Mars Dove ChocolateBrand AuditIMC 613 Brand Equity ManagementChocolate is one of America’s favorite treats, and companies like Hershey’s, Ghirardelli and Dove, have captured consumersminds, body and emotions with delicious tasting chocolates for more than 100 years. After examining three brands in Dove’scompetitive set- Hershey’s, Ghirardelli and Unilever Dove- it became obvious that the Dove Chocolate brand has anunfavorable brand association with Unilever Dove soap and does not resonate as well in consumers’ minds next tocompetitors within the chocolate industry.For Dove to compete with Hershey and Ghirardelli, as well as Unilever, the brand must increase awareness by differentiatingitself from the variety of chocolate brands, further emphasizing brand personality through “indulgences,” and defining Dove’sbrand identity among confused consumers. By devoting branding recourses in these key areas, Dove Chocolate will buildrecognition, market share, and brand equity, and re-establish itself in the chocolate industry lessening its association withUnilever.BackgroundDove Chocolate is known as a silky, creamier indulgence made of quality ingredients that evokes “me time.” In the 1950s,Greek-American, Chicago candy store owner, Leo Stefanos, developed the Dovebar out of concern for his children’s safetyracing after ice cream trucks. The ice cream was hand-dipped in premium chocolate and named after the founder’s candyshop, chosen for its “peaceful” quality. However, it was the owner’s son who grew the Dove brand into success and it soonbecame part of another family of expert chocolatiers.M&M/Mars acquired Dove in 1986, and refined its purity and taste before introducing milk and dark chocolate bars in the1990s (Dove, 2009). Mars is produces brands like M&Ms, Snickers, Twix, Three Musketeers, Milky Way, Skittles andStarburst. As Dove Chocolate creates only chocolate indulgences, careful attention is paid to quality, ensuring a silky, smoothtexture and a delicious, lingering taste. All of Dove’s chocolate treats are made to savor, and its unique silky texture isachieved through the combination of fine milling and the right mixture of ingredients, like real cocoa butter (Dove, 2009).Chocolate marketIn 2008, Mars and Hershey were named the top two chocolate competitors. Hershey is synonymous with chocolate inAmerica, but Mars had recently shown dominance in the U.S. market. While Hershey is replacing quality cocoa butter with oilbased substitutes, Mars is delivering 100 percent pure chocolate products to consumers. However, Mars still falls behindHershey in chocolate market share (Mars takes, 2008). Hershey is undoubtedly the leader in the chocolate market; however,Ghirardelli has established brand equity well beyond Dove, making it the challenger chocolate brand (Mars Inc., 2008).Mars Inc.Annual sales: 22 billion; 51 percent in EuropeU.S. chocolate market share: 30 percentRecent moves: Buying gum maker Wm. WrigleyJr. Co. to become world's largest candymakerThe Hershey Co.Annual sales: 5 billion; 86 percent in U.S.U.S. chocolate market share: 42.5 percentRecent moves: Trying to revive sales afterstumbling two years agoBrand positioning and associationDove is the newest brand to the industry, and has less of a niche in the chocolate market. In sharp contrast, Hershey is the allAmerican, affordable chocolate and Ghirardelli is the premium, luxury chocolate known for gift giving. Dove’s brand is currentlyfloating between the two as a quality chocolate made with pure cocoa butter and designed for indulgence. Considered themost chocolate brand of Mars, Inc., Dove “offers the opportunity to celebrate ‘me-time’ moments, which become even morevaluable for a busy woman in her professional and private life,” suggesting that the product satisfies a females love forchocolate and a need to indulge in one’s self” (Mars, 2009).Although Unilever Dove is not a direct industry competitor, in the mind of consumers the soap is recalled first and createsunfavorable associations with Dove Chocolate. There exists a struggle among consumers to differentiate Mars Dove fromUnilever Dove. Sometimes consumers assume the two brands are related. This is untrue and often disables Mars Dove toresonate over Unilever, especially because the promotional campaigns of the two brands boast creamy and silky textures, anddisplay a script logo with the image of a dove (Dove, 2009).Recommendation and resultsFor Dove to compete with Hershey and Ghirardelli, as well as Unilever, the brand must increase awareness by differentiatingitself from the vast variety of chocolate brands, further emphasizing brand personality through “indulgences,” and definingDove’s brand identity among confused consumers. By devoting branding recourses in these key areas, Dove Chocolate willbuild recognition, market share, and brand equity, and re-establish itself in the chocolate industry lessening its association withUnilever.
