How Tony’s Chocolonely grew without spending a penny on marketing

Tony’s Chocolonely describes its product as its “biggest marketing tool”, but having now established its brand it is now looking to scale, with plans to start investing in paid media soon.

Dutch chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely has grown rapidly over the past few years, with its quality product coupled with its mission to make cocoa farming slave free helping to build a firm fan base.

“We’re an impact company that makes chocolate, not a chocolate company that makes impact, and that’s quite an important distinction,” said head of marketing Nicola Matthews, talking at Marketing Week’s Festival of Marketing earlier this year.

The brand’s ultimate goal is to make the chocolate supply chain 100% slave free. “We only exist to achieve this mission,” she added.

She described Tony’s product as its “number one marketing tool”, through which it has been spreading its message. The segments of Tony’s chocolate bars are unequally divided to represent how profits from the chocolate industry are not fairly divided between those growing and processing the cocoa leaves and the brands selling the end product.

In addition to bars being unequally divided, each pack also shares the brand’s manifesto on the inside of wrappers. Meanwhile, an advent calendar launched last Christmas featured one empty square to act as a conversation starter about the inequality in the industry.

Tony’s also called out rival brands by replicating their pack design at the beginning of 2021, while encouraging people to sign a petition demanding human rights legislation to hold companies accountable for modern slavery and illegal child labour in their supply chains.

However, as the brand prepares to scale, Matthews said it will begin to start investing in paid media soon.

To find out more watch the video above.

Marketing Week’s Festival of Marketing returns on 6 October in London, with an event dedicated to helping marketers grow their brands, businesses and careers. For more information and to buy tickets go the dedicated website.

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