Ghraoui is an artisan confectionery company with deep roots in Damascus and headquarters in Budapest, who wanted to break into the UK market. Our strategy positioned it as more than just another luxury brand. This was a chocolate with a story as rich as its taste, that’s made to be gifted and shared. Here’s how we did it.
A tale of
The first phase of our marketing strategy work involved researching the UK market and Ghraoui’s competitors. A key finding was that the UK gifting market is three times bigger than the chocolate market, and three out of four consumers buy chocolate as a gift. We also tested Ghraoui’s products with consumers, filming our guinea-pigs’ reactions as they opened and tasted the chocolates (and gave them an enthusiastic thumbs-up).
Next was a trip to Budapest to meet key stakeholders, look around the factory and really get to the heart of the brand. We heard the story of Ghraoui, from its origins in 19th-century Damascus to its current home in Budapest, via political unrest, economic turmoil, war and exile. We learned how, in 1931, Sadek Ghraoui brought chocolate-making back from Paris to Syria as a gift to his people, and created Levantine chocolates as a gift to the world.
We also got to see how the products were made, using the finest European chocolate and fruits and nuts from those centuries-old Damascan orchards. (We might have tasted a few, too. We are always thorough in our research.)
During our site visit we carried out a storytelling workshop with stakeholders – an unusual activity for our client, but they turned out to be naturals. Each stakeholder teamed up with an Elespacian and together we started to spin some fairytales, with chocolate as the protagonist, all about gifts and giving.
This magical time that we spent with the client in Budapest helped us carve out the Ghraoui brand narrative, which hinges on its values and can be summed up in the tagline “made with joy, made to give”.
To define Ghraoui’s target UK audience, we created four customer personas based on aspects of the brand’s personality and on our own research. They are a discerning group of people with, of course, great taste and a love of chocolate. Crucially, they all buy into the brand values of exquisite quality and a love of giving and sharing.
We came to the tone of voice by listening carefully to the client during our workshops – the delight with which they talked about their products, the visceral language they used and the rich stories they told.
All these ingredients went into the content strategy. Richly layered and driven by the Ghraoui story, the content itself would speak to a new audience who were naturally curious and keen to hear about the brand’s background, its culture (drawn from both Budapest and Damascus), its products and artisanal craft.
We suggested a branding and packaging update in view of our customer research, with new visuals and a look and feel suitable for a chocolate that you would be proud to give, and that would draw you in, just like a really good story.
Building on the content and branding plan, we recommended a thorough marketing strategy, suggesting how and where Ghraoui should reach its UK audience.
This included paid and organic social media as well as influencer marketing and suggestions for print media and suitable resellers and curators.
And finally, we helped Ghraoui determine how to measure success - which KPIs to use, how to track performance and analyse metrics, and how to make sure the Ghraoui adventure in the UK has a fairytale ending.