What can we learn from the £14 KitKat?


KitKat has been grabbing the national press headlines this week with the announcement that it will be selling bespoke hand made £14 KitKats from its website and selected John Lewis stores in the run up to Christmas. Chocolate fans will be able to choose from 1,500 flavour combinations. They will be asked to choose their base chocolate from either milk, dark, white or ruby – the pink-coloured chocolate derived from Ruby cocoa beans – and then select up to three flavours ranging from rose petals to popping candy and honeycomb.

But what can other businesses learn from such a move? First and perhaps most obvious is the fact that doing something sufficiently different from what you would ordinarily do (and a price difference of £13.45 over your standard product is a pretty big difference when your standard product is 55p) can grab the headlines. Okay it does help if you are an iconic household brand, but then others have also grabbed headlines with things such as the UK’s most expensive sandwich or cocktail. Whilst clearly KitKat hope to sell lots of these, the move is arguably justified by the publicity gained alone. Of course what is particularly clever about the bespoke and hand-made nature of this product is that they do not risk being left with lots of stock.

Next lesson is never stop innovating. Whilst the standard four figure bar is the most recognisable of all their products, KitKat has released a staggering 350 plus, different variations! In this instance they are using the build up to Christmas as a trigger, what are yours? Changes in the marketing landscape present opportunities for us – for example Chrome and Google’s move against insecure web-sites, the introduction of GDPR and the growing importance of Google My Business have all been good reasons to start conversations with current and potential clients.

Give people things to talk about, photograph and share on social media. I am sure there will be a stampede of people looking to be the first in their circle of friends to have bought a £14 KitKat. I was reminded of this only a week or so ago when my wife and I went for the Gin and Tea Tasting Menu at Mensahib Gin and Tea bar in Cheltenham. Every dish and particularly every cocktail was a work of art and cried out for sharing on social media.

Look for premium price opportunities. Any business will tell you how infuriatingly hard it is to make good profits, so any opportunity to charge a premium can be very welcome. A web and design company that we work with for example has introduced a premium, rush charge for projects that involve work outside of conventional hours and why not? Each client can then determine whether or not they really need it by then, whereas were the premium charge not in place then there is no deterrent to setting very strict deadlines.

All in all I would say fair play to Nestle and Kitkat – a job well done. Should they wish to send us a KitKat hamper for helping to publicise their move, then it would, of course be welcome.