Haigh’s Chocolates is the 107-year-old business that keeps evolving

How does a 107-year-old family brand continue to evolve their offerings while staying true to their brand identity? By eliciting the help of market research to build on their customer identity.

With the first store opening at Adelaide’s Beehive Corner in 1915, Haigh’s Chocolates is a family brand seeped in tradition. The role of Fiona Krawczyk, Marketing Manager at Haigh’s is to keep the brand grounded in the past, but always moving towards the future.

And one way they have achieved that is by working with Square Holes since 2015 to build a profile that reflects the buyer of today.

“Initially it (the research) was based on measuring brand health, I wanted the ability to check in on our brand health at least once a year. That allows us to not only look at our brand awareness, but also the general health of the brand and how the online part of the business is travelling. And then a part of this  evolved into  developing a company-wide KPI,” says Krawczyk.

In 2019 Haigh’s commissioned Square Holes to conduct a deep dive exploratory study into chocolate consumers and Haigh’s customers. Fiona revealed that through this in-depth study, the brand was able to redefine the persona of their ideal customer.

Group shot of some of Haigh’s Chocolates best selling items, including their famous frogs. Photo supplied by Haigh’s Chocolates.

“I had a feeling that our customer (the ideal customer) was a lot younger than we believed and I thought it was skewed more female. What the research allowed us to do was redefine who our customer is and gave me a vehicle to be able to share that work with the executive team and the wider business,” says Krawczyk.

“I think  the new truth (about who that customer is), can now be used in product and range development, communications, the online business, and how we promote each of those channels… If you know who your customer is then you can tailor all of these elements and make sure you are, more often than not, making the right decisions.”

“There are such brand lovers out there. So, I think the challenge is converting that passion into sales, and then delivering an excellent customer experience when they do purchase, whether that’s in store or online.” 

Fiona believes that having this refined picture of who their customer is and how to communicate with them, gives her and her team an edge over their competitors.

“We’re not trying to be everything to everyone. And I think if you know that, then you’ve got the basis for a really good roadmap to follow. I think that informed decision making gives us an advantage,” says Krawczyk.

“Certainly, we have a very passionate customer base and they’re always wanting to talk to us, so it’s really about giving them the opportunity to do so in as many different ways as possible. I think that there is benefit in having direct exchanges with our customers via research rather than waiting for them to come to you.  Insights and golden nuggets can be gleaned.”

Square Holes Founder and Managing Director, Jason Dunstone says that the role of market research is to provide brands with the insights and data to help them move boldly into new territories and growth.

“We feel the real value of the work Square Holes does, is providing brands with the information and inspiration to evolve their service into bold and exciting territories, connecting with new markets and expanding their reach,” says Dunstone.

“We have really enjoyed connecting Haigh’s with an expanded consumer base through our research, with the aim to help Haigh’s further highlight those special points of difference that make them unique.”

Fiona says what makes Haigh’s unique from other chocolate makers is their attention to detail and exceptional customer service that informs all elements of the brand.

“We are very mindful that that’s really part of the experience and it’s not going away any time soon. Delighting customers is an intrinsic part of our brand DNA. And that is a point of difference,” says Krawczyk.

“We have so many touch points, because of the nature of our business, where we can influence in a positive way, whether it’s the making of great tasting chocolate, its presentation, our communications or the customer experience, and we all choose to do that, every single day. The sum is greater than the parts.”

Square Holes offers customised research for leaders and innovators in local and global markets. For more information and to submit a quote please contact us for a no obligations chat.

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