How Hershey’s Honesty Provided the Taste of Sweet Success

Have you ever hidden a snack you enjoy so no one else could find it and eat it before you?

If you’re like most of us, you may have done this as a child. But if we’re to be honest, most of us can remember doing something like this as an adult – and may even be currently participating in this sort of activity.

Many of us have ‘candy drawers’ or other secret stashes that we keep (and hope no one else will discover).

People who are desperate to lose weight, have been known to hide personally favorite foods from THEMSELVES in an effort to avoid the temptation to indulge.

I knew a mother who all but padlocked the family refrigerator to keep it from being raided by adolescent children whose appetites were insatiable. Because she planned out the family meals so efficiently, and carefully purchased the groceries to accommodate those plans, she felt that, financially, she couldn’t afford to leave the food ‘up-for-grabs’.

While this post is not about hoarding snacks…it may provide creative insight for understanding how, in similar ways, you might be hiding something very desirable – irresistible even – from your target market.

Selfish, Stingy, or Honestly Unaware

You may well be intellectually or technically bloated; addicted to learning and stuffed to the gills with acquired training, knowledge, and experience. And, while it can be tempting to hold on to all of that because you’ve worked so hard for it…by not sharing it, you’re likely not enjoying the kind of freedom you’ve been seeking.

You could be in possession of something you think you can’t afford to make available to others when, in fact, they would gladly PAY you for the opportunity to consume it.

Consider What Tasty Tidbits You Could Have Stashed Away

When marketing yourself or your brand, there are the obvious things you know you need to make apparent to potential customers and loyal followers.

Things like:

-Who you are
-What you do
-Why you do what you do
-Where to find you and
-How to contact you

Those are givens. But what about the NOT so obvious things?

Are YOU even totally aware of:

Who you REALLY are: The total package that makes up you, your brand, your products and services. Do you communicate who you are effectively, so that people feel they know you and ‘get you’? Do you make an effort to make sure that you STAND OUT in any way in your market – Or do you simply hope to be noticed – eventually?

What you REALLY do: All that you offer – all the ways in which you enrich the lives of others, or improve on methods and practices, or increase opportunities, or cause positive interactions, or produce results, and satisfy needs…is your market truly aware of all the benefits to them of working with you or partnering with you?
And, most significantly, perhaps…

Why you REALLY do what you do: Is it ONLY about your passion and the need to satisfy it? If so…that won’t take you very far.

Honestly, though it sells to tell Dreamers that it’s all about them finding personal  fulfillment, that’s not completely honest, and it’s not helpful to the entrepreneur who actually desires to be successful.

Business owners who KNOW what their customers are passionate about, and figure out ways to satisfy the customer’s passions are more likely to be rewarded for their efforts and experience lasting success.

Milton Hershey Knew the Secret of Sharing

Supplying a REAL need is a huge factor in the success of any organization.

Milton Hershey knew about snacks. He apparently had a passion for confections from a very early age. But what Hershey also possessed was an ability to see a need and meet it.

In 1894, already successful with caramel candies, he started a chocolate company that, in just one year, provided an assortment of various chocolate confections to the market.

In 1900, he had an idea to manufacture and sell milk chocolate bars. The market LOVED them.

Business was so successful that in 1903 Hershey started work on a new factory in Derry Township, Pennsylvania – which eventually became the world’s largest chocolate-manufacturing plant. And, what’s interesting is that a community (called Hershey) organically developed around that factory.

Hershey contributed to the World War II war effort with Field Ration D, an emergency chocolate nutrition bar that incorporated Thiamine Hydrochloride a (B1) vitamin used to treat the symptoms of Beriberi, which also did not melt in tropical heat and was intentionally made to be not too tasty so that it would not tempt soldiers to eat it as a snack!

So…Hershey had a passion and followed it – but in the process, he created a BRAND by making available something so desirable that others were willing to pay to possess it – which in turn created opportunities – which in turn enlarged his brand’s following and built a strong community.

It is said that Hershey was respected for his honesty.

Hershey did all the things we talk about in digital marketing today – and then, he went a step further.
He saw a REAL need – and supplied it – even though it meant choosing to  change up how he normally did things; the methods that had proven successful.

That Field Ration D bar was sort of the opposite of what the Hershey brand was all about. It contained an added vitamin and wasn’t the delicious, chocolatey temptation that one simply couldn’t resist. But it was another success for the Hershey brand because it helped those who needed it – even depended on it – in ways that no one else had envisioned.

Dig Deeper to Discover What’s Hidden

What if Milton Hershey had focused only on his personal passion?

What if he had been concerned only with his own gain…never looking past the sweetness of his eventual success with the Hershey Bar; unwilling to change things up in a way that would provide much needed help to those struggling in the trenches – both at home and abroad?

And…what if Hershey had focused on what he did NOT have?

•Hershey did not have much in the way of a formal education.
•He didn’t have the luxury of financial help.
•He didn’t even have the support of family members after several early business failures.

And, though he eventually found love, it came late in life, and Milton and his wife Catherine were unable to have children of their own.

Out of their love for children, and no doubt out of the struggles Milton faced due to his own lack of an education, the couple founded the Hershey Industrial School for orphaned boys (now Milton Hershey School) in 1909.

The school motto is Be Your Greatest Self.

More than 11,000 graduates from qualifying families have had their lives transformed through this educational facility for over one hundred years.

What have you learned that you’re not sharing?

Start an online program, a YouTube channel, a ZOOM class, a weekly podcasts – or even a blog to make that available to others.

What other talents, gifts, or abilities are you over-looking that can support your efforts to reach others with your message?

Consider changing up how you present your information with unique formats, using skills that you already possess. Take a course (or several courses) and up the level of your skillset or work to learn and develop new skills.

Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Don’t focus on LOST opportunities.

Instead, let those serve as inspiration. Create new opportunities for yourself and others. Apply what you DO have, acquire whatever is currently within your reach, and focus on putting these to good use.

Get creative.

If you’re not naturally creative, then look to those who are for your inspiration. Don’t be a copy-cat, but be attentive and aware of new ideas that can come from that inspiration.

If you don’t know HOW – find someone who does.

You may not know how to bring your inspired idea to life…but there are others who DO. Search out those who are capable and qualified to provide you the assistance you need.

Brainstorm with others you know you can trust.

Follow Hershey’s Delicious Example

Let your market see MORE of who you are. Make your full deliciousness known and make it available for others to enjoy.

Give your market a taste of what ELSE you are capable of doing – they have the potential to help you make MILLIONS (in numbers of followers, as well as dollars)!

Leave a lasting good taste in the mouths of everyone you reach, and you’ll find yourself building a community that loyally supports you in your efforts.

Sharing what you enjoy is more likely to provide you the sweet taste of success with more personal satisfaction than any snack selfishly hidden away to consume all alone. 

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