For a good period of my professional life as a Product Management and Content Development professional, I have been involved in creating Product positioning stories. I use the word ‘Story’ and not ‘Strategy’ because what I did and I do with Life Insurance positioning for different economic segments and demographics, is really tactical stories to meet short-term goals. Given the changing Industry regulations and restrictions on Innovative products, I’m not surprised that this is what the business stakeholders seek. So, as an avid learner and observer of this domain, I thought to myself, let’s experiment with a product positioning strategy for a different product – say Chocolates.
Chocolate segment in the last decade or so has been positioned in the market as a ‘gifting’ item on festive occasions. It is offered as an alternative to traditional Indian sweets and has succeeded to a large extent. Of course, the traditional positioning to different ages of kids/teenagers and youth continues to be as is through different product categories.
As a father of 2 kids, my observation is that any point of time, my refrigerator always has a ready stock of chocolates. So, is this my strategy – give a stock of chocolates with every new refrigerator/white goods bought in the house? Not exactly, but maybe somebody in the White goods industry can think about it. After all, kids are the biggest motivator these days. Ok, my refrigerator evokes certain thoughts –
- Often there are chocolate substitutes (Biscuit chocolates, Cream chocolate balls in an Egg shaped pack, chocolate flavours across different items and so on)
- Freebies/gifts which are given with the product are more sought after than the real thing (refrigeration remain stacked and NOT replenished)
- Whether festivals, parties, or any event organised at my place, a significant space is occupied by chocolates
- Importantly, assorted chocolates are the order of the day. Many chocolate makers have mushroomed who supply chocolates in different shapes, sizes and flavours to bring forth something “different” as a positioning strategy. And trust me, it adds colour and life to the refrigerator.
So what do I infer – simple. There is a need to beat the Competition in point 1 by offering chocolates that cater to remaining 3 points. Well, I can go on and on about the various observations, assumptions, research and analysis but let’s come to the topic of positioning.
I wish to position it to Kids who indirectly motivate their parents for 3 typical scenarios: FESTIVALS, PARTIES and as GIFTS. Also, a mascot is critical as kids relate to a character and not generic messages. So, I introduce a lovable, smiling, smart character and who is still a monster to evoke a “Wow” response from kids – CHOCOMON, The Chocolate Monster. The monster would have different tools to play around with imagination of kids, whether it be a bike or a gun filled with chocolate or Frisbee in the shape of chocolate disc .. I mean, the variations and options are unlimited.
The main strategy of course lies in how it can be used to sell? As I said before, we can target 3 different scenarios and through CHOCOMON, The Chocolate Monster, it can used across different Channels, online and offline. The chocolate offerings can be branded for the different scenarios as: CHOCO Festi – for the scenario of gifting on festivals (Diya or lantern for Diwali, Fairies or Santa Claus or Bells for Christmas and so on …). CHOCO Parti – You can have assortment of chocolates in the form of bouquet, a tree or a chocolate basket for any party organised at your place either at home or office. CHOCO Gifti – in the form of gifts like a Teddy bear or a car or any toy depending on the age of the recipient/s. Of course, regular chocolates shall always be available.
This is the draft version of my though process for product positioning of Chocolates. Your feedback is welcome and appreciated. And of course, if you think we can take this forward, do contact me.