The company initially started its operations in UK as a catalogue business company. The company achieved success in its initial stages only and soon after that it made a plan of opening a website in UK. This plan helped Hotel Chocolat to secure its position in the market. The company started exporting chocolates to United States by means of an online ordering website. It started expanding its business operations in the domestic land and has opened 23 stores in the outlets of John Lewis and 43 stores in United Kingdom. Hotel Chocolat produces fresh chocolates and the taste of these chocolates is much more adventurous as they are produced using more cocoa and less sugar. The company has also worked with the local farmers of Ghana in order to learn the technique of cocoa plantation. The company started various other projects apart from producing chocolates. Hotel Chocolat has opened a restaurant at the cocoa estate in Saint Lucia. Presently the company is planning for internationalisation.
Existing Market Position of the Company Hotel Chocolat is one among very few companies which has opened new stores in the high streets of UK as well as expanded its operations outside United Kingdom. The company follows focus marketing strategy presently and focuses only on the chocolate segment. The chocolate market is very competitive and is dominated by some brands like the Thorntons and Godiva. The market focuses mainly on four main time periods i.e. Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Easter. In this tough competition, the company maintains its uniqueness by providing fresh chocolates, with less sugar and more cocoa, to the customers. It has achieved a successful position in the chocolate market by targeting those customers who buy the premium chocolates as gifts. The company is planning to open new stores in UK. The company has also planned for further expansion in the overseas market with new concept stores like Roast & Conch. In these stores, the customers will be able to see the roasting of the cocoa beans. Goal formulation: Marketing Objectives of the Company (for next 5 years) The marketing objectives of Hotel Chocolat (for the next five years) can be evaluated by the SMART approach. The specific objective of Hotel Chocolat is to achieve a successful position in the new markets where it is planning to expand its operations within the next few years by the implementation of appropriate promotional and other marketing strategies. The measurable objective of the company is minimization of the cost structure and implementation of the promotional and marketing strategies in very cost effective manner. The achievable objective of Hotel Chocolat is to reach to the position of the financial break even by the increase of the sales and minimization of the operating expenses. The realistic objective of Hotel Chocolat is to gain a remarkable position in those areas where it has planned to expand its business operations within the business plan of next 5 years. The time bound objective of the company is the fulfilment of all the above mentioned objectives within a time limit of next 5 years. Strategy formulation Target Customers Kantar Media has pointed out the fact that customers within the