IDealogic's color bar

OVERVIEW

IDealogic® was engaged on a challenging project by our incredible AI analysis partner who specializes in Consumer Behavior Modeling. They had recently performed a Brand Relevance Data study for Hershey® and had determined that: 1) the brand is very relevant to older audiences but has yet to establish relevance with younger demographics, and 2) the brand is not attracting and engaging the Gen Z market.

CHALLENGE

As a result, Hershey® wanted new product ideas that would resonate with the Gen Z demographic. We were tasked to develop innovative ideas that were lower cost to produce and would widen the range of its existing lines—without requiring years of product development, millions of dollars to implement, a revamp of the brand’s current manufacturing assets, or the introduction of new supply chains.

OUR STRATEGY

As part of our scientific branding method, IDealogic’s process always begins with data. Because of our joint project initiative with our AI partner, we had access to so much more than that which can be purchased from a marketing database. Their custom insights are validated, current, accurate—and straight from the customers’ mouths (or keyboards) using a combination of AI technology, IBM Watson, and a team of expert analysts. For this project, their team analyzed over 100,000 relevant online conversations from sources like Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogs to deliver their in-depth consumer behavior and brand relevance insights.

Together, we deciphered what was actually being said about the brand, how their customers really feel about the brand, how much brand equity and relevancy the brand currently has in the market, and what language barriers we needed to help the brand overcome. Using this process, we were able to find the gaps that needed to be explored in order to move forward with product innovation and a corresponding product engagement strategy.

Product Innovation

IDealogic® utilized our product innovations method for developing Gen Z food preferences to engineer flavor profiles around what appeals to this younger audience. We found that Gen Z enjoys an array of flavor profiles (incidentally, Gen Z has a broader palate than did Gen X or the Baby Boomers when they were under 24). Leading flavors for young people include chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow, citrus, and berry.

As shown in the data, the classic Hershey chocolate bar is the brand’s most talked about product. In answer to Hershey’s challenge, we found ways for the company to innovate this classic bar very simply and with a lower production cost. By utilizing the chocolate bar’s existing candy bar molds and ingredients, we found ways to innovate the bar with the implementation of new flavors, colors, packaging, and clever naming that specifically appeal to and target the Gen Z audience. This gives Hershey new product lines and allows the brand to attract the younger demos.

Interestingly, the data also revealed that baking and s’mores are two largest demand moments for Hershey’s chocolate. This indicates that the brand is often top of mind when it comes to traditional dessert uses of chocolate, but not for snacking or general consumption.

Bringing Dessert to the Chocolate

Since desserts and Hershey’s chocolate split consumer mindshare, dessert-style or themed bars were an obvious choice. We combined this knowledge to develop product ideas that are engineered to appeal to the Gen Z audience. We then used our understanding of psychographics to create innovative new Hershey bars that align with the younger audience’s tastes and lifestyle—and we brought dessert to the chocolate.

The Chocolate Donut Dessert bar is the perfect chocolate/dessert duo. The donut is an ever-favorite dessert staple that’s even more scrumptious when it’s topped with chocolate. We made it fun and relatable to the Gen Z audience by adding blue icing and sprinkles.

The Mooolicious Bar is a perfect combination of milk chocolate and vanilla cream. We connect Gen Z with this classic flavor combination with a fun product name and the introduction of an iconic Hershey’s character mascot, the Hershey® cow.

We bring the Gen Z lifestyle to the chocolate with the Techno Chocolate Bar. Inspired by trendy neon light effects, this bar pays homage to Gen Z’s tech-based, video game and music-loving entertainment lifestyle.

Bringing Dessert to the Chocolate

Since desserts and Hershey’s chocolate split consumer mindshare, dessert-style or themed bars were an obvious choice. We combined this knowledge to develop product ideas that are engineered to appeal to the Gen Z audience. We then used our understanding of psychographics to create innovative new Hershey bars that align with the younger audience’s tastes and lifestyle—and we brought dessert to the chocolate.

The Chocolate Donut Dessert bar is the perfect chocolate/dessert duo. The donut is an ever-favorite dessert staple that’s even more scrumptious when it’s topped with chocolate. We made it fun and relatable to the Gen Z audience by adding blue icing and sprinkles.

The Mooolicious Bar is a perfect combination of milk chocolate and vanilla cream. We connect Gen Z with this classic flavor combination with a fun product name and the introduction of an iconic Hershey’s character mascot, the Hershey® cow.

We bring the Gen Z lifestyle to the chocolate with the Techno Chocolate Bar. Inspired by trendy neon light effects, this bar pays homage to Gen Z’s tech-based, video game and music-loving entertainment lifestyle.

Engagement Strategy

The insights revealed that Hershey has lost relevance and become less effective in communicating with and appealing to its younger audiences because the brand is not effectively harnessing the technology and trends that young people are interested in. We created an engagement strategy that connects to the audience utilizing the online channels and tech that Gen Z loves and uses on a consistent basis.

The goal is to engage the audience on multiple levels as we drive a directive of participation connecting people, trends, and technology. In our appeal to Gen Z, new products should be promoted through a fun, playful, rebellious approach—all that embodies adolescence.

Hey Hershey Face!

#ShowUsYourHersheyFace is an alignment tactic and call to action to get the audience engaged with Hershey’s products. This brand relevance campaign encourages the audience to share selfies as they creatively interact with Hershey products made specifically for the Gen Z audience. It is designed to generate a social buzz around the brand on the social media channels they love the most, capitalizing on the opportunity to get them posting and sharing content with these new Hershey products.

