The chocolate market is now a cruel battlefield.
Old well-established companies rely on their seniority to keep their customers loyal. But brand new chocolate professionals know well how to use Social Media to grow followers and get known fast. In the meantime, chocolate makers take pride in their technical skills against chocolatiers reaffirming their creativity. Who has the money to pay PR and Marketing agencies get the message across. Who doesn’t, try as best as he can to read up on the latest brand strategies between a batch of chocolates and the other. Some buy tickets to fly to the FCIA (Fine Chocolate Industry Association) conference in San Francisco this weekend, others get ready to exhibit at Chocoa – Amsterdam Chocolate Festival in February. It’s a big rush to develop the most exciting products while diligently guarding the competitor’s moves and planning the counterattack.
Alright, the chocolate industry is actually not as gory as I described it. As long as I know they are all very nice people. Some of them even support each other like brothers and sisters. But the question is:
“Who has what it takes to win customers’ hearts in 2016?”
Old strategies won’t work. Chocolate professionals will need to get even more creative (I know, it’s a never-ending battle, but it’s worth it) to be picked out of the online and offline shelves among a bazillion competitors. The focus needs to vividly stay on the customer’s needs, and how a specific chocolate product makes him/her feel at the moment of the purchase.
Here is a list of the most creative pieces of information that successful chocolate brands are currently writing on their packaging to win customers’ hearts in 2016.
To make customers fall in love with your chocolate, make them feel:
- CURIOUS – Amedei‘s strategy is really one to take into high consideration for your next packaging or for your website. How many times on Amazon have you seen “People who bought this also bought this other one”? Or after an online purchase you read something like “If you liked this one, you might also like…”? When a customer has already picked up your chocolate and liked it, chances are he would want to know what else you have in your inventory. Showcasing other products on the same packaging that the customer is now holding in his hands stimulates his curiosity and makes him want to know what else can meet his taste.
- REASSURED – No other things make your customer trust you 100% more than seeing your face or the faces of your team. TCHO is among the most famous fine chocolate brands, and is proud to show who is working behind the scenes. Having a face to relate to means the world to a customer. Don’t be afraid that potential customers won’t like your face. It doesn’t matter if they like it or not, the important thing is that you and your brand have higher chances to be remembered. We always forget names, but we rarely forget a face.
- EXCITED – I look at Yes Cacao chocolate bars and I already feel enthusiastic about what I am about to eat. I am invited to relax, to get energized, to nurture my body. A chocolate bar that talks to me and tells me to feel good? I’ll take it! Usually you won’t see many verbs on the front of a chocolate bar, but I find this strategy to work very well in attracting customers. Especially when “feeling good” words are used. Be aware that no customer is being fooled here. No promises or miraculous effects are suggested. There is nothing wrong with inviting your customer to some positive feelings while enjoying your chocolate.
- SPECIAL – I might have picked up Raaka chocolate bar just because it told me that it was part of a Limited Batch. Whenever you write on your packaging things like Special Edition, Limited Edition or Award Winner, customers start feeling the tension that if they don’t bring your chocolate home they will be missing out on something great. I am not saying to start writing Limited Batch all over your 30,000+ chocolate bars or lying about your awards. But if it is true, you should definitely show it off. For your customers it feels like bringing home a treasure. They won’t forget the feeling, neither the name of your company.
- KNOWLEDGEABLE – Everybody likes to play the expert. So customers are in heaven when Guittard tells them the Tasting Notes, the Origin and the Varietal of the cacao beans used for its bars. Giving away this kind of technical info is a great strategy to make customers feel in control of what they just purchased. Thanks to a raise of awareness and knowledge, you give the chance to appreciate your products even further. Chocolate makers and chocolatiers may not realize it, but there is an incredible satisfaction in being guided through the tasting notes of a chocolate bar instead of being left alone with our doubtful taste buds.
- ALTRUISTIC – Since costumers love to spend money for a good cause, it is always a good idea to remind them that with their purchase they are supporting entire communities in cocoa producing countries. With few but effective words, Castronovo Chocolate tells us what we are contributing to whenever we buy their products. Chocolate is seeing as a pleasure, but customers are becoming every day more sensitive to social injustices and global poverty. If your chocolate is truly contributing to better lives for developing countries, write it on your packaging and chocolate customers will be happy to support you.
Customers who don’t mind spending $10 on a chocolate bar are eager to read every single word written on the packaging. So don’t be afraid to include everything that you believe will win your customer’s heart.
PICK the info that you don’t care to see on a chocolate packaging among the ones listed above and explain your choice in a comment below.
I did NOT get paid and did NOT receive any kind of favor for writing this article. These are my honest opinions at your service.