More Than Candy: Repositioning The Hershey Company as a True Partner to its Retail Network


In today’s digital environment, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are challenged to deliver an omnichannel shopping experience for consumers: manufacturers are challenged with providing retailers with the tools they need to compete and succeed. Known globally as a confectionary and snacking company, The Hershey Company understands what’s at stake – they’ve been collaborating with their retail network of big-box retailers, c-stores, drug stores and every retailer in between for nearly 125 years. However, they’re known for their candy; not as a trusted collaborator, problem solver or insights-driven company that can provide their B2B partners a true advantage.


To change the conversation, Zeno implemented a multi-prong strategy to spotlight key Hershey executives driving the new retail innovation narrative – individuals developing solutions that address retailers’ challenges and deliver a holistic, seamless retail experience for consumers. The approach included:

  • Building relationships on Hershey’s behalf with retail media, a new frontier for Hershey with the purpose of communicating the company’s value proposition as a go-to partner for retailers in top-tier and trade media.
  • Launching Hershey’s inaugural retail report – “New Retail in A Shopper’s World” in 2017 – an annual report that dissects retail challenges and provides tangible solutions for retailers.
  • Creating an ownable moment in time to engage media in a strategic conversation about Hershey. By identifying and highlighting “Busiest Day” – the day before Halloween when consumers purchase the most candy – Zeno was able to spotlight the company’s network innovation, collaboration and operational excellence from the retail perspective.

Overall, Zeno helped Hershey establish relationships with more than 20 influential media outlets, including Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes and ReCode, among others. Zeno also secured more than 90 million media impressions with 100 percent positive article sentiment for Hershey.