The meaning of arts for brands

The example of the Austrian chocolatier Zotter

Term Paper, 2012

26 Pages, Grade: 1




2.1. zotter products are art because they are created by artists
2.2. zotter products are art because they are said to be art
2.3. zotter products are art because they are treated like art
2.4. zotter products are art because they look like art
2.5. Interim finding

3.1. Art awards its own characteristic
3.1.1 Art & innovation
3.1.2 Art & prestige
3.1.3 Interim finding
3.2. Art to communicate general meaning and sense
3.2.1. Art to reflect Art & semiotics Environment & organic production Human treatment & fair trade production
3.2.2. Interim finding
3.2.3. Art & constructivism
3.2.4. Art to connect contradictions
3.2.5. Art as synaesthetic experience
3.2.6. Interim finding

4. Art to create a brand image

5. Art to create a brand


Reference List

List of figures

1. Introduction

The Austrian medium-sized company zotter is one of the most successful chocolate producers worldwide (Bernardini, 2012) and zotter is “by far the most innovative company in its industry”(Bernardini, 2012; Radio Steiermark, 2012). Even at Harvard University the zotter case study is, as the only Austrian example, on the curriculum (Zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur GmbH, n.d.-a).But what makes the brand1 zotter so successful?

One factor is the comparatively excellent quality of zotters chocolate (cf. „zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur“, n. d.-b). Another factor are the innovative flavorful chocolate creations (Semmler-Matosic, 2009, p. 295; zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur GmbH, n.d.-c). And certainly, a further factor is it’s long tradition of chocolate creation art and confectionery, and therefore simply the management’s experience and craft in this business (Zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur GmbH, n.d.-a).

But the decision to buy a packaged product which the customer cannot see at the moment of purchase, as it is usually the case with chocolate, is not only about the product itself, it is also about package design (cf. Linxweiler, 1998, p. 176). Not merely fulfilling a functional task, but today being more an attribute of the shopping experience (cf. Kothe, 1998, p. 42 sqq.), the role of package design is maybe even as important as the product itself. Nowadays package design can be seen as an artistic medium - it is not only transporting a message, but instead conveying an identity.

And then there is art. Art as a “visual aspect of branding” (Schroeder, forthcoming, p. 2) and particularly art in the zotter chocolate itself, as well as in the package design. zotter uses art to establish chocolate creations incomparable in their optics, taste and smell, to design a conspicuous or curious wrapping, and therefore to build a distinctive brand (cf. Schroeder, forthcoming, p. 1). Thus I assume: part of zotters success stems from using art; and in particular the use of art to award a deeper and almost philosophical meaning of chocolate enjoyment.

The aim of this case study is to carve out the multilayer role of art for creating zotter chocolate and zotter package design, and accordingly for the brand zotter. Therewith I would like to deepen our understanding of the diverse use/ commitment art can have for every day products like chocolate. To do so, I will handle zotter products as art-works. That means I will not consider art to transport a message, to copy reality or in other words to be an instrument for branding (as the classical branding literature does (cf. Lüddemann, 2007, p. 9 sqq.)), but as an “independent, [autonomous] creative meaning producer” (Lüddemann, 2007, p. 9). Thus I will undertake a thought-experiment by applying a cultural studies perspective to an everyday commodity. I will proceed as follows. Firstly I will define art with an eye to zotter products. The third chapter deals with the question what art means for zotter products. The first sub chapter is about art awarding its own characteristics to a product, namely innovation and prestige. In the second subchapter I discuss art which communicates meaning- and sense offers. This includes the assumptions that art could be a method to stimulate the customer’s reflection, that art could constructs the customer’s perception of reality, that art could connect contradictions and that art could create a multi- sensory experience. Subsequently I summarize what my findings mean for the brands image and the brand per se. Finally I close the paper with a short wrap up and a conclusion.

2. What is art?

Searching for a definition of art is complicated. The problem is, there are uncountable definitions of what art is (cf. Lüddemann, 2009, p. 31). And in addition, as I figured out during phrasing my multilayer brainstorming-ideas of what art could be for zotter, the meaning variety of art is immense. Therefore I do not want to focus on one of these definitions and thus limit the complexity and multiplicity of this term. (Particularly many artists became famous by breaking the valid definition of art of their time (cf. Unterpertinger, 2011)). Hence I will briefly introduce four different definitions of art, which - in my opinion - reflect the meaning variety of this term. ?

2.1. zotter products are art because they are created by artists

“An artist is who makes new creations” (Lüddemann, 2007, p. 144). Bringing new creations into being could also mean to use already exiting objects in an innovative way (cf. Groys, 1999, p. 20).

