Previously, the members of the Young Writers' Club debated about a well known coffee company's decision to enter the chocolate space.
Note: This activity is based on fiction and is for learning purposes. Any resemblance to a real story is coincidental.
Arriving at a decision
In the previous session, there was immense debate about diversifying. Pros and cons were discussed. Read a synopsis of the debate that the teens at the Young Writers' Club engaged in, here.
The discussion began with an example one of the teens had come prepared with to support her point of view. She used the example of Apple Inc and their battle with Microsoft that led Apple to the brink of bankruptcy. She argued that Apple managed to get out of the mess by diversifying into related products and hence diversifying actually makes sense in terms of enhancing the company's status and growth prospects. Interestingly another teen who was against diversification, shared that she had to started to think again about her point of view when she came across the example of Unilever- a brand that has multiple products in each segment catering to different kinds of customers.
Collaborative learning formats and group discussions/debates lead to more information finding and rethinking- paves the way for openness in terms of thinking.
A consensus was arrived in the group after the above set of arguments and examples were presented. The decision to diversify became imperative.
If we must diversify, what kind of chocolate do we make? What would our prospective customers like?
A quick survey of preferences in terms of chocolate within the group led to the revelation that majority prefer milk chocolate. Assuming that the same is true for the general market too, it seemed obvious that milk chocolate was the way to go. Dark chocolate fans on the group however felt differently. Why not have both options? As a matter of fact it might be easy for the company to leverage on its strength in the coffee market and target its own customers to try their new chocolate. The tagline could "Taste Our Chocolate Since You Have Enjoyed Our Coffee."
Convincing people who don't like coffee to try a chocolate made by a coffee company
Brands help build association. Coffee lovers may like the idea of the bitterness being extended to a product like chocolate. However, there may be many who don't enjoy bitterness and would rather stick to milk chocolate. "I don't like coffee or dark chocolate. I don't love milk chocolate but if I am given an option in chocolates, I would pick milk chocolate," said one of the teens steering the discussion towards whole new direction.
To convince customers to try a coffee company's chocolate could require large marketing budgets to convey a persuasive message asking them to give these range of chocolates a try. The example of Cadbury's Real Taste of India campaign in the 1990s was brought up in the discussion. This campaign famously changed the perception of chocolate from being a treat for children to becoming a sweet for celebration for adults. This expanded the market by leaps and bounds because now chocolate became a sweet for the entire family. This gave rise to the possibility of having variety in chocolates catering to different tastes of everyone in a family. It was agreed to introduce special editions of chocolate boxes with variations. Why not include alcoholic chocolates in the assortments? This could be an interesting addition, was an idea that one of the teens came up with.
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset begins with empathy and a consideration for people for whom we are developing a product or doing some work to benefit. Recognizing the fact that knowing the customer likes and dislikes even in something commonly loved such as chocolate was an important take away from this discussion. The other objective behind this discussion was to encourage teens to observe what is happening around them. On an everyday basis we use a variety of products. When it comes to buying anything there are so many aspects we consider, amongst which is our own preferences, likes and dislikes. We tend to be brand loyal when the product or service cater to our requirements with ease and perfectly. It feels nice to be valued as a customer. What does it entail to be on the other side- in other words the company that is making an effort to make the customer feel valued?
What does it take to convince a buyer to choose one's offering and buy it?
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-12 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 13-15 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
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