Surprisingly uncreative Brands Part 3: Ferrero Rocher

Ferrero Rocher

Ferrero Ferrero Ferrero – it’s disappointing to see you in Part 3 of ‘Uncreative brands on Facebook’ especially as Christmas is round the corner and your product has got to be one of the most popular ‘I didn’t know what to buy you’ kind of gifts!

 

Firstly, why isn't this app you see on your right, on their Facebook Page…? Well designed, well branded and would regenerate some awareness as we lead up to Christmas.

 

This global brand has a few other of our favourite names under its belt, but we’re focussing on Ferrero Rocher for this blog! It’s very clear what their brand message has been in the past – ‘we are an upmarket product for special events’ …if this is so then maybe social media shouldn’t be part of the strategy, there is an argument that it cheapens and ruins exclusivity of top brands when they build a social presence.

However let’s look at Ferrero Rochers’ price positioning – it is at a very similar or even slightly lower price point than Thornton’s (who could be considered a rival…read more about them later). So their true strategy is to appeal to the masses, not a niche market and with that we can say ‘Hello Social’!

Their latest advert is a bit of a change from their usual ‘exclusive only’ ads, with more of an emphasis on the ‘social’. In fact Ferrero marketing director Mauro de Felip says: “The launch of these new creative advertising campaigns provides us with an excellent platform to exhibit our market leadership in special sharing and gifting. Both creatives capture the ‘new’ special that is relevant to consumers, and demonstrates our ability as a business to adapt to current market conditions and understand shifting consumer attitudes.”

Did I hear ‘sharing’ and ‘gifting’ mentioned in there…never heard of social app’s?…designed for the sole purpose of engaging customers through, wait for it…sharing & gifting!

As a short summary, this is a brand that has 12,561,656 ‘likes’ on their Facebook page and ’48,771’ people talking about them, is repositioning itself as a social product and thinks of themselves as a market leader in special sharing and gifting and generate the most sales during the Christmas period. Let’s look at their Facebook page shall we 😉

Ferrero Rocher Facebook fanpage

I’ll very briefly, without moaning too much, go through everything that is wrong here before I make some suggestions.

Their last post was on the 21st of March (out of a total of 6 posts overall)…surely with Christmas around the corner they could have at least sent out one promotional post with a link to a website…with over 12 million viewers seeing that post even with a 1% conversion that could have resulted in 125,616 sales, at £5 a box (with the promotion) you could be looking at over 625K in revenue…need I say more.

There are absolutely no side apps for engagement, a few pretty pictures, with the first being a very outdated Valentines image, are the only things to hold your attention. Their Valentines picture alone had over 10K ‘likes’ and 307 shares, this is the perfect opportunity for a bit of e-commerce sharing.

My Idea; For Valentine’s Day Ferrero could design an app where one Facebook user can send another user a virtual Ferrero box (which appears on their wall) and has a special message within. The receiver has to opt in to their app to be able to read the message. The sender can either remain anonymous or reveal themselves to their beau. This has the potential to become extremely viral, create huge brand awareness and build associations between the brand and Valentine’s Day. This is not usually a holiday that Ferrero get the lime light for but think of the revenue that the chocolate must generate around the 14th of Feb! Earlier you read Mauro’s comments about being the market leader for sharing and gifting…something must be done if you are going to prove that!

 

Let’s take a look at the app that Ferrero have developed in comparison to the one that Thornton’s have developed.

 

 

 

 

Ferrero have spent millions upon millions marketing their ‘Rocher’ product as an exclusive, upmarket and special product. I would not like to say what damage this app is doing to that image that they have spent years building. It’s poorly designed, filled with cheap, unrelated ads and not even branded. Yet you can see that users are still using it, as many as 17K people have shared their products so it’s clear that the concept really does work for their brand. They need to step up their game – as you can see Thornton’s have a very well designed app that revolves around Christmas spirit, also providing products for their customers that are personalised with their own photos and then leads their users nicely on to their e-commerce site ‘ pat on the back for Thornton’s, shame on you Ferrero.

Other ideas that i'm just throwing out there… the 'triangle stack' is one of Ferrero Rochers strongest brand associations. You could create some kind of social game that involves different levels where you have to select and unwrap the chocolates without tumbling the stacks, sort of like Jenga. Within each chocolate you get different postive bonuses. Or you could have different levels where you have to try and build the stacks on different types of tables with different levels of difficulty. You would have to reward your customers with a special 'party' voucher discounts for reaching certain levels otherwise there is no reason that you are keeping them engaged, and I don't agree with unecessary engagement!

Do you see where I am trying to come from with this 3 part blog? The main message is that if you are going to use traditional methods to advertise your brand then you need to bring the same message back to your social presence, because this is where consumers are connecting with your brand on a personal level. So if they get a completely different impression from you when they feel more connected then your traditional methods are just not going to resonate at all and you’re wasting your time and money.

Not all brands are right for social media, if that’s the case for your brand then stay clear completely, do not just create a page and leave it static because it looks awful and is doing irreparable damage!

I am going to be sending all three blogs to employees at the relevant brands and try to get some feedback from them about their poor Facebook pages, hopefully they will have something to say – I’ll let you all know! Please if you have any questions about what you could be doing with your Facebook fan page, are looking for some creative ideas or just need a helping hand about where you are going wrong… leave me a comment below I’d love to hear from you!

I sent this blog to Guillame du Gardier who is the Digital Media Manager West & South Europe at Ferrero. He has expressed that his comments are fine to be shared. My thanks to Guillame for responding to me and letting us all in on how a huge corporation like Ferrero are handling changes to their marketing mix.

"I saw your blog post, thank you for your interest in our brands and social media presence.

Above social media strategy understanding is often the barrier of internal culture and organisation which makes it more than difficult to move in the new era of real time ongoing conversation. Companies like ours are not easy to organise to face these new challenges, we are moving step by step. Have a look at Tic Tac international page or Kinder France, Tic Tac France, Nutella Italy or nutella international on FBK, you'll see that we know how to manage this… But we can not go as fast as our consumers would like us to. Give us a bit more time and all our pages will be well managed, digital is key for us, but on a long term.

When you share your own opinion on what a brand should do to be successfull in social media campaign, you should always ask yourself about your true understanding of how the company in question works and behave. Only we, inside the company, do know the real obstacle we have to face. No company is full of idiots or stupid marketers. It's all about driving a change initiated by an event (the era of Internet) which changed our life so much quicker than TV or even radio did in the past. And this takes time to rethink your relationship with your customers, even more when you never have had to engage with them before."

Rather than providing my opinion on this i'd like to know what your thoughts are?

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