Oct 18, 2016

Dex's Book Review:Chocolate Fortunes

Lawrence L Allen is a former senior executive for both Hershey and Nestle and was deeply involved in both companies' effort in China.He has spent more than twenty years building consumer brands for multinational companies in China.

As China opens its door to the world for business,a huge market of  more than one billion people emerges which offers a huge market  potential for the multinationals to capture and establish their products in the market.

And Lawrence with his vast marketing experience in China,details in this book how the world's  five biggest iconic chocolate players,Hershey,Cardbury,Mars,Ferrero and Nestle compete in this market and how they overcome a smorgasbord of marketing complexities.

China is a vast country and while its population seems homogeneous, culinary taste preference and even the national regulatory laws can be different among the many provinces.

The first major challenge was finding the right leaders for their China organizations.With the marketing environment at its infancy stage,to train them on the 4Ps (or 5Ps) of marketing can be a daunting task.And with a xenophobic society and cultural differences between the west and the east,it is indeed challenging to win the hearts and minds of the Chinese consumers.

As soon as the container ships arrive,logistic problems begin.The insufficient  supply of cold chain transport hampers the efficiency of the distribution channels.

Marketeers of each organization compete aggressively-from price war,packaging and retail distributions.Furthermore, they have to adapt marketing strategies according to some Chinese customs and also the belief in the Yin and Yang.
 Not only do they have to compete among themselves,copycats from the local manufacturers seep in slowly into the market which the consumers have become accustomed to,thus making the war for the chocolate fortune even more crowded.

While some of the Big Five profiled in Chocolate Fortune has its own identity and strategic vision to become the Chocolate Emperor of China,not all will win the crown and it will be interesting for you to find out who is/are the successful one.

By devoting one chapter to each organization,Lawrence is able to detail not only the marketing strategies but also the history background of each organization.Written in easy to understand conversational prose,Chocolate Fortune provides a wealth of sensible advice on marketing strategies for doing business-big or small,national or international.


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