In Europe it is very common to give a box of Merci chocolates as a present. With chocolates so nicely displayed in the box and the brand actually being called “Thank you” in French, the message is clear: you want to show someone your appreciation and thank him or her.
The company Storck, owner of the brand Merci, wanted to expand its business to the East and therefore, planned to launch Merci in China. How could Merci win over the Chinese customers the way it did in Europe? Being an unknown brand in China and the fact that the customers would not know what was inside the box where critical challenges faced by the company.
We partnered up with Storck’s branding agency in China to tackle these challenges. The solution seemed to be finding a way to introduce Merci to the customers and to make them familiar with the product. By having presenters in the store to show what was inside a Merci box, Chinese customers would be able to see the product and get an explanation about the different flavors. No real Merci chocolate could be used for this purpose, though, as it would result in a mess.
This is why Merci chocolate dummies, or replicas, were created. By making dummies out of acrylic, the chocolate bar’s shape would not change and this material is the most cost-efficient solution compared to wax or 3D printing.
To make the dummies, the actual Merci chocolates had to be examined very closely in order to ensure a result as close to reality as possible: once the chocolate bars had been divided into the different colors (dark, milk or white chocolate), the colors had to be matched with the respective acrylic material. After the production of the dummies, they got wrapped into the original wrappers from Germany. Finally, the wrapped Merci chocolate bar dummies were sent to the Merci box producer where they were placed into the boxes.
The Merci dummies are ready to be presented and help with the introduction of this product in a new market with a new audience. Don’t mix up the real delicious Merci chocolate bars with the replicas when you are in a hurry to try them and beware of sinking your teeth into a Merci dummy; they definitely would not taste the same!
Learn more about prototyping a dummy in our previous blog post here.