You'll need to provide some level of detail to get answers from this group.
- Consumer retail or wholesale foodservice or ingredient?
- Do you have a competitive advantage that is easily communicated?
Happy to provide some direction if you can define the scope a bit.
First of all, congratulations on your plans to launch a new chocolate brand! It's great to become an entrepreneur, to be independent and to drive your success yourself.
A chocolate brand could have many propositions. There are very exclusive chocolates, such as Neuhaus, and all the way on the other end of the spectrum there are the store-brand chocolate bars that sell for $0.49.
What is it that differentiates your chocolate brand and your product? Try to think of it as something that motivates your new customers. It's not about cocoa, fat or sugar. Your brand will be about what people experience and perceive being buyers and consumers of your chocolate.
As I just love chocolate myself, it's easy to give you some suggestions for your brand, to differentiate and to create many opportunities to build it further:
- chocolate that has been made sustainably and with respect for human rights, to feel good and do good when eating or giving
- chocolate that is made of organic ingredients, with less sugar and less guilt when eating
- chocolate that makes you happy, including stories of doctors or neurochemists explaining that
- chocolate that is a great gift one will never forget, because of very special packaging
- chocolate that explores new recipes, like chili-filled pralines, with new ideas frequently launched (chocolate of the month) to be inspired
- chocolate that is artisanal, with detailed indication where all ingredients come from, with portraits of the real farmers and chocolate masters in the factory, to build a personal relationship
And we can generate many more ideas!
Does one of these particularly excite you? You should do what you are passionate about.
Also, do you want nation-wide distribution, or are you perhaps starting a boutique chocolaterie in your neighborhood? Try to think and jot down your ideas.
It's also time for a business plan. How do you see business ramping up, and what is needed to be that successful? What resources are required, what expertise, how much investment capital? Are you OK starting small? How do you see the growth trajectory? A good business plan shows much more thought: a marketing plan, cash flow the first one or two years, everything else well forecast, your partners, suppliers, and where you will find your customers....
Get some help to build the whole story: of your brand, of your company, and of your success. You will not regret.
Is there something I can do for you? With 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, and having helped many startups with their marketing strategy and their business plan, involving me would make sense and could perhaps just start with a phone call.
Let me know when you are ready for that and we'll take it from there!
Best of luck preparing the launch of your brand!
As someone who worked with and watched a locally owned chocolate shop start out and branch out, I can say that the first thing you have to be willing to do is GIVE BACK and GIVE PLENTY. That's how this small, one-person shop, grew tremendously in just two years. It got involved on a local level and got people hooked. Word of mouth - best marketing tactic ever.
1. Have a very good product.
2. Have a good story.
3. Tell your story and hand out chocolates as much as possible.
4. build a small, loyal following.
5. get a few retailers to carry your chocolate.
At that point, you are launched and can then focus on getting your followers and retailers to make intros to bigger players.
I'm the founder and CEO of Nimstick (https://nimstick.com/). We help brands skyrocket their business by smart strategy decisions.
First off you should focus primarily on an online store. There are numerous ways to spread the word for your brand, and I would say I would have to look at your specific case to help you in the best possible way.
I think I can help you out, please feel free to give a call and I can help you launch your brand and take it to the next level.