Strategic Communication Strategy Green&Black's

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  • The aim of this project is to analyze the strategic brand repositioning communication of the organic chocolate manufacturer Green&Black’s in the context of the industry of premium organic chocolate and the latest trends. It summarizes the current situation and target position and critically examines the steps towards the goal of global player in the chocolate confectionary market.
  • Green&Black’s was started in London in 1991 by the founder of Whole Earth Craig Sams – an already established organic food company. His idea to produce all natural, fair trade chocolate was sparked when and his wife tried a sample of dark 70% chocolate made from organic cocoa beans. Both chocolate lovers decided to give the world the first organic, intense flavored chocolate made up of 70% chocolate solids (Sams). They found in Belize, a community of farmers which were producing high quality all natural cocoa beans who had no market to sell them. Craig and his wife agreed to buy the produce of the farmers at a fair price and this was how the Maya Gold variety was born, which earned the Fair Trade Mark. Today most of the company’s organic cacao comes from Madagascar, Belize and the Dominican Republic and Green & Black’s already uses about a third of the world’s organic cocoa (Klinger). The name of the company originated from the initial idea that Green represents the organic nature of the product, while Black represents the intense cacao content. The brand name and products picked up quickly and by 2004 it was making a profit of £20m. In 2005 the brand was acquired by Cadbury Plc. (Bowers) and thus the company became part of a global conglomerate. Many people argued that Green&Black’s will loose its organic and ethical appeal once it became part, but Cadbury’s spokesman assured the consumers that: ‘Cadbury is treating Green & Black’s as an independent business – so our great tasting chocolate will stay the same, our ethical sourcing and business practices will continue and even the same teams have stayed on to run the business’ (Green&Black’s). Currently all these core values are still strongly supported by the company's culture.Fairtrade – The first brand in the UK to go fair hoping to go all fair by end of 2011Ethical Sourcing – respect of human rights and ethical trading,With this background in mind, we can clearly see that the company was targeting the niche market (at that time) for organic product consumer, who was also willing to pay a premium price for the quality he received. Later with the acquisition by Cadbury the company’s products were exposed to a much wider global market and they could not rely any more on their niche strategy but had to open to a wider public and had to change their brand position.
  • Since its early conception G&B has pledged to operate with all natural resources, which are also ethically purchased from suppliers and farmers, who grow cacao beans. The Mayan Gold variety of chocolate became the first product in the to receive the Fairtrade logo. This meant that the company was paying the fair price for ingredients it used and respected all workers involved in the process, ensuring their safe working conditions. They are operating in the organic and premium segment of the chocolate industry. This is only one example in a constantly growing industry of organic and Fairtrade products. These products are often perceived as superior in quality and even luxury because of their higher price. According to many industry experts, the world market for premium chocolate has shown significant growth in recent years, and will continue to grow, despite economic recession, as consumers are looking for affordable luxury goods (Pay). According to Nielsen's Strategic Planner report that the average equivalized unit volume price for a chocolate to be called ‘premium’ should be $8 or more. It is predicted that the global market for such chocolate will grow from $7 billion in 2007 to $12.9 billion in 2011 (Pay) with the US and UK representing the biggest growth potential of about 50% annually for the next 5 years according to Mintel.
