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Chocolate - Food for the Soul

In honor of the Christian holiday, I thought I'd do a post on our favorite food - 'our' stands for "WOMEN" and I hope I don't have to tell you what OUR favorite food is: CHOCOLATE!

Ladies, don't write and tell me you don't like chocolate - those of you who don't favor this titillating, delicious, delectable treat are so far in the minority - I cannot fathom your resistence. Do write and tell me what you like better.

I must introduce this website review with a short explanation. I found Lindt as a link on my homepage, which resides over at CEOExpress.com. I'm a charter member of CEOExpress - a site that "connects busy executives to information that matters." The site allows me to build a webpage of important links, much like a favorites, arranged by category. Easy access to everything I need, without having to search my favorites box. There are other benefits of being a charter member of CEOExpress, one of them being the presentation of a weekly link to a website of note. This week's was the Lindt chocolate site.

How could I resist clicking in to it? When it comes to chocolate - I'm a snob. I admit it. So much so that I distain U.S. chocolate. Hershey? They need lessons in how to make chocolate. Nestle? Good for cookies, but...no match for European chocolate. IMHO

On to the website review...

What's Working

The homepage is working. Everything I need is in the prime real estate section, above the fold. I don't even have to scroll to find it. The smiling face of a man dressed as a chef, offering a "Sweet Surprise" relevant to this weekend's holiday, is very inviting. But it's the full-color, sharp, almost lifelike pictures to his left (my right) that grab my attention. And rightly so. They are images of chocolate - in all of its delightfulness. The text on the images reads, "Shop Excellence Chocolate" and "Shop Boxed Chocolate" and "Shop Lindt Collection." Do I want to click into one of these? I'm there!

Right below these enticing pictures that make my mouth water, is this note, "Business to Business." A link to the section of the website that tells me how to buy chocolate as gifts, rewards, etc. for my business. Nice.

Before I click into the site, I do take a moment to puruse the navigation bar, which is located across the top of the page, in a blue bar that stretches across the page. The site utilizes mouse-overs, a popular effect these days, and one that works. Rather than take up precious space listing all links to all pages, many people (such as the Lindt designers) use a title link to pull the reader in. When you mouse-over the title link, a dropdown box reveals all the other pages linked to that topic. Very affective.

Lindt offers: Shop Online, Chocology, Customer Service, and Store Locator. Access to all the important things one might want to learn.  (above, in the white section of the header, are the all-important "shopping cart, my account, search, home" links. Not quite as visible as they could be, though.)

My first visit? To Chocology! I want to learn about chocolate. And learn I do! I learn the history of chocolate, and how chocolate is made. I find recipes and information on health. It's fascinating!

Lindt is doing everything right, so far. They've created not only information that I find interesting, and useful, but they've combined it with images that make my mouth water. They know how to get to my impulse button! And, just in case I'm feeling guilty, they have a health page to demonstrate the health benefits of their product.

What's not to like about that? Well...there are a few things I think they could do better - if they really want to be female-friendly and market to women who shop online. 

1. The text on the inner pages is dang hard to read! I have pretty good eyes - though I have glasses, I never wear them because I see fine. But, Lindt has overlayed their tiny text on a watermarked background of various images of chocolate or chocolate events. Both the text and the images fight for attention, giving the reader a headache. I say, sprinkle pictures throughout the text, and get rid of the watermark. It's just too overpowering.Women_shopping_online

2. This site offers something women love! More than we love lingerie or make-up or buying stuff for our kids. So - where are the women? Nary a woman on site. Sad. I doubt Lindt worries about this, but...the presence of members of my sex might convince me to make an impulse purchase - whereas, the presence of those cute chefs just doesn't do it. Even the chocolate doesn't do it. Not on impulse.

3. No personalization. In this emerging age of citizen journalism and offering a personal voice to the customer, I say Lindt needs a blog. A blog where they can relay more of the great content that's on the site, but also offer real-life examples of business to business events, maybe some deeper insight into the history of chocolate, stories of how this tasty treat came to be so popular. I can think of hundreds of things they could write in a blog.

So, I encourage you to visit the site. Take a moment to visit the International Cocoa and Sugar Organization, which I found via a link on the Lindt site. Fascinating.

Happy Bunny Day!

Comments

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doreen gayer

We have many gourmet food shops here in New Haven, CT that sell lots of different kinds of dark chocolate bars. Have you tried Valrhona LE Noir Extra Amer? It's a dark bitter chocolate w/85% cocoa.

We also ordered online from ZChocolat.com
from France. Made from the best French Chocolate makers. It's EXPENSIVE!!! But wonderful & interesting. First time I ate real GOLD LEAF! They have one made with real gold on it.

sfrewerd

Oh boy, do I have a group for this...choco-nuts! Very interesting post...thanks!

Wendy Maynard

Yvonne, You are going to love this. Check out http://www.chickchocolates.com/

Hooray for Seattle Chocolates.

Best, Wendy

Marcia Merrill

How fitting! I'm a chocaholic and have been a faithful fan since reading your Dickless Marketing! Thought I signed up to get notices-you can bet I am now!

MMM.Chocolate-love the Belgian kind-Europe Rocks with their chocolate! Found a great choc. bar-it says 100% Guilt-Free chocolate from New Zealand! Wrapper is recycled paper! Chocolate is creamy & great!

And, you're helping the environment! :)

Marcia the Transitions Chick!
Turning midlife into the RIGHT Life!

Wendy Maynard

Hi Yvonne,

So, you made me curious. I did a little Net sleuthing and guess what? All the chocolate sites I found are somewhat cold with almost no pictures of women. Even Godiva!!

Where are the decadent pictures of Queens draped over their chaise lounge chairs eating rich, dark chocolate???

And, get this - when I type "chocolate and women" into Google, not one big chocolate company comes up. Weird, eh?

Thanks for the food for thought - it was sweet of you to post.

Wendy

Beth Farrell

Hi, As a chocolateholic, I too think European chocolate is superior and Lindt's 85% Dark is awesome. I have also found a great organic chocolate bar that every chocolateholic should look into and that is the Dagoba bar. Their 87% Dark tastes like the pure cocoa bean-they also have lavendar and cherry concotions.

Love the post! And why doesn't Lindt feature more women?


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