Click Here North Star Writers Group
Syndicated Content.
Eric Baerren
Lucia de Vernai
Herman Cain
Dan Calabrese
Alan Hurwitz
Paul Ibrahim
David Karki
Llewellyn King
Nancy Morgan
Nathaniel Shockey
Stephen Silver
Candace Talmadge
Jessica Vozel
Feature Page
David J. Pollay - The Happiness Answer
Cindy Droog - The Working Mom
The Laughing Chef
Mike Ball - What I've Learned So Far
Bob Batz - Senior Moments
D.F. Krause - Business Ridiculous
Roger Mursick - Twisted Ironies
D.F. Krause
  D.F.'s Column Archive

April 23, 2007

Godiva Chocolate Goes Mobile; Why, I Don’t Know


I should never go to the mall. But when six-year-old T.F. Krause has to miss out on park night because of rain or late-May snow in Michigan, the mall offers a nice alternative in the form of a sweet play area. So, out of my element as it is, we go.


On our last visit, we happened to be walking past a Godiva Chocolate stand when a very excited early-20-something just had to have my attention.


“Sir! Sir! I have to show you something amazing! Do you like chocolate?”


“Sure. Who doesn’t? Do you have some that recites the Gettysburg





Boy. Was he excited. I half expected him to unveil some sort of chocolate product that drives itself to your house, lights your grill for you and cleans your house before offering itself up as a choco-sacrifice.


But no.


“It’s Godiva’s new mobile packaging! Now Godiva Chocolate is easier than ever to tote wherever you go!”


Oh. Mobile chocolate. What?


Mr. Excited proudly demonstrated this easy-to-carry, easy-to-dispense, er, thingamajiggerbobber that would end my sad days and sleepless nights wondering why I couldn’t simply and easily carry my designer chocolate with me everywhere.


Check one more item off the big list! Now if I could just find those old Leif Garrett posters.


It must be one of the hardest jobs in business to work in marketing and/or merchandising for an already well-established product. You get jobs like this because you sit there and tell some senior VP that you’re going to be edgy and innovative. Mr. Senior VP declares that very thing “just what we need around here,” even though he has never had an edgy or innovative thought in his life, and bang, you’re hired.


So there you are. You’ve just told everyone you’re going to make chocolate truffles edgy. And you’re going to do this how exactly?


Your suggestion of vegetables in the center of the chocolate gets rejected pretty quickly, and the next thing you know, you’re rambling on about “integrating our product into people’s lifestyles” or some such thing.


That sounds good! You are told to develop recommendations and report back to senior management. You quickly start googling “integrate product into lifestyle” trying to remember where you heard that expression and find out if it actually means anything. You find a book on Amazon. It is interesting indeed!


Today’s generation is on the move! Today’s generation wants it now! Today’s generation . . .


Wait. When was this book written? 1983? They were saying stuff like this back then too? Well, that’s when most of senior management last had hair, so they should think like that too. Next thing you know, you’re recommending “mobile chocolate.” They love it. Bids from design firms to create the packaging are running to six figures, but you’re not going to get kids in malls excited with brown paper bags. At least not if all that’s in there is chocolate.


Some products just sell themselves. But Corporate America is not good at leaving well enough alone. Even Coke couldn’t leave a good thing alone. Zondervan keeps looking for new ways to package the Bible, for Christ’s sake. I’m expecting The NASCAR Bible any day now.


The result of this corporate jumpiness is usually a decision to offer new “benefits” that no one actually wants or needs. I do not need to carry chocolate around as I’m living my oh-so-active lifestyle. It’s hard to jog when you’re having to stop every half-mile to clean melted brown goo off your shorts, after all.


Godiva Chocolate is delicious. Keeping it in one of those fru-fru packages on top of the refrigerator is working just fine for me. But I didn’t have the heart to tell that to Mr. Excited. Fortunately, T.F. was getting impatient, so I explained that I’d be right back as soon as I bought him a Hershey bar.




© 2007 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


Click here to talk to our writers and editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.


To e-mail feedback about this column, click here. If you enjoy this writer's work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry it.

This is Column # DFK077.  Request permission to publish here.