The best BAR NONE

Whit­taker’s has grown from hum­ble be­gin­nings to a world- class choco­late com­pany. Part­ner­ing with the do­mes­tic god­dess Nigella Law­son, it’s en­cour­aged con­sumers to join the switch to New Zealand’s finest choco­late.

New Zealand Marketing - - Insight Creative -

The chal­lenge

Whit­taker’s am­bi­tion is to have the world lov­ing world- class choco­late from Porirua. This is the core value of the Whit­taker’s brand. It is a beans- to- bar com­pany, con­trol­ling the whole man­u­fac­tur­ing process, fo­cus­ing on qual­ity and hon­esty. It has a char­ac­ter that is bold, gen­er­ous, in­spired and nim­ble.

The chal­lenge to be­come a world-class choco­late com­pany has at its heart, a de­sire to be the best at ev­ery­thing – the pro­cesses, the in­gre­di­ents, the peo­ple, etc. This un­com­pro­mis­ing approach is epit­o­mised in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions strat­egy. Whit­taker’s has built a qual­ity story in its ad­ver­tis­ing through An­drew and Brian Whit­taker, Nigella and Beansto-bar. The mar­ket­ing has strength­ened this with an on­line pres­ence, es­pe­cially on so­cial me­dia where the brand has over 750,000+ loyal brand ad­vo­cates who share the com­pany’s pas­sion for choco­late every day.

Whit­taker’s aims to build long- term sus­tain­able growth that will con­tinue to in­crease the wealth of the brand, while op­er­at­ing in an ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive mar­ket with four ma­jor multi­na­tional com­peti­tors, that have much deeper pock­ets and sig­nif­i­cantly more re­sources.

The re­sponse

The fo­cus on be­ing the best and the am­bi­tion to be world- class is demon­strated through its suc­cess in in­vest­ing in qual­ity. Whit­taker’s drew in­sights from other mar­kets such as craft beer, cof­fee and can­dles, all of which had suc­cess pre­mi­u­mis­ing their cat­e­gories. The com­pany achieved this by pur­chas­ing a Swiss 5 Roll Re­finer ma­chine; us­ing Nigella Law­son to

pro­mote its Creamy Milk prod­uct; the launch into the pre­mium 100g block mar­ket with its New Zealand Ar­ti­san Col­lec­tion; and its in­no­va­tive col­lab­o­ra­tion prod­ucts with L& P, 100s & 1000s, Jelly Tip, K Bar, Tof­fee Milk and Lewis Road Cream­ery.

Whit­taker’s knew that if it fo­cused | on po­si­tion­ing it­self at the pre­mium | end of the mass mar­ket, it could con­tinue to build on its qual­ity story and achieve mar­ket lead­er­ship. The com­pany has con­tin­ued to find smarter so­lu­tions to build the brand long- term as op­posed to us­ing short- term pric­ing to gain mar­ket share. The approach has been to con­tin­u­ously in­vest in the brand through in­no­va­tion, mar­ket­ing and qual­ity, not through price pro­mo­tions.

The choco­late is made us­ing a beansto- bar process, which means con­trol­ling the whole man­u­fac­tur­ing process, and there­fore the qual­ity of the choco­late, which sets Whit­taker’s apart from its com­peti­tors.

Di­rec­tors An­drew and Brian Whit­taker have con­tin­ued to in­vest in world class ma­chin­ery from Europe in or­der to pro­duce the best qual­ity prod­uct. At the same time, the mark et­ing team, work­ing closely with their ad­ver­tis­ing and me­dia agen­cies, have de­liv­ered cam­paigns that com­mu­ni­cate the com­mit­ment to qual­ity. Part­ner­ing with the do­mes­tic god­dess Nigella Law­son has en­cour­aged con­sumers to join the swit ch to New Zealand’s finest choco­late.

Whit­taker’s has in­vested in its peo­ple to en­sure it has the best tal­ent through­out the busi­ness. Sev­eral em­ploy­ees have been sent to study at Stan­ford Busi­ness School, lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment at Mt El­iza, Con­fec­tionery Tech­nol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin- Madi­son and En­gi­neer train­ing at Schu­bert in Ger­many.

In­no­va­tive think­ing was ev­i­denced when Whit­taker’s sur­prised the nation with its first col­lab­o­ra­tion prod­uct, L& P Block. Since then, it’s launched many iconic col­lab­o­ra­tions in­clud­ing Jelly Tip, K Bar and Lewis Road Choco­late Milk.

Whit­taker’s also part­nered with lo­cal ar­ti­san pro­duc­ers to cel­e­brate the won­der­ful pro­duce New Zealand has to of­fer with the aim of build­ing a long- term pre­mium po­si­tion­ing. The 10 flavours are all unique; some of them are be­lieved to be a world- first in choco­late.

The re­sults

Whit­taker’s be­came mar­ket leader in the block choco­late mar­ket for the first time in 2015. The vol­ume of Whit­taker’s Creamy Milk has in­creased more than five- fold and is now the num­ber one block in New Zealand. To add to that, Whit­taker’s has won New Zealand’s Most Trusted Brand for the past six years ( Reader’s Digest) and the Col­mar Brun­ton’s Most Loved Brand for the past five years.

Jelly Tip was the most suc­cess­ful launch in the com­pany’s 121- year his­tory, which re­sulted in achiev­ing mar­ket lead­er­ship in the block mar­ket for the first time. The brand has con­tin­ued to main­tain this po­si­tion.

In ad­di­tion, the New Zealand Ar­ti­san Col­lec­tion has be­come mar­ket leader af­ter just two years. Whit­taker’s is now mar­ket leader in 100g with a 45.9 per­cent mar­ket share and a 16.2 per­cent price pre­mium to Lindt. They have trans­formed the cat­e­gory by pro­vid­ing in­cre­men­tal value sales that have more than dou­bled since launch.

The com­pany stresses the im­por­tance of ev­ery­one shar­ing the vi­sion of be­ing world- class in ev­ery­thing they do. The mantra is: “Al­ways in­vest in qual­ity, whether it is the prod­uct, the mar­ket­ing, the equip­ment, or peo­ple. Al­ways be bold and try some­thing dif­fer­ent­— the re­sults will be worth it. Al­ways have the am­bi­tion to be the best.”

If it fo­cused on po­si­tion­ing it­self at the pre­mium end of the mass mar­ket, it could con­tinue to build on its qual­ity story and achieve mar­ket lead­er­ship.

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