  • Part of the growing awareness and demand is due to the fact that people are becoming more health cautious and actually purchase dark chocolate because of its beneficial qualities for the hearth and high amount of antioxidants. For example UK’s organic chocolate market has been growing on average of 30% since 2002 as Mintel estimated and is a significant improvement in a market which normally grows by less than 2% per annum over the same period. Together with this trend customers are becoming increasingly ethically concerned and therefore more and more manufacturers stress on the origin or their sources and the all natural way of production. Fairtrade’s logo is now internationally recognized and the majority of the people trust it. According to Fairtrade’s own statistics the fair imported cacao has grown to £44.2 million in 2009, a 64% increase from 2008 alone. This international trend for products has resonated across all distribution channels and has lead further the premiumization of certain brands. Others have not been able to capture on this wave since their traditional brand image could not be extended to premium products. Such examples are Cadbury – with sales growing5% a year between 2001 and 2003, driven by the re-branding and extension of its Dairy Milk brand;Mars' sales grew only 1% a year during the period and Nestlé's sales were stagnant. In the meantime premium chocolate brand Lindt saw 37% annual growth albeit from a small base. Super-premium companies like Thornton's and Elizabeth Stork also saw strong growth. This shows that there is great potential still in the niche market for premium chocolates. According to Euromonitor International, the marketing capabilities of Cadbury can not only grow Green and Black's share to challenge Lindt at the top of the chocolate premier league, but it will also continue to increase awareness of organic and premium chocolate among consumers. Green & Black’s will also benefit from Cadbury’s strong presence in impulse channels such as newsagents, where distribution of their products is still relatively weak. The brand also offers strong potential for further overseas expansion, something that can certainly now be facilitated thanks to the backing of the world’s number two confectionery manufacturer.Another important aspect of the industry that is important in relation to G&B’s is that within the segment of premium chocolate there has not been a clear preference between dark and milk chocolate, as they are both estimated to be around 40% according to Mintel, although consumers in Europe prefer the dark, while the Americans prefer the milk variety. Also studies found no correlation between gender and consumption of chocolate, breaking a classical myth that women eat more chocolate than man.
  • One of the fundamentals of company communications is the brand communication – making the people aware what is its about and making it a label which will help people identify a particular product and connect their memory and emotions with it (Elliott). This essentially leads to brand positioning, which is also represented in all communication strategies with the objective to create further brand awareness and brand attitude. In the case of G&B’s the initial brand positioning has featured the organic nature of the product and the high chocolate content. However, with its acquisition by Cadbury, the company could not longer stay in this niche market, and had to expand. In order for this to happen, the company needed to make brand repositioning and convey to the consumers that this will be a premium product offered in a wider range and in more location. This new communication strategy also lead to the realization that according to many consumers G&B’s mainly consisted of dark chocolate products. The reality was that the company had a much wider portfolio of tastes, but was putting the focus on the dark varieties, as those were essentially the ones to represent the company’s name Black. The challenge was to change and expand the perception in the consumer’s mind, while at the same time preserve the original attributes of the brand’s core value. In order to do this the company decided to change the packaging. The incentive behind this move, was to change the visual aspect of the brand positioning and to redirect the customer’s perception. In traditional communication theory, packaging is the last final step of the purchasing decision, and no matter how sophisticated and elaborate all communication strategies are, the packing could ‘make or break’ a product. People often buy packing which they are familiar with and eventually relate the brand to its looks. Packaging is the key interface between brand and consumer as it can connect on a physical, spiritual and sensory level to create that all-important ingredient to guarantee brand success – desire (Ford). In addition to repackaging, which was of great importance to G&B’s there are also three essential steps to establishing the new brand position. These are: ensuring the relevance to the consumer’s ‘frame of reference’, assure that you have the ‘support’ of the consumer and he is ready to accept the change; deliver what you promise (McKinsey&Company). They are all important when a company is truing to make aspirational repositioning and reconnects the brands promise with the customer understanding. The final and most important one is the delivery process, where consumers can in reality experience the new guarantees and can ‘see’ the difference with the previous state and with the other products on the market. The ultimate aim of this process is to build on the brand equity and extend it. A company can succeed in this if it can only build bridges to the original position of the brand and show the obvious transition. It must also leverage the unique emotional benefits or identity elements of the brand’s equity that are relevant to their target consumer (McKinsey&Company).
