market communication plan for Divine Chocolate that produces chocolates for a noble cause of supporting the cocoa farmers of Ghana and promoting Fair Trade. The paper consists of an analysis of its business environment as well as a set of recommended strategies which it can use to beat the competition and effectively communicate its marketing messages to the most potential target customers.
Divine Chocolate is one of the leading Fair Trade chocolate manufacturers in the United Kingdom and United States. In addition to producing the best quality chocolates, Divine Chocolate also aims to promote fair trade in the Global community. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the current business and marketing strategies of Divine Chocolate and proposes a market communication plan which can help it better understand its target market, effectively run its advertising and promotional campaigns, and beat the competitor brands which are supported by numerous unknown credential and certification organizations.
The major focus of the paper is towards finding problems in the current marketing communication system and business strategies of the company; and then recommending a full-fledged market communication plan in the light of DAGMAR approach and relevant marketing strategies. The paper starts with a brief introduction to the company; its ownership history, former campaigns, products, packaging, and distribution strategies, and proceeds by highlighting its brand image, equity, market position, competition, and other aspects of its business environment. DAGMAR Approach has been used to recommend the way it can attract, convince, and finally guide its consumers to buy its products and promote Fair Trade products.
INTRODUCTION: DIVINE CHOCOLATE LIMITED
History, Ownership, and Former Campaigns:
Divine Chocolate Limited is a leading Fair Trade chocolate manufacturer in the United Kingdom and United States. It was established in 1998 under a partnership agreement between Twin Trading and Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers' co-operative. The major investment in the formation of Divine Chocolate Limited was done by the Comic Relief, Christian Aid, and Body Shop. The current ownership of Divine Chocolate is in the hands of Kuapa Kokoo, Twin Trading, and Oikocredit. At present, Divine Chocolate Limited is recognized as one of the pioneers in social responsibility efforts at the Global level (Divine Chocolate 2013). The objective behind setting up this organization was to provide a regular and reliable Fair Trade income to the cocoa farmers of Ghana -- one of the leading producers of cocoa in the world (Fair Trade Foundation 2006).
The concept of this regular Fair Trade income for farmers was taken from the vision of Kuapa Kokoo which was established as a farmers' collective association to encourage small farmers and women to participate in the Fair Trade activities, make efforts to improve the cocoa cultivation practices, and contribute towards the economic development of Ghana which now exports the second largest quantity of cocoa in the world markets. The major stake in Divine Chocolate Limited is held by the cocoa farmers of the country. Therefore, they are also the major participants in the company's strategic plans and decision making processes (Divine Chocolate 2013).
The Divine Chocolate Products, Flavors, and Packaging:
Divine Chocolate Limited manufactures dark and milk chocolates with different flavor variations like orange, ginger, vanilla, spicy, raspberry, strawberry, creamy, wafer, fruits and nuts, coffee milk chocolate, white chocolate, etc. In addition, it also offers cocoa powder, baking bars, honeycomb chocolate, drinking chocolate, desserts, cakes, tea, and truffles. As a part of its promotional offers during special occasions like Easter, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Hanukkah; Divine Chocolates manufacturers special flavored chocolates in multiple packaging and designs (Divine Chocolate 2013).
Divine Chocolate Distribution:
Divine Chocolate products are available in all major supermarkets, departmental and retail stores, natural food stores, gift shops, Wild Oat markets, and other consumer goods outlets all over the United Kingdom and United States (Divine Chocolate 2013). Moreover, Divine Chocolate also promotes and sells its products online through its own website and SERRV International. In all its marketing and promotional efforts, Divine Chocolate uses Pull strategies in order to actively engage its supply chain members in the promotion of its Fair Trade products (Reynolds 2010). It has also entered collaborative arrangement with some international distributors, retailers, and co-op supermarket chains. Starbucks is one of the major business partners of Divine Chocolate which promotes and sells its chocolates all over the United Kingdom and European countries (Batsell 2004).
