In its 90-year history, Godiva Chocolatier has grown into a household name around the globe. Godiva’s premium, artisan chocolates can now be found in over 100 countries worldwide. Every element of the brand is luxurious – from the silky smooth chocolate to the iconic gold packaging.
Behind the scenes of Godiva’s exquisite packaging design are Maria Williams, Azita Shahidi and Lisa Russell. Maria manages Godiva’s global design team, Azita leads the development of packaging design and Lisa supports global brand development. They work together to ensure that Godiva’s brand remains consistent, especially across languages and cultures.
We had a chance to meet with the Godiva team in New York City to learn about how they utilize Canto day in and day out.
Indulging in a Godiva chocolate starts well before that first bite. Customers expect lavish and elegant experiences from Godiva, and the global design team knows this begins with a shiny gold box.
“The experience of the product begins with the package, the beautiful gold box that feels precious. It’s removing the bow, it’s opening the box,” says Maria.
To create these memorable experiences, the team must be in sync – especially when it comes to packaging design. It’s essential that each Godiva box is as true to their brand as the chocolate inside.
“In packaging design, it is really important to not only look good but also to know how paper and ink work together. This artistry shows through the box and tells you what’s inside. We can’t put the chocolate outside the box, so we have to show the levels and make it beautiful from the outside,” says Azita.
Before Canto, the team stored brand assets on a document management system, which quickly became cluttered and unruly. They spent hours searching through assets and archives, often coming up empty-handed.
“We used SharePoint and what inevitably happened is that every time people needed visual assets or historical information about packaging, they would come to one of the people on the design team and say, ‘Can you help me?’ Then there were hours of trying to find exactly what they needed,” says Maria.
The process of uploading and organizing images was so tedious that the person uploading made frequent mistakes, making it even harder for everyone to find the assets they were searching for.
“We had a dedicated person just uploading photos. It took a long time and was so cumbersome that there were a lot of mistakes and a lot of people who needed to use these images were not able to find them,” says Azita.
Not only did the team need an easy-to-use, centralized library to store brand assets, they needed the ability to communicate with colleagues working in different locations around the world.
“The need to be global is something that started a long time ago and continues to expand. We needed a way to communicate. We needed a central depository for all the key elements that everybody was going to use. To make sure that we had consistency, we had to create something where we could actually have all the information and all the assets and have people be able to collaborate,” says Maria.
Azita tested different DAM solutions for a year and ultimately chose Canto for its value and usability.
“I pinpointed a couple of different companies and one of them was Canto,” says Azita. “I realized I wanted to go with Canto after a very short time because of the price, ease of use and ease of training people.”
Godiva now stores all of its images, consumer research and global calendars in Canto. There is a “360-degree use” of Canto, from storing and sharing to researching and developing.
Research and data
The team needs quick access to previous packaging designs so that if they want to recreate or avoid duplicating a design, all the information is in one easy to navigate place.
“One big use of Canto is research, because we need to know what we did before and what certain items look like,” says Azita.
Canto’s reporting features are essential for Azita; she uses them to determine content usage and popular assets in their massive library.
“As an admin you can find who used an asset, when they used it and how many times they used it. So it’s a good source of information,” says Azita.
In addition to helping the design team make data-driven decisions, Canto also helps new employees gain insight into Godiva’s brand.
“Joining a team that already had Canto was great. The minute I joined, they sent me a whole bunch of links, provided me access to Canto and I was up and running within a week. I was searching through and learning about the brand just by using Canto,” says Lisa.
My team is not running around looking for images, so that freed up time for them. There’s also a lot less frustration because they were chasing images instead of doing creative, which is what they really want to do.
Consistency is key
Brand coherence is critical to a global company like Godiva. The marketing and creative teams use Canto to ensure their vision is highlighted in everything they create, especially across cultures.
“The CMO was really interested in building consistency and making sure people were following whatever guidelines there were, whether it was in marketing or creative,” says Maria. “The benefit of Canto is tremendous because we are now able to put into that same space all of the things that the marketing and creative teams need.”
There are numerous cultural distinctions that the team has to keep in mind when developing and creating content. Cultural nuances make it challenging to use the same content in different regions, but Canto enables the global team to easily share, thus avoiding one-use content.
“Regions have cultural nuances, political nuances and different laws that they have to follow. So even the assets that we provide them, they still need to tweak to make sure it works for their region. Because of that, making sure the brand is consistent and making sure that we are still telling one story is very important,” says Lisa.
In addition to the consistency now established among the team, they can count on Canto’s readily available customer support.
“I’ve had a great experience working with the Canto team. Whenever I’ve needed them, whenever I’ve had questions, it’s been super easy to get in touch and solve whatever problem I’ve had. People in different regions have contacted Canto and I know that it’s easy for them to get in contact if I’m not available,” says Azita.
Canto is an asset management system that is making my job easier, and helps everyone make their jobs easier as well.
With Canto, the team no longer wastes time digging through files but instead focuses their energy on creating memorable experiences for customers.
“My team is not running around looking for images, so that freed up time for them. There’s also a lot less frustration because they were chasing images instead of doing creative, which is what they really want to do,” says Maria.
Canto simplifies the process of sharing and adapting content for each region, which saves the team resources and empowers them to tell unique stories in each market.
“We can see what’s going on across the globe. So rather than spend and get resources to develop two different things, one region will develop it and another one will borrow it and vice versa,” says Maria.
With a centralized library in Canto, it’s easy for anyone to internally access assets and create an even stronger brand identity.
“Canto is an asset management system that is making my job easier,” says Lisa, “and helps everyone make their jobs easier as well.”