  • Initial State:Green&Black’s initial position shows that the chocolate company was operating mainly in the niche market of its organic roots. At the same time the superior quality of its products have been represented in a wrong way and the consumers thought that they were only producing dark chocolate. This is somewhat understandable since its name bares the connection with dark chocolate and the company has not been able to position its milk chocolate products for example in the proper way. Analysis:With the growing market of premium products and the wide spread awareness of the meaning of Fairtrade and organic, G&B’s is in a perfect position to expand its brand and reposition it as a premium product as well. The consumers of the premium chocolate are health cautious people, with a willingness to spend more on higher quality products. The company used to target ‘time poor, food rich’ people, however its products were mainly positioned among organic, bio products and were difficult to locate on the shelves. Another critical insight was when the company discovered that the consumers did not like the packaging and in addition it was giving a wrong image about the brand identity. In fact about 20% of the respondents of a survey thought that the company had only dark chocolate varieties. When asked about their preference consumers show no clear preference between dark and milk products and also the myth that women were bigger consumers of chocolate was broken. This meant that G&B’s needed to only change the perception about its product line and rip the benefits of higher sales. Another important insight was that when the company was acquired by Cadbury, many people though that G&B’s was moving away from organic and ethical practices and this was essentially problematic since those were some of the core values of the company. In addition, the growing awareness of people about Fairtrade and ethical sourcing meant that the company might loose its competitive edge. Finally, many surveys showed that the consumers were very diversified in their taste preferences and were rarely switching to new flavors and for young consumers (children) its was primarily the control of their parents, especially mother, which was changing the purchasing behavior.
  • Target State:The primary position that G&B’s wants to move to is being the dominant player in the organic chocolate market, while at the same time be perceived as luxury, affordable good, which can compete with other mainstream brands with he difference that it is also ethically sourced. Strategy:In order to achieve this the company had to understand their target group very well. They undertook focus group testing so that to determine what is an affordable luxury, what should the positioning in the stores be and how should the packaging convey the brand message. After the results very processed the company decided to focus on changing its packaging, providing a wide range or tasting opportunities in new distribution places, so that new consumers can taste the real flavor or chocolate, and stressing on the ethical sourcing attributes. In the UK for example the company used the help of the Observer Food (influential food magazine) to gave away sample chocolate bars with the hope to spread the name with the free samples and new packaging. Another very important aspect of the communication strategy is to ‘communicate’ the taste of the product. According to experts the taste of the organic chocolate is distinctively different than traditional mass brands and the only way for consumers to find the difference is to try it. This is why giving the people the chance to taste the brand was considered a much more powerful than any traditional type of persuasive advertising and communication. Also the company used the Glamour magazine, when it ran an advertorial on the celebrity interest in the ethical chocolate brand. Those places were all used to spread and communicate the company’s devotion to ethical trading, sourcing and Fairtrade. They are trying to explain how has G&B’s chocolate bar has helped many Belizean families of farmers with the emphasis on the Maya Gold variety, which became the first product to receive the Fair trade logo. A very important part of the strategy was the Easter campaign called ‘Disappoint the kids this Easter’ - ostensibly intended to persuade consumers to go out and purchase one of the company's seasonal eggs made from a distinctive dark chocolate deemed beyond the palate of the average sweet-toothed child. Although this traditionally would have been a sacrifice for any other chocolate brand, its worked perfectly for G&B’s because it gave them the chance to differentiate from the traditional perception of chocolate as dangerous for children’s teeth and enhanced the health benefits of the dark organic chocolate. Finally, to be able to deliver the product to the wider audience, and through the bigger distribution channels provided by Cadbury, the company chose to position itself in big stores like Harrods and Selfridges as they represented its luxury nature, while at the same time they were offered in health food shops so to communicate its organic, Fairtrade features.
