Just because the name Cadbury is synonymous with chocolate doesn’t mean chocolatiers from the same family are guaranteed success—nor does it mean they aren’t faced with the same challenges as other business owners.
In this episode of the Cart Insiders Podcast, we welcome to the studio the founder of Love Cocoa, James Cadbury, who talks about the challenges of staying differentiated in an extremely competitive market, his passion for conservation and sustainability, how he uses various online channels to grow their ecommerce business, and how the company shifted from brick and mortar to ecommerce during COVID.
Love Cocoa is a UK-based company inspired by James’ long family tradition in chocolate, dating back to 1824. Cadbury’s was one of the very first chocolate bar makers in the Western world and was eventually acquired by Kraft. Love Cocoa, on the other hand, is of a different chocolate breed.
Love Cocoa aims at a diverse target audience, and differentiate from the competition with creative and out-of-the-box products—for example, an avocado chocolate bar. They have a strong tradition of sustainability and ethics—James is passionate about giving back to the environment and donates 10% profits to rainforest conservation, and by planting a tree for every chocolate bar sold.
On this episode, James sheds light on all aspects of growing a business including the type of marketing tactics they’re testing, repeat customer trends, and average purchase quantities. James also openly discusses his biggest challenges when selling online, giving an insight into the demands of constant product innovation, and how he finds the right balance between meeting the demand for new products and focusing on other aspects of the business.
And just like we heard from Jiggy Puzzles and To’ak Chocolate in previous episodes, James explains why this storytelling is an increasingly important differentiator for their brand.
James discusses why he feels social media and email marketing are ideal channels for this and how they use each one. He dives into how refocusing on their story is working well as a change from traditional product-heavy sales content, as well as how their ‘one bar one tree’ campaign—which is featured on the bars themselves—contributes to organic exposure and increased sales.
“We looked at different projects and settled on the idea of planting trees. But we didn’t just want to plant them anywhere—we wanted it to be done by the cocoa farmers. This gives them extra income and means that they can diversify their crop. For example, we’ve been planting a lot of avocado trees that produce fruit to be sold at the local market. We’re very passionate about this project and we want to get the message across with a variety of content.”
Finally, James shares his advice for other ecommerce business owners who are looking to better understand their customers. Step inside the studio and join us for this insightful and candid conversation.
Main discussion points
- With such a wide audience (everyone loves chocolate!) it has been a challenge to zoom in on specific demographics to target with advertising. James tells us the kind of tactics they are testing—including laser-focusing on exactly who to target, customers that are repeating, and average purchase quantities.
- The pandemic forced a sharp refocus away from brick and mortar retail. We hear about James’ experiences of the impact of COVID, which led to a much-needed overhaul of the ecommerce marketing department. He discusses delving into data, email marketing innovations like segmentation, customer relationships, and spending a little more on shipping for short-term pain, but long-term gain.
- How Love Cocoa responded to losing 80% of their retail business because of COVID, and how they doubled down on their social media marketing when other companies had cut theirs.
- James shares his biggest challenges when selling online, giving an insight into the demands of constant product innovation—which takes time and money. We hear how he finds the right balance between meeting demand for new products while also focusing on all other aspects of the business.
- James gives his advice for other ecommerce businesses, including how customer surveys have been helpful in understanding customers better, and why personally reading every single review helps him improve customer experiences. James also shares his insights into tips for marketing knowledge resources, including books, podcasts, and websites that are relevant to both his industry and marketing as a whole.