As we implemented our product innovations method for developing Gen Z food preferences, we discovered that it was important to make the new product lines speak their language. “This isn’t your parents’ Chocolate Bar” is a product positioning statement that serves two purposes: 1) it gives the Gen Z audience something to rally around, and 2) it ensures the older demographics that their beloved traditional bar is not being infringed upon. While Gen Z parents and grandparents love the Hershey’s original bar, almond bar, and other treats, the younger demos will now have products to claim as their own.

Hey Hershey Face!

#ShowUsYourHersheyFace is an alignment tactic and call to action to get the audience engaged with Hershey’s products. This brand relevance campaign encourages the audience to share selfies as they creatively interact with Hershey products made specifically for the Gen Z audience. It is designed to generate a social buzz around the brand on the social media channels they love the most, capitalizing on the opportunity to get them posting and sharing content with these new Hershey products.

As we implemented our product innovations method for developing Gen Z food preferences, we discovered that it was important to make the new product lines speak their language. “This isn’t your parents’ Chocolate Bar” is a product positioning statement that serves two purposes: 1) it gives the Gen Z audience something to rally around, and 2) it ensures the older demographics that their beloved traditional bar is not being infringed upon. While Gen Z parents and grandparents love the Hershey’s original bar, almond bar, and other treats, the younger demos will now have products to claim as their own.

Interactive Campaign

This campaign serves as a creative outlet for imagination and individual expression, encouraging the target audience to interact with Hershey’s chocolate and capture playful and silly expressions while eating their treats. The goal is to get the audience excited about their favorite treats and convert them into customers who actively share their fun experiences with others.

In addition to using this campaign to promote new products, Hershey can also use this brand relevance strategy to promote existing products. By adopting this strategy for flavor diverse bars that align with Gen Z taste preferences, Hershey can engage and gain new customers with treats already in the market.

SCOPE OF WORK: B2C

ANALYSIS & R&D

  • Brand Audit & Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Market Insights Reporting
  • Data Acquisition
  • Data Aggregation
  • Audience Profiling & Mapping
  • Customer Experience Analysis
  • Audience Empathy Mapping

CONSUMER BEHAVIOR MODELING

  • AI Data Analysis
  • Brand & Product Perception
  • Brand Relevancy Opportunities
  • Pattern Detection
  • Compensating Behaviors
  • Demographic Persona Development
  • Psychographic Segment Development
  • Uncovering Motivators

PRODUCT INNOVATION

  • Product Branding
  • Product Architecture
  • Product Strategies
  • Product Concept Development
  • CPG Naming Strategies
  • CPG Product Identities
  • CPG Product Design
  • CPG Packaging Design
  • Concept Validation

ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY

  • Campaign Branding
  • Campaign Strategy
  • Messaging Strategy
  • Mapping & Planning
  • Go-to-Market Strategies
  • Channel Strategies
  • Activation Strategy
  • Consumer Engagement Strategy
  • Journey Mapping

VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS

  • Campaign Concept Development
  • Campaign & Visual Identity Design
  • Campaign Architecture
  • Brand Positioning
  • Campaign Positioning
  • Hi-Fidelity Renders (Touch-points)
  • Digital Design
  • Presentation Design

PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Custom Photo Shoots
  • Proprietary Images
  • Shoot Planning & Production
  • Photo Editing
  • Digital Imaging
  • 3D Modeling
  • Custom Digital Compositing

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • AR / Lens Development
  • Brand Platforms
  • Social Strategy
  • Social Posts (Design & Layout)
  • Campaign Integration
  • Content Creation

MESSAGING

  • Campaign Messaging
  • Content Writing
  • Naming Development
  • Hashtag Strategies & Development
  • Internal Communications (Presentation)
  • Keyword Strategies

SOCIAL SHARING

Social sharing and hashtag adoption on the highly popular platforms Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok fosters brand new relevance with the expansion demographic, and allows the audience to spread excitement online through brand awareness and product preference.

What does this type of engagement look like? A Gen Z’er could post a TikTok video, tagged #myhersheyface, as they use chocolate squares for walrus teeth. Another Gen Z’er could post an Instagram pic with their chocolate bars spread out like a handful of bills, hashtagged #candyrichface.

SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY

A trending tactic that can be used to create immersive experiences for the user, augmented reality (AR) is a great advertising tool for organizations. These innovative experiences drive engagement and user entertainment, allowing the audience to virtually interact, engage, and have fun with brands.

For this campaign, we use Snapchat facial lenses and Instagram AR effects to feature the new chocolate bars and the corresponding #HersheyFace. The strategy is to use multi-touch experiences to amplify virality, ensuring digital attribution and brand relevance on today’s social platforms.

CHANNEL STRATEGY

All campaign channels are designed to drive the audience to the social platforms Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, as well as to reinforce the campaign at the point of purchase. We took the artwork and mocked it up to match Hershey’s existing website design structure. We recommend a unique experience for the brand’s mobile platform, giving users the ability to quickly and easily navigate to the social platforms. Traditional channels include TV, unique product packaging, POS displays, billboards, interior mall signage, large format design, and magazine ads.

GEN Z STATISTICS

• The Gen Z audience features avid gamers and music-goers.

• Gen Zs spend upwards to 6 hours a day on socials in 2020.

• Gen Z’ers have a penchant for posting about foods and drinks they enjoy.

• Dessert is a big part of Gen Z social life, social media, and relationships.

• 87% of Gen Z and Millennials think about eating dessert at least 1x per day.