Lindt & Sprüngli is known as a global leader in the premium chocolate industry and has a long tradition which began in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1845. The brand has an innovative and extensive range of finest quality chocolate, and is present in 120 countries worldwide. The Lindt & Sprüngli brand offers chocolate truffle balls, chocolate bars, seasonal confectioneries, petits desserts and liqueur-filled tubes.
The most popular product line is Lindor, available in the form of chocolate bars, boxes and chocolate truffles in a variety of flavours. Lind & Sprüngli also offers a popular Excellence line of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Besides, the brand produces another Excellence line (a product range of filled chocolate tablets) which is available in more than 30 flavours. Limited editions and new flavours are added to the range every season; for example, luscious coconut or sumptuous orange. For younger consumers who enjoy more creative formats and appreciate colourful re-invention of classic products, HELLO is a more suitable alternative. It is a collection of contemporary and trendy premium chocolates, which is available in sticks, bars and boxes. Among traditional Lindt products are Golden Bunny and Teddy Bear. While Golden Bunny is popular during Easter period, Teddy Bear is attracting consumers during festive Christmas period.
The findings of the current report are derived from secondary sources and supporting evidence is based on Internet searches, industry reports and Instagram analytical tools. The purpose of the conducted research was to determine the importance of the Lind & Sprüngli brand’s presence on Instagram as a tool to increase its customer base, boost community engagement in terms of likes and comments, attract key Swiss food and lifestyle influencers, and increase sales, by sharing relevant, informative and entertaining content to the target public.
The research is based on the two-way symmetrical public relations model that supports the idea of a dialogue and stresses the balance of power relationships. The model has been selected because communication in the digital space, especially across social media networks, has already become two-way, meaning that not only brands communicate with their existing and potential customers but that also customers actively communicate with the brands.
In addition, various Instagram analytical tools were used to measure performance of public relations efforts on the social network, get an insight into key data, and see what can be suggested and improved.
The PESO model is usually used to ensure that communications within a company are performed across all forms of media accessible and available at a company. Since the proposed public relations campaign focuses on Instagram, the PESO model has been applied to this social media network only (presented in TABLE I ), so as to give more insight into how Lindt & Sprüngli brand can use available opportunities and improve its communication with the audience on Instagram.
PESTEL analysis, which stands for political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal influences, helps to identify external factors influencing the company. TABLE II presents the key external factors, affecting Lindt & Sprüngli.
SWOT analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, is used to identify internal factors affecting the company. TABLE III presents a SWOT analysis for the Lindt & Sprüngli brand.
During the public relations Instagram campaign, the main focus will be on existing and potential customers, as well as on employees of the Lindt & Sprüngli brand who also act as brand advocates. Fig. 1 presents the main stakeholders of the brand.
WHY IS THIS TOPIC IMPORTANT TO THE COMPANY?
The Use of Social Media Networks in Switzerland
A succinct definition of Instagram is provided by Wikipedia which states that it is “a mobile and desktop photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos to other users, known as followers”. As of April 2017, Instagram has over 700 million monthly active users, which makes it a top social network among its rivals Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (Osman, 2017).
According to the latest survey from the Electronic Media Interest Group (IGEM) “digiMonitor” on media consumption habits in Switzerland (Wagner, 2017), Swiss youngsters prefer Instagram over Facebook. The survey reveals that 67% of the 15-24-year-old people prefer to use Instagram, while 55% choose Facebook. This makes Instagram a highly competitive social media network for the Lindt & Sprüngli brand to reach this important demographic.
Besides, in comparison with other social media networks, Instagram has higher engagement rates (%). Engagement rate provides an insight into how active the brand’s audience is and how well the brand’s Instagram strategy is working. According to Laurence (2018), Twitter and Facebook attract on average between 0.5% and 1.0% engagement, while Instagram between 3% and 6%. Thus, having an engagement rate of more than 6% will lead the brand to better opportunities in terms of community engagement and revenue growth.
The Lind & Sprüngli consumer is generally over 30 years old who lives an upper-middle class lifestyle and enjoys superior quality of the brand’s chocolate (Townsend, 2015). It is also important to attract a younger consumer who can contribute to brand awareness by sharing his or her experiences associated with the Lind & Sprüngli brand with his or her peers, and who will become a dedicated costumer of the brand’s chocolate over a period of time.
