Written by Susanne Deen
Today you can ask every Dutchie at every moment about Tony’s Chocolonely and I can tell you, nobody will ask you what you’re talking about. Tony’s Chocolonely is a true hit in Holland! But why does everybody LOVE Tony’s?! Suddenly the bars are a huge hype, all people, from old until young, adore these big bars of enjoyment. Out of the blue: Tony’s is hip, hot and happening. And that is at least remarkable since we live in a time period where the focus is strongly on healthiness and superfoods. But in some way or another, when Tony’s stands in front of you, your whole calories-counting attitude will disappear through the backdoor. So somewhere, they must do something special, something really good. Something that no other chocolate brand can easily imitate …
Last month Tony’s 10 years anniversary was celebrated, and this was not a little party. The whole Westerliefde was full of free chocolate, music and more than 5000 happy faces. Tony’s had even invited their own chocolate farmers to come over from Ghana to celebrate this great moment together. Which brand does that nowadays?! Tony’s is different, that’s obvious. Tony’s is not driven by sales, money and revenues, like many other brands do. This driver is a very strong point of difference in my opinion. Yeah sure, are you probably thinking right now.. so many brands tell us the same lovely story, but how do we know this is really true for Tony’s? Well, I was reading on their website and found a strong example.
In 2012 they had launched their first, one and only, white chocolate bar as a limited edition. This white bar was an enormous success, everybody loved this bar and people were seriously sad about the fact that this white bar was only a limited edition. Through the eyes of a real marketer you would probably say: put this white little goldmine immediately on supermarket shells forever! But, since Tony’s aims to provide 100% slave free chocolate and this is not fully possible in the production process of white chocolate bars (see website Tony’s for details) , they decided to wait. The moment they can guarantee us that they know the origin of the cacao beans needed to make the white chocolate bar, they will launch the this delicious piece into the supermarkets right away. But for now we need to have a little bit more patience before we can feast on this white chocolate party.
Besides their special driver, there are a couple of other marketing tactics which they manage impressively well. They try to differentiate themselves as much as possible from other chocolate brands, and this is already noticeable within their product package. Their first chocolate bar was a milky one, and they decided to pack this one in a red wrapper to show the consumers the gravity of slave labor on the cacao farms and attract immediately some attention to this serious subject. Furthermore, their chocolate bars are divided in unequal parts, what represents the inequality that prevails in our world today.
All summarized, we can say that Tony’s is doing well by doing good. Through the use of clever marketing tactics, they slowly gain more and more ground within the chocolate market. But at the same time they stay close to their honest and true driver and stay focused on their goal to make the cacao slave free. We could say: they kill two birds with one stone. And because of this clever strategy they are expanding to our neighbor countries. Tony’s is already available in Germany, Belgium and Portland, USA, who knows where Tony’s eventually will end?!