Ghirardelli Chocolate, a unique world-class brand with deep roots in San Francisco, realized that the Internet needed to be a key component in its launch of a new premium chocolate product line. The company wanted a new website that provided product information and conveyed a message of 'exquisite quality'.
“Understanding that the Internet is a powerful communications tool, we recognized that we could do much more online,” said Fabrizio Parini, Vice President of Marketing at Ghirardelli, San Francisco’s iconic choclatier. “Not only should our website represent Ghiradelli’s position in the marketplace as the chocolate expert that creates moments of timeless pleasure, it needed to provide our customers with timely information.”
After conducting a search among interactive firms, Ghirardelli selected Marker Seven as its design partner. Ghirardelli chose Marker Seven based on the firm’s understanding that the new site needed to convey a marriage of sumptuous chocolate with San Francisco’s unique panache. Ghirardelli’s overall goal was to create a fresh site to support its new premium dark chocolate line and also convey the breadth of the Ghirardelli brand to attract a myriad of new consumers with a range of taste choices. The site also needed to feature an exciting and dynamic Baking Section and easy-to-find customer service information. In addition, Ghirardelli wanted its own in-house team to be able to maintain and update the site.
Moments of timeless pleasure.
As the first step in site development, Marker Seven clearly defined goals and objectives. Based on that, the firm created a site that represents the essence of Ghirardelli’s brand — intensely rich chocolate that provides moments of timeless pleasure.
Marker Seven crafted the site’s visual elements and content to be as rich, sumptuous and irresistible as Ghirardelli premium chocolate, and designed its navigation to be particularly easy to use. The firm presented page layouts in warm, delicious colors to capture the flavor of chocolate and chose modern typography to engage consumers and make content easy to read.
To energize the new 'Bake With Us' baking section, Marker Seven added delectable recipes illustrated with mouth-watering photos and handy tools to enable users to modify and scale ingredients to a desired number of servings. Additionally, Marker Seven enhanced the product area to facilitate visitors finding products to fulfill their chocolate cravings. A consumer can search for a specific chocolate bar and instantly find the nearest location to buy it.
Equally important, Marker Seven developed an administrative interface that makes it easy for Ghirardelli to make edits and keep the content fresh and current. The new architecture allows Ghirardelli to maintain and update much of the information on its own and gives functional departments effective control and independence. For instance, the Human Resources department now can post jobs to the website without the help of a skilled Web expert — saving Ghirardelli time and money.
Consumers and management alike loved it right from the start.
“As an early indicator of success, we went from zero to 20 consumer inquiries within the first two hours of the site going live,” said Parini. "Our Web site is now a leading part of our marketing mix.”
About Ghirardelli Chocolate
Ghirardelli has the richest heritage of any American chocolate company. A San Francisco icon since 1852, Ghirardelli’s premium, slow melting chocolates are world famous for their sophisticated and intensely rich chocolate flavors. The company prides itself on extraordinary quality and controls the entire chocolate manufacturing process, from cocoa bean to finished product. Expanding from its historic roots in confections, the Ghirardelli brand now includes beverages and baking products distributed throughout the United States.