Thus, the current public relations campaign will mainly focus on Instagram having in mind a younger consumer. And to be successful, genuine and engaging in the digital space, Lind & Sprüngli should not publish unrelated images with short captions at irregular intervals (that is the case with the current practice of the brand), but should have a thoughtful strategy and a well-defined brand identity expressed through visual creativity, efficient community management and clear communication.
Instagram is a social media network where brands can find relevant influencers who, in turn, can help generate awareness and affect the purchasing decisions of those who search for and value their expertise, read their blogs and communicate with them via discussion forums or by attending their presentations at industry events. If influencers are truly interested in the brand’s message, use the product or service themselves and support the brand’s values, they will share a meaningful and useful content more frequently. In fact, they may even spontaneously begin talking about the brand, its products and services. Thus, it can be concluded that a selection of the influencer to collaborate with has a deciding impact on the efficiency of the campaign.
One of the key things that influencer marketing enables the brand to do is to raise the brand’s awareness within the industry. Most likely, the key influencers will review one of the brand’s products, publish a post mentioning the brand’s product or write a company review. Besides, influence marketing provides an opportunity to communicate the brand’s value proposition, offerings, and company background to the audience the brand may not otherwise have engaged with. This may result in more people visiting the brand’s website, following and engaging with the brand on Instagram that in turn may increase the sales.
Lindt & Sprüngli reports that it is facing challenges in North America and, especially, in its home Swiss market; however, it continues to grow. According to a Chairman’s semi-annual report (2016), “the biggest challenges facing the company in the first six months of the year were continuously high raw material prices for cocoa beans and cocoa butter, stagnating chocolate markets and generally subdues consumer sentiment”. Besides, the Swiss market has been recently suffering because consumers prefer to shop in neighbouring countries and the brand’s retail partners are under pressure from hard discounters.
One of the ways to increase brand awareness and start boosting sales is to start serving content that the brand’s audience will accept and share with its own network. An effective way to distribute the content is via social media networks, especially through Instagram, which allows users to share photos or videos that are followed by short but effective descriptions.
The official Instagram account of Lindt & Sprüngli in Switzerland has 6, 135 followers (data from January 2018). In contrast, its counterpart in the US has 100, 000 followers, in Italy - 56, 300, in Germany - 7, 102 and in the UK – 8, 501 followers. Since Lindt & Sprüngli is an authentic Swiss brand, it is vital to position it as the leader in the chocolate industry in Switzerland in the digital space as well.
Currently, the engagement rate of the official Swiss account is 4.11% on average, which indicates that the brand’s audience actively engages with the brand via its content. According to an analysis of the account, the audience is active the most in April, possibly due to Easter holidays, and in December, most likely due to festive Christmas period, when chocolate becomes the most famous product. The top three hashtags are #happyeaster, #chocoletti and #lindtswitzerland.
Lindt & Sprüngli is collaborating with some of the Swiss Instagram bloggers and influencers. For example, with @ tiphainemarie_, @lety_, and @ iosononera. While these influencers have a decent number of followers, it is difficult to associate them with chocolate or food related topics and especially with the brand. Thus, it is important to choose individuals who are more related to the brand, have influence over the brand’s target segment and, eventually, its target buyers.
Besides, the company signed a long-term partnership with the Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer to gain an extra popular identification potential for the Lindt & Sprüngli brand. Federer acts as a unique embodiment of Lindt & Sprüngli’s fundamental values, “such as Swissness, premiumness, quality, and passion, making him an ideal global brand ambassador”.
The objectives of the current public relations Instagram campaign are the following:
- to drive brand awareness by attracting more consumers (followers) under the age of 30 who are frequent Instagram users, and growing Lindt & Sprüngli Instagram following organically from 6, 135 to 15,000 followers by the end of Q4 2018;
- to identify and connect with a relevant food or lifestyle influencer, interested in the brand and its products, per quarter, and in total with four influencers in 2018 who will expose the brand to their large Instagram community;
- to increase Lindt & Sprüngli sales from the Instagram direct response campaigns by 20% by the end of Q4.
In this case study you have learned how to design a public relations campaign for Instagram using an example of Lindt & Sprüngli. You can also use the same structure for a traditional PR campaign since it contains all the essential elements for a smooth execution of your project. Just a couple of things to remember: write the proposal of the PR campaign in plain English so that your management gets a clear picture and understands straight away what the campaign is about, why and how you are going to execute it.
Article written by Liudmila Kazak, Public Relations & Communications Specialist at C. L. A. P.
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