Mars Dove Chocolate 2Brand Inventory and Brand ExploratoryProducts and services offeredMars has from 22 to 28 billion in annual revenue with a portfolio that includes chocolate, pet care, food, drinks,symbioscience and gum and sugar. With the addition of Wrigley, Mars Snackfood U.S. includes some of the world’s favoritebrands, like Dove Chocolate, M&M’s, Milky Way, Skittles, Snickers, Starburst, 3 Musketeers and Twix (Mars, 2009).Dove Ice Cream Bars come in Dark Chocolate with Chocolate, Dark Chocolate with Vanillia, Milk Chocolate with Almonds andMilk Chocolate with Vanilla. Each ice cream bar is dipped in Dove Chocolate and there are four 12 fl. oz. servings to a box(Dove Chocolate, 2009). Dove Ice Cream is served in pint containers and come with a layer of chocolate gannache on top withan impression of the Dove logo. Flavors include Beyond Vanilla, Caramel Pecan Perfection, Chocolate and Brownie Affair,Chocolate and Cherry Courtship, Give In To Mint, Irresistibly Rasbery, Vanillia with a Chocolate Soul, Toffee and CaramelMoment and Unconditional Chocolate (Dove Chocolate, 2009).From the line ice cream derived a line of Dove Chocolate products. Dove Singles Bars are 1.3 ounce bars that containindividual Dove Chocolate pieces that can be broken off, and sell for retail at .60 each and distributed by 12- or 24-count percase. They are advertised as an out and on the go piece of indulgence (Dove Chocolate, 2009).Dove Promises Chocolates are individually wrapped with special messages inside each wrapper, and known for deliveringsilky smooth chocolate perfection in every bite. They are packaged in stand-up cartons and lay-down bags as follows rangingin retail price from 1.99 for 3.5 ounce carton to 3.69 for a 9.5 ounce bag (Dove Chocolate, 2009). Dove Promises Dessertsare individually wrapped chocolates blend flavors with Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate, and are sold in 12 count cases for 1.99for a 3.65 ounce stand-up pouch and 2.99 for a 5.8 ounce carton (Dove Chocolate, 2009).Dove Large Bar Flavors pair Dove Chocolate with flavors packaged as three individual foil-wrapped bars weighing 3.53 ounceeach. They are advertised for multiple occasions, like everyday indulgence, baking or cooking, and dessert. The suggestedretail price is 1.99, and they are distributed in a pre-packaged, 96-count mixed large bar floor-stand displays or a 60-countmixed large bar power wing. Dove Sugar Free delivers individually wrapped sugar free chocolates with a double chocolatecenter (Dove Chocolate, 2009). See Appendix for product chart.Consumer attitudes and perceptionsInternal evaluationBrand attributes Dove Chocolate is characterized as being “silky,” and this feature is depicted in promotional materials withthe image of a silk curtain often colored chocolate brown to symbolize the Dove moment. A longtime selling point, consumersattribute the silky, smooth texture of the fabric with the taste and feel of Dove Chocolate. Dove is also described as havingquality ingredients, an intoxicating scent, a glossy hue and a rich taste (Dove Chocolate, 2009).Brand imagery Dove’s tagline, "My Moment with Dove," was designed to encourage consumers to reconnect withthemselves; even if it’s just for a moment. Specifically, the brand meets the psychological needs of females who prescribechocolate to cure symptoms of sadness, anger and stress. Additionally, the Dove name lends a “peaceful” quality thatemphasizes quiet time alone between the consumer and their indulgence (Dove Chocolate, 2009).Brand performancePrimary ingredients, supplementary features- Dove Chocolate is superior in taste and contains a silky smooth texture andcomplex flavor that lingers on the tongue. It is made with only the best cacao beans, 100 percent cocoa butter, andprocessed in-house at Mars manufacturing centers, one of few chocolate companies to still make their own chocolate.Product reliability, durability and serviceability- Dove Chocolate and the process in which it is developed is tested multipletimes for quality and flavor by expert technicians at Mars, and it is available in mainstream channels, like supermarkets,grocery stores, convenient stores, retail stores and in-house marketing initiatives.Service effectiveness, efficiency and empathy- The "My moment. My Dove" campaign portrays the Dove brand and service asa small piece of pleasure in a busy world. Dove’s service- providing quality chocolate- is effective because of the brand’sdistinctive combination of chocolate liquor and