Month of Learning

Please enter email and password to continue

The Breaking Toblerone Principal To Save Your Business

breaking toblerone

You need to be open to do new things within a different context.

When you’ve been applying the same way to deliver a message that has been centred on persuasion because that’s the way it’s been done for generations, have you ever considered a different way?

If a different approach is applied that is based on becoming more valuable in the eyes of someone else and helps to build a deeper connection, it becomes a question of, ‘Why have I been continually pushing my product to everyone.”

It all forms part of the Toblerone Principal.

Explaining The Toblerone Principal

But isn’t Toblerone a triangular honey and almond chocolate bar?

You’re correct, it’s not a piece of scientific fact from a Swiss University. It originated in February 2015 in the scenic sea-side town of Poole.

Let me explain.

I bet the way you have been breaking Toblerone has been the same way for years.

That chocolaty mess after attempting to break a solid chunk (even worse if it’s been in the fridge), normally means some kind of brute force to separate a piece of chocolate from the bar.

How wrong we have all been.

You shouldn’t be prizing the triangle piece away, but instead push towards the bar (you go in the opposite direction).

That’s why the bar is the shape that it is.

Push the top of the triangle back into another triangle and snaps away from the rest of the chocolate far easier. The only pressure is on one finger, not the deep breath below the full force of a wrist.

When Easter comes or that last minute present from the airport (because you don’t know what else to buy), now you know.

View post on


What Does This Mean In A Business Context?

Simply put, we can all master new approaches in a better and more effective way from what we’ve been told to believe.

Using old habits with the tools that all have available today do not always work, we need to change. If the world is heading in one direction, similar to the Toblerone, you head in another.

If the Toblerone represents the communication assets of a business (online and offline), the approach can be the same way that it has been done for years, or a way that may not have been considered but far more effective.

Where businesses are today and the ability to create, curate and distribute presents a new opportunity.


Following A Same Path

However, we tend to think that we experience the world as it is and apply what we already know or what has worked for generations.

The way to do things have been to:

  • create a website and make sure you tick off the pages that say, about us, meet the team, our work, news
  • when budget allows, create a brochure that more or less says exactly the same as the website
  • set up social pages and then blast everyone to follow you somewhere else from the social place they are currently looking at you
  • send an email to everyone that resides in your contacts about an offer that they cannot refuse
  • repeat that offer and place it with a deal within local press/trade press and consider the 200 words free as freedom to tell everyone about your company and the offer
  • those 200 words and advert can then be converted to a piece of direct mail that is then distributed to a list of complete strangers.

We go through our business lives accepting everything as it is, those with the money can afford a far wider reach and have foil embossed business cards whilst you have to consider Vistaprint and the local Chamber of Commerce being your only outlet to have a dialogue with someone who might talk to you.

The way we accept the world as it is, the less we look at other possibilities (such as snapping a Toblerone). We all conform and accept the way that we are supposed to market our business to others.


All About Conforming

During the 1950s there was a series of well-known experiments from the US at Swarthmore College, highlighting that we will conform to others, even if the others are wrong.

Conducted by psychologist Solomon Asch, the experiments were set up where students were asked to take part on a group ‘vision’ test.

The reality was that all but one was under instruction from Asch. The study centred on how the one unaware student would react to their behaviour.

When it comes to business many follow the same beaten path and an approach that has been instilled for decades on the principals of interruption and repetition. Those who push down on the Toblerone are those who understand their audience and the ability to use media in a way that represents a consistent message over a long period of time.

Those who pull on the Toblerone are those who accept that other sources are more credible than themselves when it comes to search. Whilst those who push the triangle recognise that their business to Google, is every bit as credible a source as The Times when the content that is create is crafted appropriately.

Those who pull the Toblerone believe that relying on other companies to deliver our messages (from the newspaper to the mailing company to Facebook) to a targeted audience is the way it has to be. Those who push can change the rules by creating relevant content on a consistent basis to the channels where an audience is the most receptive.


Today Is About Creating The Value

Insignificant sales messages that have been regarded as the norm for years aid no one. Providing value via the tools and media distribution we have today gains attention.

The way we’ve snapped chocolate bars is the way that we have relied on our approach to build a dialogue with others in the blind hope to sell.

No business can rely on the lessons from yesterday and apply it within the media we now have available. That is a recipe for failure.

breaking toblerone

Pushing an old approach (pleaing) into a different space


Lets Round Up

Old habits may not necessarily be the best habits. We all need to change.

The opportunity that is presented is to understand how you can influence a marketplace by becoming a place of value, at the right time, to the right people, in the right space. Think about the role you play for others.

When you become influential in the eyes of others, that’s a far cry from sticking to the way that you have been doing things up until now.

Image at the top of the article courtesy of Kurt Bauschardt

Get the
Thursday newsletter

The YATM Weekly helps you build a loyal audience so you become the leading voice in your marketplace. All yours every Thursday.

Find out more

    ‘You Are The Media is powered by We Are The Media. We turn your expertise into clear, compelling messages, then build those messages into the kind of content people value —and come back for.

    Visit We Are The Media