A lot of brands these days are constantly looking for new ways to exploit their market, especially in the chocolate industry. There are just so many delicious chocolates out there that it drives new and existing brands crazy to come up with something unique to attract customers.
Instead of a brand going through trial and error on their own, here is a list of major chocolate brands in the world that were able to demonstrate how it’s done through influencer marketing:
As most of us grew up eating Nutella straight from the jar or on a piece of bread, there was one point in time where Nutella was struggling to survive. How could such an amazing childhood brand shake, right? I know It’s crazy.
Well, let me tell you the story…
Back in the days of 1946, a chocolate company in the name of Ferrero emerged from Italy. Ferrero began their success with their first chocolate product named “Giandujot,” which was a sweet paste of chocolate that could be smothered on a piece of bread. Ferrero kept enhancing their chocolate paste for 20 years until it finally became what we now know today as Nutella.
As the world started to advance in technology, Nutella began to face fierce competition from other chocolate companies such as JIF and Hershey’s. Nutella marketers realized that most of their youth audience was getting lots of exposure to their chocolate but lacked a sense of excitement to want it. They also noticed that Nutella didn’t have much presence in social media. So, Nutella put on its thinking hat and started to take action.
They released a campaign to where people from all around the world can share their wonderful experiences when eating Nutella chocolate on all the popular social media networks. They also released fun and creative content, so they can interact with their audience to develop a greater connection. Nutella uploaded 500 pieces of original content in about 7 months, which is about 17 posts/week!
Nutella reached out to influencers across the world to engage with their audience from a different angle. Nutella’s love kept on spreading more & more and within one-year Nutella’s engagement online had gone up by two folds. Their online fan base increased from about 520K followers to 2.7M followers within almost half a year.
KitKat was originally founded in the UK in the year of 1935. Before the name, KitKat had even existed, the company was first called Rowntree’s Chocolate Crips and it was being sold all over London. From London, it spread throughout the world by partnering up with Nestle and Hershey’s. Today, KitKat is produced in 16 different countries and in 2014 KitKat was listed as one of the “13 most influential candy bars of all time.”
Not only that,
KitKat is also the number one best selling chocolate in Japan as well as the only non-American brand to make it to America’s top 5 favorite chocolates.
One might ask, how did KitKat break the market?
Throughout the years, KitKat has done a great job in understanding what chocolate lovers want. In some regions of the world they wanted variety and in other regions, they wanted fun interactions. In Japan, KitKat made over 200 different flavors because they recognized how exotic Japanese citizens like to be.
On top of that,
They had influencers on social media share their reactions as they tried a new flavor of KitKat. KitKat lovers around the world became so hyped about trying out new flavors that it turned into the most consumed chocolate on camera than any other chocolate.
Not only is KitKat smart by selling its chocolate differently in certain regions, but it also likes a little competition. In 2013, Lauren Ellen Tweeted about her debating whether she likes KitKat or Oreos more. KitKat recognized Lauren’s Tweet and challenged Oreo by Tweeting out:
By KitKat interacting with its audience on social media and responding in such a way, it created an attractive image for its consumers and opened the door for supplementary engagement.
Mars has a history that goes all the way back to 1911. It started off as a candy factory by a man named Franklin Mars. Throughout its years of operation, Mars introduced many products which included gum, chocolate, pet care, drinks, food, and even symbioscience products. In the chocolate industry alone, Mars owns a total of 29 brands. Today, Mars is considered the 6th largest privately held company in the United States.
Shocking, isn’t it?
Snickers is one brand that is a subsidiary of Mars and it was introduced in 1930. With Snickers, Mars did something that no other chocolate company had ever done before. You know those Snickers commercials that say, “You’re not you when you’re hungry?” Those commercials didn’t just air on TV, they got carried out on several YouTube videos as well. Instead of making a video that is routine to a YouTubers’ subscribers, some YouTube influencers made videos that are completely different to say, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”
One example was with Jessica Harlow, who mainly focuses on making beauty videos and giving life advice. She made a video of herself wearing pajamas and being lazy at home and previewed the famous Snickers slogan at the end. The video got almost 2.5 million views and over 100 comments.
M&M’s are also another one of Mars’s famous productions. They came along after Snickers in 1941. One of the really cools thing about M&M’s is they were the first chocolate candy to be eaten by astronauts in space. Astronauts literally chose M&M’s to be included in their food supply during their first space shuttle take off. This created a lot of commotion and made M&M’s very popular to the public in 1981. As further years came about, Mars had to keep coming up with new ideas to increase the thrill for M&M’s.
On M&M’s 75th anniversary, a campaign was introduced through social media to allow fans to pitch in ideas on a new future color and flavor of a new M&M product. The most well-liked color & flavor will get a chance to win $100,000 as a reward. Towards the deadline for submitting ideas, three options were considered the most popular, but only one could be the winner. So, another campaign was made and was named “vote for your favorite peanut,” to make fans choose the best one out of three. The options were choosing between honey nut, coffee nut, and chili nut.
In the end, coffee nut won and so did the caster of the idea Jason Y. from Raleigh from North Carolina. This campaign was sensational. The campaign received more than 3.5 million votes, it made fans extremely excited, and it led to an increase in sales of about $80.7 million, in the year after the new product was released which was 2017.
Ferrero Rocher, who also happens to be the mother company of Nutella is the classic standard for elegant chocolate. One of the lovely ways Ferrero Rocher made itself successful was by associating itself with valentine’s day. One of their famous TV ads was “No Valentine’s day gift is said to be complete without chocolates.” I don’t think anyone can disagree with that.
