Ethel M Chocolates
Elevate the brand with comprehensive marketing, PR and refreshed packaging.
Brand Strategy, Creative Design, Seasonal Campaigns, PR, Social Media and Package Design
Since its inception in 1981, Ethel M Chocolates has been crafting premium-specialty chocolates using timeless recipes that date back more than 100 years. With an established existence in the local community and loyal customer base, BRAINTRUST embarked on a sweet goal to elevate the Ethel M brand. But how? With an integrated marketing campaign that encompassed fresh brand guidelines, a comprehensive and expansive public relations plan, developing an engaging content strategy on social media, designing well-researched packaging and creative, and implementing an effective advertising plan.
Seeking to expand its audience yet still maintaining its core and loyal customers, BRAINTRUST worked with Ethel M Chocolates to craft an updated brand strategy that reflected the company’s three core pillars: Fresh, Family, and its Desert origins.
To drive sales during Ethel M’s peak periods, BRAINTRUST developed campaigns centered on the Christmas Holidays, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. The campaigns include a direct order catalog, advertising campaign and social media content strategy.
From beginning to end, BRAINTRUST directed photography, created a seamless and high-quality catalog, in-store collateral, digital graphics, and print ads that support the brand strategy.
Instrumental in evolving the brand, BRAINTRUST implemented a successful public relations strategy; one that integrated with the over-arching brand strategy, expanded pitching efforts to regional and national media, incorporated social influencers, and executed non-traditional PR activations. During the first two quarters, BRAINTRUST made a huge impact with more that $1 million in publicity value.
Tasty Changes at Ethel M Chocolates
Renovations at the Ethel M Chocolates factory store in Henderson, Nev., have added a tasting room and a demonstration area.
Just in time for this year’s holiday cacti lighting, which illuminates 300 species of desert plants with more than 500,000 lights, Ethel M unveiled a fully redesigned retail space and guest experience in October.
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Eat Chocolate—So Much Chocolate
Local chocolatier Ethel M sits right in one of the largest botanical cactus gardens in the world, and you can take factory tours (free samples!) after a stroll of the unusual gardens.
Great Holiday Chocolate Flavors to Gift
In Nevada, Ethel M Chocolates makes a Peppermint Silk White Chocolate for the holidays.
When evaluating the brand’s social media strategy, BRAINTRUST saw an opportunity to evolve with engaging content and PR integration. With that in mind, BRAINTRUST has successfully increased YOY engagements per content across all social platforms. Tactics included enticing contests, influencer strategy, special event content, animation, and viral video creation. BRAINTRUST continually adhered to key brand pillars and messages.
Having the goal of increasing engagement on social media, reaching millennials, and positioning the brand as one that simply shared “sweetness” through its product, BRAINTRUST created #ActsOfSweetness with a chocolate-dispensing “ATM” machine. Placed at a prominent location, the public could press a button to receive a notecard encouraging them to do a sweet task, such as giving someone a hug, saying “I Love You,” or giving a kiss on the cheek. As they reacted, cameras captured the “act of sweetness” and in the end, the results were edited and shared via social media. Social impressions jumped and views of the video reached more than 600,000.
BRAINTRUST also worked with Ethel M to reimagine and redesign package design for both year-round and seasonal packaging. Researched and tested, the final designs were simple yet would stand out on any shelf. Packaging shared the Ethel M story and evolved to both capture and express the essence of various holidays.