In for a Treat
With plenty of variety and possible strategies, chocolate, candy and mints provide distributors with a product that is memorable in look as well as taste. Like little kids in the piñata scrum, clients will want more. For distributors, that means a plethora of products that not only stand apart from the rest, but also reach clients on a different level—taste. Here are three things to keep in mind while selling chocolate, candy and mints.
Brandon Brown, director of marketing at SnugZ USA, West Jordan, Utah, said that edible promotions are so effective because there are a ton of sales strategies and an even larger number of products.
“The best part about candy—chocolates and mints in particular—is that there are so many effective strategies to sell it,” Brown said.
“Besides being USA-made and Kosher, there are many more options, [such as] color blocking with logos, playing off words or a large selection of packaging. This is why candy can fit the mold for any campaign or giveaway.”
It’s a product that directly affects the way people feel. Candy and chocolate have a positive impact on people’s moods—and that is highly valuable when trying to make a marketing connection.
“Being able to transform a person’s mood based on your marketing product is pretty profound,” Brown said. “When someone tastes something enjoyable, like a candy or cookie, a positive feeling occurs. Some people think back to particular food items they ate, and it gives them the same feeling and experience they had while eating it. Giving that personal yet subconscious touch will ultimately be the reason you are remembered.”
Nick Caputi, marketing coordinator at Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant, Freeport, N.Y., said that these products stand out because of their ability to be shared with others, in addition to their ability to evoke happy memories.
“For holiday time, it’s always an effective strategy to indicate that this is one of the few products that can be shared,” Caputi said. “Because they are memorable and sensory like flowers and/or going to a good restaurant.”
Taste is important, but if a product doesn’t look good, recipients will never get that far. Brown said that one key to standing out is versatility of packaging. Mints that come in packaging shaped like a house could be a good fit for a real estate company, while a large tin of assorted treats with a bank’s logo on the front could create a positive association with that company.
“Not only do we want to have a variety of options at every price point, but [also] packaging that will get noticed,” Brown said. “With all of our packaging and fill options, it really allows distributors to get creative.”
Tom Riordan, president and owner of Maple Ridge Farms, Mosinee, Wis., said that paying attention to what’s popular in other industries can help with creating effective packaging. “When developing a new packaging, we look carefully at what is most popular in the retail market,” Riordan said. “Seeing what companies like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Gump’s and Saks Fifth Avenue are doing can get you going in the right direction.”
With so many products on the market, distributors need to choose wisely when it comes to purchasing goods. What products will yield the most reward? What products are more effective than others?
Riordan said that one mistake distributors make is judging candy or chocolate simply by how it looks in a catalog. “Don’t simply rely on virtual samples,” Riordan said. “Virtual samples are great—they’re free, quick to get and can simply be emailed to the client. But clients can’t taste a virtual sample. Get a sample for the client to taste. If it’s really good, the product will help sell itself.”
Caputi and Brown both recommended thinking about price point, venue and the customer’s industry.
“Budget plays a huge role in deciding what products to select,” Brown said. “With so many choices at every price point, it allows distributors to give each one of their clients a unique gifting idea, which matches perfectly with each proposal.”
Finally, take into account the time of year. Ever buy a chocolate bar in the summer time, and by the time you unwrap it, it’s melted and gooey? Careless shipping during the summer months can have the same effect.
“Most clients have a pretty good idea of what they want for their program, but sometimes what they want isn’t such a good idea,” Riordan said. “For example, if the gifts are shipping to individuals in the middle of July, chocolate probably isn’t a good idea even if the client thinks he wants chocolate. The cost to protect and deliver it would [be] extremely expensive—much more than the chocolate itself.”