Friday, 2 July 2010


There are some brands that seem to be completely entangled with one particular point-of-sale, which often adds another thread to their brand voice.

Apart from the category example of tomato juice and aeroplanes (does anyone drink the stuff anywhere else?), I associate Paynes Poppets with vending machines on London Underground in the days before it was smoke-free.

Toblerone lives in duty-free shops. Which rather suits the brand as it has a hint of the exotic - if not of Eastern Promise, then certainly the promise of Swiss luxury, expensive watches and dashing ski instructors. Like its fellow honey and nut concoctions such as Montelimar, nougat or halva, it hints at something rather more European-sophisticated than Cadbury's Dairy Milk.

Toblerone is one of these great brands that has both coherence and a touch of mystery - or bits that don't quite fit. Is the shape derived simply from the Matterhorn or from the rather more Ooh La La Folies Bergeres dancers? The graphics and pack are instantly recognisable but where exactly is the bear in the logo? Toblerone has over one hundred years of consistently being there, but there are always new variants - after the snow-topped variant I am expecting a springtime Alpine flowers version.

But maybe for Cadbury's fans, the most encouraging thing about Toblerone is that it maintains its distinctiveness despite now being part of the massive Kraft empire.

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