With the shift to digital technologies across all sectors, we will see massive behavioural changes in the ways we consume and work. When South Africa went into COVID-19 lockdown, Honest Chocolate needed to find new ways to connect with customers and establish new revenue streams.

“Why is it that Netflix invented Netflix and not the movie and television industry? It’s because the movie and television industry were protecting their old business model.” – Simon Sinek

Anyone who has had an Honest Chocolate experience knows that it’s a work of art. From the wrapping, which often features commissioned artworks from local artists to the rich, hand-crafted chocolate bar that awaits you inside. Their unique flavours and ethical ingredients make you reconsider what chocolate should taste like.

RETHINKING THE EXPERIENCE

Since the Honest Chocolate experience was so successful in their cafe, rather than purely focusing on an e-commerce campaign or electronic storefront, we explored how we could recreate it virtually and grow it beyond its physical-space limitation in Cape Town.

This drove us to create the Honest Chocolate Virtual Tasting – a corporate event where clients can experience the full sensory delight of the Honest Chocolate experience but from the comfort of their own homes.

Designing a virtual experience requires thinking more like a TV show or film editor than a physical experience. You need to keep it interactive, making sure participants don’t fall into a passive mode (lean back). Changing activities or camera angles every 10-15 minutes (goodbye zoom fatigue) is critical to maintaining engagement as well as pre-planning activities carefully so that the technology does not derail your experience. Most importantly, for this size of activity, it needs to connect the participants to each other.

DISCOVERING NEW OPPORTUNITIES

From a business perspective, the chocolate tasting experience helps boost revenues by creating larger sales. Each event includes packs of chocolates delivered to each participant, as well as a speaking/event fee from a world-class chocolatier, explaining how chocolate is made and what makes the ethical basis of Honest Chocolate so important. Over the lockdown period, this helped Honest boost revenues and is continuing to be a sought-after experience.

It’s easy to see location as the central point of a shopping experience, but it doesn’t have to be. By breaking out of the physical mindset Honest Chocolate was able to reach people across the country, creating new brand advocates while keeping sales going even in the time of the pandemic.