However, not only was Ferrero Rocher on TV but also on social media. They made a campaign on Facebook so people can share their love story to get a chance to win a fully paid romantic dinner. Thousands of people participated and in the end, one lucky couple was chosen.
Aside from associating valentine’s day with Ferrero Rocher, in 2016 Ferrero Rocher also launched a campaign during Christmas in India to make the have a golden experience. They created a Facebook application called “Golden Christmas” which had fun games to win exciting prizes. One of their gifts was a limited edition of 96 Golden Pralines Pyramid cone.
The marketing vice president of Ferrero Rocher, Emanuele Fiordalisi, expressed his feeling by saying,
“Christmas is truly a unique festival and known as the season of goodwill and celebrations. For making the festive moments golden, Ferrero Rocher is the perfect companion. The customer-engaging online games and prizes are aimed at spreading cheer this festive season. A merry and happy customer is what we aim for, and through this unique one-month long initiative we are going to assure that.”
And indeed, they did. Due to the successes of two Facebook campaigns, Ferrero Rocher decided to create another campaign in Canada, but this time on Instagram. In early 2018 Ferrero Rocher launched a campaign that mentioning that the first 6000 Instagram followers to message them could get a chance to win a free decorative star ornament made by Ferrero Rocher.
Ferrero Rocher used Instagram Influencers to spread the word and it worked spectacularly.Today Ferrero Rocher generates approximately $13 billion in revenues annually.
Hershey’s was born in 1894 in Pennsylvania United States. This chocolate company was what revolutionized chocolate and become an icon in American history. Before Hershey’s came into existence, chocolate was considered a commodity only for the rich. Although Hershey’s was founded a long time ago, it became ever so popular only in the past century.
Today, Hershey’s is one of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing companies operating under 80 different brands and 70 countries worldwide. Over the years of its lifetime, Hershey’s evolved many times by enhancing its marketing strategies, making over hundreds of chocolates, and even changing the shapes of their chocolates.
Not too long ago they launched a campaign during Halloween and were able to compete on Facebook with Reese’s and Twizzlers. Over a 4 weeks span, Hershey’s chocolate was able to out beat its competitors with its overall audience engagement.
Early on during October 2017, Hershey’s made a post stating “Love at first bite.” The fans loved it and it was the perfect way to kick-start a lot of fan engagement. It got over 113K likes and over 750 comments. Throughout the month, Hershey’s made 12 posts which led to over 407K likes and more than 3600 comments. Hershey’s made past $7.4 billion that year and as of 2018 Hershey’s has over 10 million followers across all their social media accounts.
Cadbury, the second largest chocolate brand in the world in making chocolates after Mars was founded in 1824 by a gentleman named John Cadbury. Its international office is currently located in Uxbridge, West London, and has headquarters in over 50 countries with over 50,000 employees. It’s very well known for its heavenly diary milk chocolate worldwide. Being number two in the world of chocolate companies didn’t just mean serving enjoyable chocolate but also playing it smart with creative advertising.
Throughout its approximate 200 years of being a solid chocolate company, Cadbury promoted their products through many means of advertising channels. Back in 2012, Cadbury showed its competence in social media by using Facebook and Google+ for product launches. It established Facebook pages for most of its popular chocolates and decided to only focus on increasing its number of followers by interacting with their fans. Each page was being updated daily and Cadbury did an amazing job of constantly responding to its fan messages and comments. Over time the number of followers grew a lot but the level of engagement was slowly declining.
So, what did Cadbury decide to do to change things around?
They made a giant Dairy Milk chocolate piece that is shaped like a Facebook “Like” thumbs up to show appreciation to their followers. Cadbury fans liked their chocolate so much that Cadbury wanted to like them back with this HUGE mouthwatering retreat since they reached 1 million likes on their Dairy Milk chocolate Facebook page. Within days, they were able to get more than 40K likes on their page and had over 350K people active during the campaign live feed of them building the piece of chocolate.
Another campaign Cadbury made was them trying to find a “New Milk Tray Man” to be in one of their TV ad commercials. They made an announcement on Instagram that had 3 suggested actors to play the role. They wanted their fans to choose which actor they see is fit for the job. It led to a lot of excitement and there was a lot of positive feedback from their fans. Within just a few hours, it had over 15K likes and comments. In 2017, Cadbury made estimated revenues of $27 billion.
Lindt & Sprüngli AG, also known as Lindt, is a global Switzerland chocolate corporation that started in 1879 by Rodolphe Lindt and David Sprungli. This chocolate company has a reputation for being the first chocolate company to make chocolate melt in your mouth. Furthermore, their store design is so exquisite that it makes you feel like you’re about to taste the most elegant chocolate that ever existed!
Aside from its elegant designer stores and its mouth melting chocolate, Lindt does a fantastic job of making Easter’s Holiday a blast. In one of their campaigns, they launched an Easters holiday event in a large shopping center for kids to have fun. The shopping center had a large garden and play area which was perfect for the occasion. They hid little gold chocolate bunnies and eggs so kids can go around looking for them with their parents. They also left clues across the garden to make it more exciting. Instead of them making all the hubbub on social media, they had people within the shopping center create all the fuss.
The event went viral on social media within hours. Lindt had over 350K interactions across several social media networks. Lindt has been very successful in creating such campaigns and today they make more than $3.82 billion in revenues.
The Mixing Of All These Chocolates
Most companies whether they are new or old sometimes struggle to increase their customer awareness to generate more sales. The overall objective is to get consumers talking about your brand/products. All the companies mentioned above used social media channels to help get people talking about their brand. Some of them even used social media indirectly by creating an event which led people to use social media to share their experiences.
Whatever marketing strategy you may be using today, Social media influencer marketing is an avenue to look into to be more successful as a business.