How Tony’s Chocolonely make some noise

Tony’s Chocolonely are a firm Copy Club favourite. They’re on a mission to change the chocolate industry from within.

They may be small (in comparison to companies like Cadbury’s or Mars) but they’re mighty. And they’ve made lots of noise without spending a fortune. 

Nicola Matthews, Tony’s UK Marketing Manager, shared her tastiest tactics to help your brand make a splash:

Create a movement. 🙌

Customers are more likely to check out a brand if they hear about it from their friends than if they see an ad. 

Tony’s have a pull marketing strategy. They don’t pay for ads or above the line marketing. Instead, they start authentic conversations with consumers. Then, they rely on their customers to pass the message on. 

Using a three-step advocacy funnel, Tony’s have built a small group of “serious forever friends”. 

The majority of Tony’s customers are “Chocofans”, buying because they just fancy a bar of great chocolate. But with Tony’s, when you have the chocolate, you can’t miss the message. This helps to encourage people to find out more and turn them into “serious friends”

Considering Tony’s is the number one chocolate brand in the Netherlands, it seems as though their movement is working.

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Find your people 👋

Where do your potential customers hang out? What do they buy?

Work with partners whose customers seem like a good fit for your product. As we learned from, partnerships can be a cheap and effective way to reach new customers.

Tony’s regularly work with subscription boxes to reach new audiences. They pop in a chocolate bar or two, along with engaging content that explains their mission. They’ve got lots of traction on social media through these partnerships, winning over customers who hadn’t heard of Tony’s before.

Think about the people who would love your brand and are out there, waiting to be found. Get in front of them.

Personality + product = perfection.🥰

Create a product your customers can’t get out of their heads.

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Tony’s chocolate bars, as well as tasting great, create conversations. They’re unevenly split which makes them hard to share. Their wrappers explain why; the profits in the chocolate industry aren’t shared, so the bars mirror this. 

Find a way to tell your brand’s story through your products. 

Make your brand memorable 💡

Work out how people think and use it to your advantage (we’re talking basic behavioural theory rather than Jedi mind tricks). 

Read about how people think, why they buy and how they consume content (this book by Richard Sotton, is the perfect guide) . Then, use what you learn to plant your brand firmly in your customers’ minds.

When Tony’s launched in the UK, they planned a free chocolate experience. But it wasn’t quite the Willy Wonka vibe. 

Attendees were faced with a room full of information about slavery and problems in the chocolate industry. Then, they could move into a “sweet solutions room” full of free chocolate and grammable moments. 

Whilst this was a big budget moment, it meant they really had an impact. Tony’s got press in all of the right places and by making the experience ideal for the gram, got a ton of UGC out of it. From people who really connected to the story.

Watch the journey here.

Raise the bar (pun very much intended) 🍫

Disruptive visibility is key to cutting through a crowded market. 

Elevate simple promotions to eye-catching levels.

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Tony’s do this by changing up their chocolate displays. In Sainsbury’s, they jazzed things up by building a giant stack of bars.It couldn’t be missed by customers, having a huge impact on sales, and they got lots of emails from customers saying how much they loved it.

Entice people into your brand by being a little bit disruptive. Be creative and you’ll stand out.


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