  • Bowers, Simon. " * Business * Ethical business Cadbury gobbles Green & Black's." Guardian 13 May 2005 : n. pag 1. Web. 5 Jun 2010. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2005/may/13/ethicalbusiness.fairtrade>. "Green & Black’s Marketing Success." Guardian 23 Oct 2008: n. pag. Web. 5 Jun 2010. <http://www.b2bcopywriter.co.uk/uncategorized/green-blacks-marketing-success/>. Elliott, Richard, and Larry Percy. Strategic Brand Management. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2005/may/13/ethicalbusiness.fairtradewww.fairtrade.org.ukSmithers, Rebecca. " Green and Black's to go 100% Fairtrade." Guardian 28 Jan 2010: n. pag 1. Web. 5 Jun 2010. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/28/fair-trade-ethical-living>. Purvis, Andrew. "How a £1.50 chocolate bar saved a Mayan community from destruction." Guardian 28 May 2006: n. pag 1. Web. 6 Jun 2010. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2006/may/28/foodanddrink.features1>. "Marketing Green & Black's: Organic plus luxury adds up to the taste of success ." Independent 17 Apr 2006: n. pag 1. Web. 3 Jun 2010. <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/marketing-green-amp-blacks-organic-plus-luxury-adds-up-to-the-taste-of-success-474441.html>. Pay, Ellen. "THE MARKET FOR ORGANIC AND FAIR-TRADE COCOA." Independent Sep 2006: n. pag 1. Web. 5 Jun 2010. <http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/organicexports/docs/Market_Organic_FT_Cocoa.pdf>. www.gourmetretailer.com 2008 Trend Report: Premium ChocolateThe Sweet Sales of Successhttp://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/http://www.chocolate.org/green-blacks.htmlhttp://www.greenandblacks.comhttp://www.craigsams.com/pages/gb.html
  • Strategic Communication Strategy Green&Black's

    1. 1. Communication Strategy Brand Repositioning<br /> Nevena Zorova<br />
    2. 2. Company introduction<br />Industry<br />Theoretical Background<br />Communication strategy<br />Bibliography<br />10/21/2010<br />Green&Black's <br />Agenda<br />
    3. 3. Founded in 1991 by Craig Sams<br />Green – organic; Black – 70% cocao content<br />The Maya Gold variety –first Mark<br />2005 acquired by <br /> Core values:<br />Ethical sourcing<br />Organic products<br />Fairtrade <br />10/21/2010<br />Green&Black's <br />Introduction of the company<br />
    4. 4. Premium chocolate - the fastest growing segment in the industry – expected to reach $12.9 billion in 2011 <br />Greater awareness for organic and Fairtrade products<br />Major markets – North America and Europe<br />UK – largest within the EU with<br />Trends<br />Premiumization<br />Organic, Fairtrade <br />High-cacao chocolate - 45% + health benefits<br />10/21/2010<br />Green&Black's <br />The Chocolate Industry <br />Estimated UK retail sales by value 1998-2009 (£ million)<br />Source: Fairtrade 2010<br />
    5. 5. Premium chocolate - the fastest growing segment in the industry – expected to reach $12.9 billion in 2011 <br />Greater awareness for organic and Fairtrade products<br />Major markets – North America and Europe<br />UK – largest within the EU with<br />Trends<br />Premiumization<br />Organic, Fairtrade <br />High-cacao chocolate - 45% + health benefits<br />10/21/2010<br />Green&Black's <br />The Chocolate Industry <br />Estimated UK retail sales by value 1998-2009 (£ million)<br />Source: Fairtrade 2010<br />
    6. 6. Brand Communications<br />Brand Repositioning - from organic and niche, to premium and mass<br />Consumer perception <br />Repackaging <br />Brand Equity<br />10/21/2010<br />Green&Black's <br />Theoretical Background<br />Emotional Benefits<br />Intangible associations<br />Brand Benefits<br />Brand Identity<br />Rational Benefits<br />Presence<br />Adapted from McKinsey&Company<br />
