“Customized Chocolate Bars Like No Other”
Have you ever wanted to create your own chocolate bar? Chocri is the worlds first company which allows comsumers to create their own chocolate bar by allowing users to choose from four bases and over 100 toppings. When you read this, you probably think: “I could make that! What is so special about it?” However, most of us can probably not even be bothered to actual create chocolate bars due to the time and effort it takes. This is the unique aspect of Chocri, it makes the process of creating your own chocolate bars fun! Chocri was founded in Berlin, Germany in 2008 by Franz Duge and Michael Bruck and it has been a very successful example is mass customization. In essence, Chocri is an online configurator where customers can design their own chocolate bar which is then produced by Chocri with techniques and costs comparable to mass production.
According to Chocri, the combination of 4 bases and more than 100 topics allows for more than 27 billion combinations. The configuration process of Chocri chocolate bars encompasses the several steps. First, customers have to choose the base of the chocolate bar (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate or a combination of the three). Second, customers can add up to five topics. There are six different topping categories: fruit, spices, nuts, confections, decor and grains. In addition, Chocri sometines also includes seasonal categories.
The step of choosing toppings is probably a step which a lot of (creative) people will enjoy as it allows customers to explore their creativity. The pictures of the toppings is shown together with the chocolate base to allow the users to see how the final product will look like. This is an important feature for customers creating a present as it shows how good or bad the final product will look like. In addition, clicking on the names of the toppings provides customers with educational and entertaining descriptions (which might inspire customers for the name of their chocolate bar).
However, research has shown that too much choice can be demotivating. Barry Schwartz (2004) has written a book which is focused on the Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. In the book, Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers.
Autonomy and Freedom of choice are critical to ourwell being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.
In the context of Chocri, 27 billion combinations may be too much to handle and it may take the fun out of the configuration process. Moreover, some people need to get inspired first as they find it too difficult to create something from scratch. Therefore, Chocri has a page of recommended creations and top five bar names of the week listed on their blog. Not only can this recommendation page reduce anxiety and inspire less-creative people, it can also form a rewarding prospect for other customers as they see their creations being promoted by Chocri to other people. Recognition is a very powerful reward and can actually be more rewarding than monetary rewards as recognition directly caters to someone intrinsic motivations rather than someone’s extrinsic motivations.
After customers have created their chocolate bars, customers can choose a name for their chocolate bars and have the chocolate bars delivered to their home address. The price range of creating a chocolate bar is between $10 and $15 depending on the chosen toppings. The chocolate bars are delivered in beautiful red boxes which appears to be very professional and maybe even look too good to be opened. Moreover, the bars themselves look very professional. The toppings will be arranged beautifully by Chocri and not just randomly put on the chocolate bars with adds to professional look of the chocolate bar. The boxes also have a code on the etiquette which allows you (or your friends) to re-order your creation.
In sum, Chocri is successful and delicious example of co-creation.
Schwarz, B. (2004). The Paradox of Choice. Harper Perennial, 2004, paperback (ISBN 0060005688)