Josef Zotter, zotter producer and creative head of the company, chocolatier, former Austrian “Haubenkoch” (an award winning gourmet chef), and learned confectioner (Zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur GmbH, n.d.- a) produces the “worldwide most innovative

illustration not visible in this excerpt

fig. 1: Josef Zotter chocolate” (Bernardini, 2012; zotter

Schokoladen Manufaktur GmbH, n.d.-b) (see fig. ).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

fig. 2: "worldwide most innovative chocolate"

Thereby he pursues on the one hand a craft, the chocolatier craft (Ridegh, 2008), but on the other hand creating innovations makes him an artist. And not only Bernardini calls Josef Zotter an artist, also the Harvard Alumni Association talks about the Austrian businessman as an artist (cf. Harvard Club of Austria, 2010). Being innovative and being an artist implies that Josef Zotter is producing art-works. Moreover, zotter chocolate wrappings are created by the berlin decent package designer Andreas Gratze, an artist (Gratze, n.d.). Consequently zotter products, both the chocolate and its package design, can be seen as art.

2.2. zotter products are art because they are said to be art

Focusing on media reports about zotter we find diverse sources talking about zotter products being art (MAK DIP, n.d.; Menzel, 2009; Munz & Woldrich, 2011; Ringhofer, 2012, p. 33 sqq.) Given that I have not found a source criticizing these understandings and statements I assume that zotter products can be perceived as artworks. Particularly if art adepts are talking about a product being art, the object is being defined as art through this social process (Lüddemann, 2007, p. 22). Art adepts are people who are experts in an art related topic and they are authority on an art subject. Therefore zotter products can be seen as artworks.

2.3. zotter products are art because they are treated like art

The “zotter-Schokoladenwelt” is an interactive museum (ORF Marketing Service GmbH & Co KG, n.d.), showing zotter products. Being exhibited in a museum and viewed by visitors of the museum, an object is exalted as a sample and therefore as an object d’art (cf. Schmid, 2010). Thus zotter products are artworks.

2.4. zotter products are art because they look like art

Comparing zotter package design with several artworks of different artists shows many similarities. As famous artists like Picasso (cf. Kreutz, 2003, p. 11 sqq. ), the package designer Gratze was inspired by a large variety of artworks. For example Gratze’s artwork “Labooko Erdbeer” seems to be influenced by the photography “Wandelbar” in Hans Sylvester’s illustrated book “Kleider der Natur” (see fig. 3). Another famous artist Gratze could be inspired of is Sandro Boticcelli. Looking at the girl’s hair structure on “Labooko crème edelweiß” she has the same thick and full curly hair like the Venus in “Nascita di Venere” (see fig. 3).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

fig. 3: "Labooko Creme Edelweiß" & "Nascita di Venere"; right "Labooko Erdbeer" & "Wandelbar"

A third connection could be the Japanese manga figures. For example the cover for “Labooko Karamellmilch” seems similar to the typical thick, frizzy streaming hair blowing in the wind and the self-confidence, lofty pose to be found in many mangas (see fig. ).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

fig. 4: "Labooko Karamellmilch" & Japanese manga figures

Another inspiration could be in J.W. Waterhouses “Windblumen” for “Labooko Absolut Milchschokolade” (see fig. ). Then there is an influence of Walt Disney’s figure “Pocahontas”, out of the correspondent movie (see fig. ).


1 Zotter is a “brand as a multidimensional construct” (De Chernatony & Dall’Olmo Riley, 1998, pp. 425, 437). That means the logo, the company, the values, the image and last but not least the personality are forming the brand zotter (cf. De Chernatony & Dall’Olmo Riley, 1998, p. 426; Stern, 2006, p. 219).

Excerpt out of 26 pages


The meaning of arts for brands
The example of the Austrian chocolatier Zotter
University of Southern Denmark  (Marketing & Management)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
2274 KB
Advanced Brand Management, Marketing, Zotter, Zotter Schokolade, Brand and Art, Art, Arts, Semiotics, Meaning of arts for brands, Organic, fair trade, constructivism, synaesthetic, synaesthesia, Bernardini, Andreas Gratze, Josef Zotter, Harvard Club of Austria, Annamma Joy, John Sherry, Speaking of art as embodied imagination, embodied imagination, Kleider der Natur, Hans Silvester, Zotter Schokoladenmanufaktur, Schoko-Laden-Theater, essbarer Tiergarten, Kunst, Labooko, Mitzi Blue, handgeschöpft, moul-made, zotter chocolate, Der Schokoladentester, Die besten Schokoladen und Pralinen der Welt
Quote paper
B.A. Katharina Maute (Author), 2012, The meaning of arts for brands, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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