Fair Trade Certification:
Each and every product manufactured by Divine Chocolate Limited is certified under Fair Trade system which makes it mandatory for it to manufacture its products under strict sustainability, environmental, labor, and ethical standards (Divine Chocolate 2013). Through these standards and auditing procedures, Fair Trade International keeps a regular check and balance over the manufacturing operations and capabilities of its associated business corporations and entities (Fair Trade Foundation 2006).
Divine Chocolate's Brand Image:
Divine Chocolate is a very well-recognized brand in the confectionary industry of the United Kingdom and United States. In addition to producing the best quality chocolates and confectionary products, the company gives an equal emphasis on the financial support and social well-being of the cocoa farmers of Ghana. Due to its popularity and certification with the Fair Trade International, Divine Chocolate products are recognized with Fair Trade association, e.g. Divine Fair Trade milk chocolate, Divine Fair Trade honeycomb chocolate, etc. Divine Chocolate has developed its brand image in the Global confectionary industry as a farmer-owned Fair Trade chocolate (Divine Chocolate 2013).
Divine Chocolate Brand Equity:
The brand equity of the company is based on three major principles, i.e. fairness, quality, and social well-being. By obtaining Fair Trade certification and producing the highest quality of confectionary items, Divine Chocolate aims to attract potential customers from its target markets in the most productive, competitive, and efficient way. It aims to reach the top market leadership position by winning the trust of its customers and support of its owners, i.e. The cocoa farmers of Ghana. In addition to running its major business operations, Divine Chocolate also holds and sponsors community-based events and campaigns at national level (Reynolds 2010). One of the most recent events featured Dubble Agents and was called as Mission Possible. It was a large scale campaign aimed at creating awareness among the general public regarding Fair Trade products and their strategic benefits for the community and economy as a whole (Divine Chocolate 2013).
Relative Position in the Market Sector:
Divine Chocolate manufactures one of the best selling chocolates under Fair Trade certification. It is a Global award-winner firm that equally emphasizes on its product quality and sustainability efforts in order to keep its customers and stakeholders satisfied with its performance. At present, Divine Chocolate is the market leader in Fair Trade confectionary items in the United Kingdom and United States. However, it faces a direct competition from other participants of its industry due to the presence of various unknown standard and quality credential organizations.
These organizations approve credentials at very relaxed standards which enable the unrecognized and low quality brands to get accreditations and associations for their products at lesser expenses and without maintaining the actual quality standards. These organizations provide rival certifications to these low quality brands against Fair Trade certifications; thus, they are the biggest threat for Divine Chocolate in recognizing itself as a truly social, ethical, and environmental conscious corporation (Ferrell & Hartline 2011).
The Influence and Use of Fair Trade Certification on Divine Chocolate's Communication Strategy:
The business principles of Divine Chocolate are precisely focused on empowering cocoa farmers; providing them growth opportunities, and promoting Fair Trade for the economic and social well-being of the country. The Fair Trade Certification has greatly helped Divine Chocolate in achieving its aim in a number of ways. Firstly, Fair Trade Certification is the most authentic and reliable certification system among all other systems. This system mainly focuses on using the most ethical ways to do the business; make efforts for the social welfare of the poor; and ensure that the consumers get the highest quality of products (Fair Trade Foundation 2006).
Secondly, Fair Trade gives Divine Chocolate a competitive edge over its competitors which are not Fair Trade certified. The consumers show a greater confidence while purchasing Fair Trade products as compared to other certifications and credentials. This thing has largely contributed in strengthening the brand image of Divine Chocolate in the Global community (Divine Chocolate 2013). However, some unknown certifications are trying to snatch its leadership position by attracting small, low quality, and non-sustainable brands to get themselves accredited for quality, reliability, and sustainability.
This impact on the competitive position of Fair Trade also affects the market standing of Divine Chocolate. Consumers are now more exposed to advertising and promotional campaigns of small unknown brands which also market their products with different kinds of credentials. Another benefit which Divine Chocolate gets from Fair Trade is its increasing popularity and portfolio due to its recognition as the most reliable and diverse certification system.
Aims and Objectives of Divine Chocolate:
The main objective of the company is to increase its competitiveness in…