chocolate is often marketed as an indulgence, something people can enjoy.

This is the kind of idea that can be sold by chocolate makers of all kinds, regardless of whether they’re a prestige brand or a common brand.

Divine Chocolate and Branding

One case study example of how important branding is used within the chocolate industry, occurred with the brand Divine Chocolate. Divine Chocolate launched in 1999 and for many years of its existence, focused on marketing itself by highlighting the taste of its product. Much like other chocolate companies, Divine tried to market its products on the basis of how tasty its chocolates were while ignoring the feature that most set it apart.

Namely, Divine Chocolate had a unique ownership model.

Divine was 44% owned by the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers co-operative, a co-operative of chocolate farmers located in Ghana. This unique ownership model meant that a significant amount of the profits went back to everyday farmers in Ghana, which potentially set the company up with a unique marketing angle.

Unfortunately, for the majority of its existence, Divine did not adequately take advantage of this angle. Yet, the first attempt to use a campaing that showed how sales of Divine chocolate benefited local farmers didn’t drive increased sales.

The company finally succeeded when it blended its marketing so that it featured the delicious taste of its chocolate while simultaneously highlighting the its unique ownership model.

This approach drew in not only chocolate lovers but those who were concerned with fair trade and ethical sales models. For chocolate companies, this case study suggested that it was important to market the brand not only on the basis of taste, but on unique features that distinguished the company from its competitors.

Chocolate businesses that give back financially to the community, for example, may be able to blend their marketing to feature not only the taste of their candies but also the good that they do for society.

Examples from Europe

Well known brands from Europe have also been engaged in various marketing strategies that may inspire chocolate marketing strategies among other companies. Analysis of Ferrero Rocher, Cadbury, Lindt, Sprungli and Godiva demonstrates that, despite the competition among these companies, there were a number of similarities in the way that they marketed their chocolate.

All of these European brands maintained their branding by selling within their own shops, maintaining a distribution strategy that includes its own customer-facing venues. These candy makers found it helped to market themselves by maintaining boutiques and outlets that set them apart from less prestigious brands, as well as from one another.

Despite maintaining a prestigious brand name, these European-based chocolate makers continued to try to market themselves by emphasizing the diversity of the candy they offered. Rather than simply feature a single type of candy, these brands tried to identify trends in current tastes and create new candies that appealed to shifts in consumer tastes.

As such, part of marketing their products included walking a fine line between demonstrating the historic nature of their brands while featuring new products that appealed to new tastes.

The takeaway for marketers was the importance of both a brand’s legacy as well as the diverse offerings that a company puts on the market.

Using Higher Prices as a Differentiator

Pricing also became a way that these chocolate brands marketed themselves in a way that set them apart from other chocolate makers, with European brands purposefully setting their prices higher than their U.S. competitors. This increased price seemed designed to convey a sense of prestige and increased value associated with buying European vs. American chocolates.

For chocolate makers, the nature of the brand and the target audience become important to the price. For businesses that want to market to a slightly more affluent clientele, it may be important to distinguish their products by intentionally setting the price point higher, thereby conveying the idea that these chocolates are more than just common candy and instead a product of higher value.

Chocolate Marketing Ideas

There are many sources of inspiration for marketers to look to when they need chocolate advertisement ideas. If the chocolate maker is simply trying to offer a candy bar for everyone, they can feature the low cost and accessibility of the brand in their marketing.

If the chocolate maker is a prestige brand, the marketing materials can be focused on the product as something that’s distinct from the common chocolate bar found on the shelves.

Marketers need to identify how they want to position their brand, identify what’s unique about that brand and combine their marketing so that it features not only the taste of the company’s products but also highlights what sets the brand apart.

Perhaps one of the most effective ways of getting the word out about your product is to offer a free sample. This face-to-face mareting concept for chocolate marketing puts the product right where the manufacturer wants it - in the customer's hand.