“How Hershey Brand Got Its Start in China –But Don’t Call It an Import” by E.J. Schultz, shows how for the first time, Hershey launched a new product, a new type of caramel candies, first in China before the United States. The composition of these candies show the research and understanding that went into the creation of these candies while demonstrating that Hershey understands the important differences between the United States candies and the China candies, along with the different consumers. By creating these products concurrently, Hershey focused on gaining efficiencies through selling these products. Additionally, these products exist in different categories in each country; in China they fall into the “milk candy” category, whereas in the United States they are more traditionally caramels.
- Understand what your brand means to others – this is different from understanding what the brand meaning/promise is, rather it is looking at the brand through the lens of the consumer. Ask your consumer what your brands meant to them and why they bought it. (Look at how Hershey understood what different markets wanted from seemingly similar products).
- Conduct market research – use this to determine who your consumers are and how your brand connects to them. (Look at how Absolut connects with its artist community)
- Find a path to follow and stay with it – do not be afraid to stick with what made you famous (i.e. Absolut and its iconic bottle along with its connection to the artistic community) or pick a new path and fully embrace it (Hershey's dual product launch).