    7. 7. 10/21/2010<br />Green&Black's <br />Communication Strategy<br />PR Strategy :<br />Stakeholder target: consumer; Fairtrade organization; farmers; Cadbury owners; <br />Tools:<br />Use focus groups to determine preference for taste and packaging <br />Repackaging <br />Tasting <br />Communicating positive effect on farmers in Belize<br />Easter campaign ‘Disappoint the kids for Easter”<br />Going fully organic, and explaining its meaning <br />Making it available in Harrods and Selfridges and health food shops<br />Analysis and critical insights:<br />Market:<br />Growing preference for premium products<br />Wide awareness of Fairtrade and organic products<br />Consumer:<br />Greater consumption of chocolate due to its health qualities<br />Readiness to pay more for premium products<br />Deception that G&B’s has only dark chocolate<br />Equal preferences between dark and milk chocolate<br />Equal among men and women<br />Cadbury impact on organic image perception<br />Ethical considerations are growing<br />Customers rarely change and try new flavors<br />Parents control the purchasing behavior of their children<br />Wholesaler:<br />Wholesalers have different store places for organic and standard products<br />
    8. 8. 10/21/2010<br />Green&Black's <br />Communication Strategy<br />PR Strategy :<br />Stakeholder target: consumer; Fairtrade organization; farmers; Cadbury owners; <br />Tools:<br />Use focus groups to determine preference for taste and packaging <br />Repackaging <br />Tasting <br />Communicating positive effect on farmers in Belize<br />Easter campaign ‘Disappoint the kids for Easter”<br />Going fully organic, and explaining its meaning <br />Making it available in Harrods and Selfridges and health food shops<br />Analysis and critical insights:<br />Market:<br />Growing preference for premium products<br />Wide awareness of Fairtrade and organic products<br />Consumer:<br />Greater consumption of chocolate due to its health qualities<br />Readiness to pay more for premium products<br />Deception that G&B’s has only dark chocolate<br />Equal preferences between dark and milk chocolate<br />Equal among men and women<br />Cadbury impact on organic image perception<br />Ethical considerations are growing<br />Customers rarely change and try new flavors<br />Parents control the purchasing behavior of their children<br />Wholesaler:<br />Wholesalers have different store places for organic and standard products<br />
    9. 9. Bowers, Simon. " * Business * Ethical business Cadbury gobbles Green & Black's." Guardian 13 May 2005 : n. pag. Web. 5 Jun 2010. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2005/may/13/ethicalbusiness.fairtrade>. <br />Elliott, Richard, and Larry Percy. Strategic Brand Management. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2005/may/13/ethicalbusiness.fairtrade<br />Ford, Jonathan. "Which Came First: The Packaging or the Advertising?." Gain: AIGA Journal of Business and Design (2006): n. pag. Web. 6 Jun 2010. <http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/which-came-first-the-packaging-or-the-advertising_1>. http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/<br />"Green & Black’s Marketing Success." Guardian 23 Oct 2008: n. pag. 235-240 Web. 5 Jun 2010. <http://www.b2bcopywriter.co.uk/uncategorized/green-blacks-marketing-success/>. <br />Klinger, Peter. "Cadbury Buys Green & Blacks." Chocolate Traveller Magazine (2005): n. pag. Web. 5 Jun 2010. <http://www.chocolatetradingco.com/magazine.asp?section=3&id=51>. <br />"Successful Brand Repositioning." McKinsey&Company. (2001): 1-14. Print.<br />"Marketing Green & Black's: Organic plus luxury adds up to the taste of success ." Independent 17 Apr 2006: n. pag. Web. 3 Jun 2010. <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/marketing-green-amp-blacks-organic-plus-luxury-adds-up-to-the-taste-of-success-474441.html>. <br />Purvis, Andrew. "How a £1.50 chocolate bar saved a Mayan community from destruction." Guardian 28 May 2006: n. pag. Web. 6 Jun 2010. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2006/may/28/foodanddrink.features1>. <br />Pay, Ellen. "THE MARKET FOR ORGANIC AND FAIR-TRADE COCOA." Independent Sep 2006: n. pag. Web. 5 Jun 2010. <http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/organicexports/docs/Market_Organic_FT_Cocoa.pdf>. <br />Smithers, Rebecca. " Green and Black's to go 100% Fairtrade." Guardian 28 Jan 2010: n. pag. Web. 5 Jun 2010. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/28/fair-trade-ethical-living>. <br />www.gourmetretailer.com 2008 Trend Report: Premium Chocolate The Sweet Sales of Success<br />www.fairtrade.org<br />http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/<br />http://www.chocolate.org/green-blacks.html<br />http://www.greenandblacks.com<br />http://www.craigsams.com/pages/gb.html<br />10/21/2010<br />Green&Black's <br />Bibliography<br />

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