Hershey’s, Marketing One Generation Ahead Essay

Abstract Hershey’s Chocolate is one of the most recognizable brands in the U.

S. Hershey built this recognition by building brand loyalty. They began to build this loyalty in the early 1990’s by targeting their marketing to adults. The reasons for this are many, but two are that adults eat about 55% of all candy consumed and that mothers shape their children’s early taste in candy.

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Hershey revised their marketing strategy in several ways. Hershey also has an amusement park in the hometown of the Company, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey’s, Marketing One Generation Ahead.According to Hubpages (n. d. ), Hershey and its rival Mars “…have been fighting for years to obtain market share. ” Hershey left their marketing strategy that targeted children and young adults and chose a marketing strategy that targets adults.

The reasons include the fact that adults eat more than 55% of the candy sold and that mothers determine their children’s early taste in candy (Peter & Olson, 2012, p. 383). They have done this by changing the packaging sizes of some of their candy and by introducing other candy that is more popular with adults.This packaging and introduction of new items can change the affectation and cognition of consumers and relate to an increase in awareness which translates to an increase of sales and market share. Advantages of Targeting Adults A child’s taste in candy is developed at an early age by the child’s mother (Peter & Olson, 2012, p. 383). Hershey hopes that “…by being the first to reach this target and converting these mothers into loyal consumers…they will introduce their children to Hershey’s candy” (Hubpages, n. d.

).Research also showed that at the time adults were consuming more than 55% of all candy sold (Peter & Olson, 2012, p. 383). By targeting adults, with mothers being in that group, Hershey has a consumer and also some consumers down the line.

When a mother purchases her Hershey bar, the children with her will learn vicariously that Hershey is the preferred chocolate candy of his or her mother. This modeling by the mother over the course of a child’s growing up is a strong reinforcement for the child to continue the behavior in his or her adulthood, hopefully for Hershey, to continue the cycle.Another advantage for the Hershey strategy is that at the time of the research, more than 55% of all candy purchased was consumed by adults (Peter & Olson, 2012, p. 383).

Before their new strategy, Hershey targeted children. The segment was profitable, but relatively small and limited their chance for growth (Hubpages, n. d. ). Hershey came up with Hershey Kisses to market to adults. Changes Needed to Market to Adults Hershey further enhanced their marketing effectiveness by packaging the candy in seasonal colors for specific holiday seasons. This discriminative stimulus “sets the occasion” for behaviors (Peter & Olson, 2012, p.

20). When the holiday season begins, consumers start to look for the specially packaged candy to put in the candy dish or stocking. Hershey then targeted their strategy even more, to the snacking segment of the market.

In 1998, Hershey distributed their Hershey Bites, smaller versions of their most popular candy bars (Peter & Olson, 2012, p. 383). According to Hubpages (n. d. ), the bite size candy appeals to adults because they feel less guilty about eating them. Adults are more health conscious and feel a full size candy bar is too much for one time.Even though people may eat the equivalent or even more of the small candy, they feel they are leading a healthier lifestyle. These Hershey Bites are also seen as more manageable for on-the-go adults.

Bite Size Candies are Portable In addition to the belief that smaller candies leads to eating less and leading a more healthful life, bite size candies are more manageable than full size candy bars. Since this article, Hershey has discontinued Bites, but has recently come out with Pieces, which are essentially the same thing. They are M & M looking candy that comes in a zip top bag.This market segment allows the more mobile fast paced adults carry a small re-sealable bag in their car or in a desk drawer, instead of leaving a half-eaten candy bar in the same place. The process of choosing the “bag” of candy over a candy bar falls into the low involvement, high knowledge problem solving process (Peter & Olson, 2012, p.

177). The consumer has a high knowledge of the product, a candy bar, and presumably has a favorable view of the candy. It requires low involvement because the buyer knows they like the candy, but prefer to have the bag of candy because of the convenience and other attributes previously mentioned.

I prefer the original size of candy bar. My Last Candy Purchase The most recent candy purchase I made was at the local grocery store. I have a favorable disposition toward this store (cognition). I went in for a short specific shopping trip. I walked in and was greeted by the scent of the fresh produce that is very near the door. I like the way the store is laid out (environment). I know where the things I want are located.

I had a short list in my head of things to pick up, so I began my assault on the aisles without taking a cart (thinking and deciding actions of cognition).I stood in the adult beverage section for several minutes trying to decide what “flavor” I was in the mood for that weekend. I made a selection (overt behavior) and continued on to get some Dorito’s and cheese dip (overt behavior). As I was proceeding to the check out, the candy aisle got my attention. I don’t recall what it was that got my attention, perhaps I was subconsciously thinking about M & M’s (preconscious attention).

I went to where the M & M’s were and decided to get the large re-sealable bag (overt behavior) because, I reasoned, I could fill the M & M’s candy dispenser at my home and reseal the bag for later.I continued to the check out, the one with a person as I try to avoid the self-scan aisles. I completed my transaction with a credit card (funds access) and proceeded home. Means-End Chains for Different Consumers There are many different means-end chains for candy. Different people will have different benefit realizations. Some consumers may look at the flavor of the chocolate which tastes good to them, they may feel satiated until their next meal and feel satisfied. Others may provide chocolate for their children, the kids like chocolate and think mom is cool, this leads to an increase in self-esteem.

Conclusion Hershey changed their marketing strategy to increase their market share. They changed their target from children to adults. The strategy was to change the packaging and advertising to target the adult market, which they saw as a more lucrative market.

The young market was highly profitable but relatively small and limited Hershey’s chances for growth (Hubpages, n. d. ) so they expanded their market by advertising to adults. This also helps by providing modeling to the young consumers when their parents purchase candy.This hopefully provides future customers and may lead to a cycle of future customers as the children grow up and model the activities they saw as children. References Hubpages. (n.

d. ). target marketing strategy examined: An analysis of Hershey and Mars (The Kings of Candy). Retrieved from Hubpages. com. http://meangreen.

hubpages. com/hub/marketing-strategy-examined-An-analysis-of-Hershey-and-Mars-The-Kings-of-Candy Peter, J. P. & Olson, J.

C. (2010), Consumer Behavior & Marketing Strategy. New York, NY.


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