cocoa butter that develops a balanced taste that is never too bitter or toosweet (Dove Chocolate, 2009).Style and design- Dove’s smooth, silky attributes carry to its brand and product design. Packaging is colored with creams andchocolate brown and the Dove logo appears to be written with drizzling chocolate. The individual product is round, smoothand made of rich, consistent color.Price- Retail prices range from individual pieces starting at .60 to Dove Promises Chocolate ending at 3.69 for a 9.5 ouncebag. The affordable price makes Dove appealing to consumers of various incomes (Dove Chocolate, 2009).Brand personality The Dove Chocolate Brand is more than a chocolate; it's a relationship with lush, sensual, dreamy, sexy,exquisite, peaceful, goodness and rich characteristics.Brand feelings Dove consumers’ emotional response to the brand is a passionate, emotional connection that inspires almostan exciting affair or a lover’s experience. They relate to the brand and the opportunity to indulge in something so desirable,soothing and sensual.
Mars Dove Chocolate 3Brand judgments Dove consumers most like that the Dove Chocolate brand is a superior chocolate that can be purchased fora reasonable price in mass store, reinforcing the brand for many.Brand elementsMemorability- Dove is short, concise and easy to remember. Initially, consumers may not fully connect the brand withchocolate; however, upon viewing promotional materials (e.g. flowing silk, calm atmosphere, goodness, desire)consumers’ link Dove Chocolate attributes to the brand.Meaningfulness- The dove itself represents peace, tranquility, positive enlightenment, light-heartedness and good-will. Thebrand conveys similar attributes persuading consumers to relate to these ideas. Additionally, it stems from the originalfamily-owned chocolate store that first developed the DoveBar, allowing the brand to carry a heavier meaning.Likeability- Dove, as it is written in chocolate, is aesthetically appealing and offers rich imagery, suggesting a quality product.Transferability- Dove is transferable across geography and cultural bounties as the bird is well-recognized with “peace” and“goodness.” Unfortunately, Dove has established itself to be solely recognizable with chocolate products, so transferringacross product categories may be difficult in the future.Adaptability- The original logo has been altered from Roman font with the image of a dove to script type that appears to bewritten with drizzled chocolate. Overtime, Dove’s logo has the ability to adapt and update itself along with its products.Protectability- Dove Chocolate is not easily protected when it comes to the brand name as Unilever produces Dove soap andlotions. Consumers often associate the two, even though they are not connected in any way. The Promises messagesshould be protected as part of the brand, and in a competitive set, many brands are switching to vegetable oil instead ofcocoa butter, unlike Dove. Although this is not a legal protection, it offers Dove an advantage over other chocolatiers.Brand associationsContext brand is considered in- There exists a struggle among consumers to differentiate Mars Dove Chocolate from UnileverDove soap. Many are aware of the two, but feel that there is some connection between the brands. This is untrue andoften disables Mars Dove to separate itself from Unilever Dove. What makes the differentiation more difficult is thepromotion of two products that are creamy and silky in texture, and display a script logo with a dove image (Dove, 2009).Recallability- Upon first thinking of the Dove brand, most consumers recognize Unilever’s brand before Mars’. However,among chocolate loyal consumers, Dove is easily recalled as a desirable, quality chocolate among competitors.Additionally, the original DoveBar Ice Cream has built recognition for years and offers a more stable foundation for DoveChocolate to continue to build on.Uniqueness- The brand is unique in packaging, quality and taste. The individually wrapped Dove Promises are an exclusiveselling point for the Dove brand and one that separates it from competitors.Link to product category- Unilever Dove is a well-known soap, lotion, and deodorant brand that manufacture products outsidethe chocolate industry. Little research offers statistics on brand recognition and product categories of these two brands.Consumer evaluation (See Appendix for survey reports)Brand attributes Consumers surveyed characterized Dove chocolate as being “smooth, rich, creamy, silky