Frank Cottrell Boyce, author and screenwriter, said that “Chocolate is poetry for the mouth. And poetry is like chocolate for the brain.” These words were a response to the entrants whom he was judging in Divine’s latest marketing campaign: a poetry competition. Boyce’s words may be more saccharine-drenched than the chocolate, but his statement aligns with Divine’s brand positioning perfectly.
Divine was launched in the 90s as a way of channelling the produce of a Ghanaian cocoa-farming co-operative, Kuapa Kokoo, into UK markets. The result is the only Fairtrade chocolate company which is 45% owned by the farmers, ensuring that they receive a better deal for their produce, a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry.
Divine position themselves as “a heavenly chocolate with a heart” and from the narrative enthusiasm they apply to telling their story to the native symbols on the packaging, representing values such as interdependence, democracy and harmony, they are undoubtedly the chocolate bar that’s good inside and out.
In a £4billion UK chocolate market such integrity may not be sufficient to share a slice of the highly-sought offerings. Divine’s fraction of such a vast market is not supported by profligate advertising campaigns; indeed many of its competitors will spend around 10% of their revenue on marketing, a budget on which Divine remains much more tight-fisted.
Instead of pricey print campaigns the chocolatier focuses on more unusual methods of improving its brand’s awareness. The poetry competition received thousands of entrants when it asked people to imagine they owned a chocolate shop. Their online presence is also extremely promising: they have 13,000 followers on Twitter and over 4,000 likes on Facebook, compared to a paltry 1,000 for Galaxy. Pinterest especially seems to be the mainstay of Divine, where recipes and serving suggestions abound. The brand which so passionately supports social values seems to have found a home in social media.
So is it working?
Divine saw profits in its fledging year of just over £600,000; in 2011, 5 years on, they have nearly trebled that sum to £1.7million. Their awareness of growing concerns surrounding the production and labour involved in creating the foods we love and their closeness to their consumers allow this small Davidian brand to compete with the chocolate goliaths out there. Divine’s heart throbs throughout its products and at its heart is the wellbeing and value of those who create the product. Divine must have had our philosophy here at The Value Engineers in mind when they chose to outthink rather than outspend their competitors.