Want to win them over? Follow the Tony’s Chocolonely Method

Headed home after a conference, I found myself browsing my way through the LA airport. A dangerous past-time. LAX has lots of goodies to absorb your hard-earned cash and my eyes were drawn to the chocolate bars.

Brightly packaged bars grabbed my attention. “What the heck is ‘Chocolonely’? Baloney-flavoured chocolate with anti-depressant flavour crystals?”

Being a self-proclaimed chocoholic, I inspected every bar to determine what was so special about this new brand. I bought one for research purposes. It turns out that this bar perfectly represents the right way to draw people (employees) to buy the change you’re selling.

1. Brand it Brightly
Attractive colours (yes, it’s spelled right – I’m Canadian!) and snazzy packaging attract attention. Our brains are tuned to home in on what is different. Novelty captures interest. The funky use of wording adds a nice twist. It might not be corporate, but that could be just the trick to signal to people “something is different here.”

If your project announcement goes out via corporate memo, you are losing the battle. Consider the impact of:

  • “save the date” vs. countdown teasers with cryptic messaging
  • executive speech vs. the “big reveal”
  • an email announcement vs. project launch party

2. Make it Tangible
Tony’s bars are wrapped in really nice heavy paper. Recycled, I’m sure. The bar has weight. It feels good in your hands. Now turn it over and check out the note at the bottom…there’s more to see on the inside of the wrapper! You’re not just unwrapping a treat, but there’s useful information about our friend Tony inside!

Is there a metaphor or symbol for your project that you can distribute to every person (not mouse pads, please!)? Can you wrap it in useful strategy information? Why not distribute chocolate bars, some of which contain golden tickets…to go to the launch party!

3. Wrap it in Purpose
Sure, we can hook people in with the chocolate, but there are 3 types of benefits which speak to employees. The chocolate is tangible help (fuel!) which is good, but check out the yellow circle on the front. It’s not just chocolate; it’s a cause (explained inside). It provides purpose (heart) and offers hope for a better future (without slavery).









How does your change make people’s lives better? How does it help employees, families, customers, and community? Help them make the connection to something meaningful.

When you want to get people on board with your new strategy, follow Tony’s lead: Make it bright, tangible, and purpose-driven. Chocolate can melt resistance.

Thoughtfully yours,
Jeff Skipper


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Jeff Skipper
Jeff Skipper is an expert in accelerating change. Clients such as Shell, Goldman Sachs and The Salvation Army have engaged him to achieve dramatic results during strategic transformation by wrapping complex change in motivating mission. He has been quoted in Fast Company, Forbes and HP’s enterprise.nxt. Jeff holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and is a Certified Change Management Professional.