‘Chocolate first. Vegan second.’ That’s the LoveRaw strapline. But how do you succeed in a market with an historically bad reputation? First you make an amazing product, then you prove it with the help of loyal brand advocates.

That’s exactly what Digital Marketing Manager Charlotte Geoghegan and the team have done. They’ve focused their efforts on customer feedback, collecting product reviews that speak on their behalf. They don’t need to convince the world their chocolate tastes good - LoveRaw customers are doing it for them. 

It’s an Inclusivity Thing - a Great Product Everyone Can Enjoy

Whether it’s through dietary needs, lifestyle choice, or just pure interest, if you’ve tasted vegan chocolate before you’ve probably been unimpressed. So were the founders of LoveRaw. That’s why they made it their mission to create something that tasted as good as what they call ‘chocolate chocolate’, but 100% vegan friendly and free from artificial ingredients. 

The first brand in the vegan space to bring flavoured chocolate butter cups to market in 2018, they now have an ever growing product range ensuring no one has to miss out on those little luxuries. Vegan, flexitarian, non-vegan - LoveRaw is a brand for everyone.

A lot of people out there can’t eat the chocolate that exists, so why can’t we make a version of it that everyone can eat? An inclusive version that still tastes really good - which we’ve managed to do.”

Charlotte Geoghegan, Digital Marketing Manager LoveRaw

The Proof’s in the Pudding

Now it’s all well and good a brand making bold claims about a product, but these days consumers need a lot more by way of proof. Particularly when they’re buying that product at a luxury price point (and past experience has left a bitter taste in their mouths). 

LoveRaw knew they had a challenge on their hands, and saw the customer voice as a far more authentic solution than any other marketing technique:

“Customer word of mouth is essential to convincing people to try our chocolate. We needed to illuminate the quality of the product, and obviously that the taste was there. I think the best way to do that is through customer reviews.”

It’s been a successful strategy, especially throughout the pandemic, when like so many the brand had to pivot and focus on direct to consumer sales. The effort they've put into reviews has not only brought social proof - it’s proven demand and made major retailers take note. LoveRaw products recently launched in Walmart, and the team are looking to replicate that success elsewhere in the near future. 

Showing positive social proof is one thing, but what about the risk of bad reviews? It’s something we find a major barrier to entry for a lot of brands, and the possibility wasn’t lost on LoveRaw. But as Charlotte points out, even negative feedback can be of value when you approach it the right way:

“Even if it is negative, we can take that customer feedback and add it into new product development or other processes to make sure we’re doing what the customer wants - because obviously they come first.”

Finding the Right Review Collection Partner

The key to a successful review strategy is having the right solution at your disposal - one that allows you to get maximum mileage out of your review content. That’s different for every brand, but for LoveRaw it meant switching from Yotpo to REVIEWS.io. 

Recommended by their digital agency, Charlotte found our platform integrated well with their existing activities with Google Shopping, PPC and search ads. She also found REVIEWS.io to integrate seamlessly with Shopify, with greater flexibility and no impact on site speed:

“The Site is a lot flexible and cleaner with the REVIEWS.io widgets.”

It’s something our developers spend a lot of time working on, and the reason why REVIEWS.io and Shopify, along with tools like Klaviyo, make for a best-of-breed eCommerce solution.

When you’ve already started out with one provider though, it can be daunting to make the switch - not least in case you lose the trust you’ve already built with the consumer. But like all the other brands we’ve welcomed over to REVIEWS.io, LoveRaw had no problems there:

“We were always worried when we were moving that we’d lose all that positive feedback we already had from the customer, but it was great that that just completely switched over when we switched over.”

So, What’s in the Pipeline for LoveRaw? And How Does REVIEWS.io Fit in?

There’s a lot of challenges ahead. New sugar tax laws look to shake up the industry as a whole, and of course there’s the responsibility of running a sustainable business that sits so close to the LoveRaw ethos. But that won’t stop the brand driving forward with a host of new product releases on the horizon - in which reviews will play an integral role. 

LoveRaw are lucky in the sense that vegan consumers are so active. They love to trial new products and are highly responsive to review requests - so the brand can pretty much guarantee new content for each release.

They know how important this feedback is to product development, and how that social proof can help them connect with new audiences:

“The reviews will be really worthwhile for us - if we need to send them back to the NPD team. But also, it’s really good to then use those reviews to convince people that might be on the border, or sit in the flexitarian space - or aren’t even vegan at all - just to give us a try.”

Charlotte and the team are currently working closely with their account manager to optimise the REVIEWS.io solution for their needs, and we look forward to seeing where it takes them. 

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