Reviving a great British Chocolate icon

Brand Positioning & Strategy Brand Architecture Brand Identity Packaging Design

Thorntons has been in our homes and hearts since 1911, it’s a brand we’ve grown up with and love to gift to family and friends. The business had evolved its gifting box range across three different price tiers and brands (Classic, Premium and Continental). None of which shared a consistent Thorntons identity and all of which had become dated in design and confused shoppers at the fixture. The competition was catching up, we had to bring Thorntons back to the heart of the design and leverage its strong brand equity in our minds.

Our resulting Thorntons ‘brand first’ identity design made it easy to find the masterbrand on-shelf and then decide how much love you were willing to give, with Thorntons Classic Collection at £5 and Thorntons Continental Collection at £10. We culled the Premium brand as people didn’t understand its role in their lives, they either loved you for a fiver or a tenner and nowhere in-between.

Its Classic Collection range was once widely celebrated as the perfect gift for all occasions. Many new chocolate brands had come in to try and steal its thunder. We had to revive its fortunes once again and remind people why it was so special. Whilst the competition were largely wider chocolate bar brands we know and love every day, Thorntons was the only gift chocolate brand that showed you cared. We simply wrapped the Classic Collection up with an iconic bow to hero its unique gifting power. Creating a new iconic equity to stretch across all Thorntons brand touchpoints.

Thorntons Continental is the premium range of chocolates, with Great British household favourites like the Alpini Praline, Sicilian Lemon and Viennese Truffle. Each of which brought back cherished memories from our childhood. Memories that we wanted to once again empower on the packaging. We had to hero this chocolate pieces as part of a Continental European collection, which we did through cut-away product photography to highlight the gooey centres. We then placed the five key chocolate pieces on a gold tile that we found from architecture in the Alps, Sicily, Seville, Milan and Vienna.