Hershey: DAGOBA Values Drive Success for 'Empowering Women' Sweepstakes

DAGOBA held a sweepstakes asking dedicated brand fans to share a story about being empowered by another woman.

(Originally published on TheHersheyCompany.com)

There are plenty of ways to find inspiration in The Hershey Company's (a DiversityInc Noteworthy Company) DAGOBA Organic Chocolate. Every bite is made with certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients and infused with unique flavors that combine to create a truly sensory experience. This experience begins with cacao beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms in Peru, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Tanzania.

We take the little green frog that represents the Rainforest Alliance's seal of approval very seriously. Just as every varietal of cacao brings unique flavor notes to our chocolate, every Rainforest Alliance community has its own unique composition of people working diligently to create a sustainable living for their families. In these communities, the women play an integral role, yet they are also the community members most at risk of being undervalued and underrepresented in the cocoa value chain.

In 2017, we established the One for All Cacao Project, a non-profit fund that works to strengthen cacao communities by advancing the role of women in cocoa production and entrepreneurial initiatives while shining a light on the unique challenges and opportunities they face.

Achieving this objective means spending time in Rainforest Alliance communities. In 2016 and 2017, we invested in the community of San Juan de Cheni, Peru and spent time on the ground getting to know their cacao association and community better. At every turn of the journey, we encountered women who inspired us with their tenacity, strength and desire to build better lives for their families.

Success with Sincerity

In late 2017, as we recounted the many stories of these incredible women on social media, we realized there were many women in our own lives who inspired us to work harder and strive for better results – both professionally and personally. So, we turned to a different audience – DAGOBA Organic Chocolate's dedicated brand fans – and asked them to share their own stories of "Empowering Women." Our ask was simple: share a story about a time you felt empowered by another woman and post it online through November 2017. We held a modest sweepstakes, offering simple, chocolaty prizes of two Assorted Gem Packs (12 ct) to entrants picked randomly at the end of every week, and awarded a Grand Prize of two $500 Target gift cards to the entrant chosen at the end of the sweepstakes (along with a couple more chocolate rewards to 'sweeten' the pot!).

The results were inspiring in their sincerity and courage. The campaign generated engagement, and continues to generate interest in DAGOBA Organic Chocolate almost two months after its close. Together with our public relations partner agency PriceWeber, who executed this project, and in collaboration with powerful female influencers, including Rachel MansfieldApt. 2B Baking and What the Fork Food Blog, (just to name a few), we:

  • Amplified our cause to hundreds of thousands of people in just one month;
  • Saw our combined social reach increase by 140 percent; and
  • Witnessed our social engagement increase by 243 percent from the previous month.

These efforts drove significant month-over-month and year-over-year sales increases, particularly at Target, where we saw a lift of 53 percent the week following the close of the campaign. More importantly, we read story after story of women empowering other women when they needed to hear stories of strength and courage the most.

Closing the Year Strong

It was a momentous way to end a pivotal year for DAGOBA Organic Chocolate. More importantly, this campaign was authentic to the brand and its mission, and as a result it engaged our fan base and their friends in a way that was sincere and deeply rooted in our core values and legacy.

These stories of "Empowering Women" and the engagement that followed continue to inspire us. We're looking forward to finding more ways to build our brand equity by empowering fans to engage and share their unique journeys, experiences and triumphs. After all, it's inspired chocolate!

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Hershey Releases ‘Shopper’s World’ Retail Report

Company outlines 'total commerce' approach that blends digital and physical elements to enhance retail experience

Originally published by The Hershey Company.

The Hershey Company released its second annual 'In a Shopper's World' retail report ahead of the National Confectioner's Association's 2018 Sweets and Snacks Expo. The Power of Search in a Shopper's World showcases how to build a retail experience around the shopper, extending the concept of search across digital and physical retail. Hershey experts outline four key strategies for building a total commerce approach where shoppers can find snacks when, where and how they choose to shop.

Under the banner of fictitious retailer, Medley, Hershey shares shopper-centric concepts that address the retailer challenge of engaging shoppers in a world where 50 percent1 of all purchases are digitally influenced. Consumers expect the blending of online content, creative merchandising and immersive experiences as they make purchasing decisions across traditional and digital platforms. The payoff for retailers is significant, however, with shoppers becoming six times2 more valuable when they shop a retailer's total commerce ecosystem.

"Our report outlines Hershey's commitment to putting the shopper first. As we deepen our understanding of when, where and how people search for snacks, we're building a stronger muscle for advising our retail partners in an environment where shoppers seamlessly move between digital and physical retail," said Doug Straton, Chief Digital Commerce Officer, The Hershey Company.

In addition to sharing retail search strategies that apply to both digital and physical shopping, Hershey provides updates on front-end and in-aisle merchandising concepts presented in last year's 'Shopper's World' report.

"Our customizable retail solutions balance retailer goals and shopper experience – an expectation of today's modern shopper," explains Phil Stanley, Vice President, Customer and Category Development at The Hershey Company.

'The Power of Search in a Shopper's World' is published by Hershey's Global Customer Innovation Center (GCIC). The report is a window into the expertise that lives inside the GCIC, a space where retailers come together with Hershey experts to collaboratively solve challenges facing the industry today.