Toblerone’s been all over the internet recently and most of the attention has been negative. You might be asking yourself, “Why would anyone be mad at Toblerone?” After all, the Swiss chocolate bar brand has been serving up delicious, nougaty goodness in its distinctive triangular shape for over 100 years.
That iconic shape is exactly where the controversy lies.
The triangular shape of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps is commonly believed to have given Theodor Tobler, creator of Toblerone chocolate, his inspiration for the shape of Toblerone. Toblerone has come in many variations over the years, but the basic shape has remained the same … until recently. In 2016, a larger gap was introduced between each section of the triangular prism. This was done in order to cut the weight of the bars and reduce costs, while retaining the same package size.
If there’s one way to guarantee a negative reaction, it’s to take something away that people are used to having. Sneakily removing precious Toblerone chocolate by slimming down its design has gotten loyal fans up in arms.
How can other companies learn from Toblerone’s PR disaster? As healthcare recruiters, we frequently see practices make similar mistakes when trying to hire providers. They try to chip away at the compensation package to reduce costs by eliminating benefits that employees are used to receiving. Cutting things like health benefits, paid vacation, and CME allowances might save a few dollars in the beginning, but it also eliminates really great providers from the candidate pool. As does taking away the security of a traditional salary model and replacing it with percentage- or performance-based pay structures. Hiring a less-than-stellar provider who is willing to forego standard benefits and take a risky compensation package may end up being very costly in the long run.
To recap, take a moment to think about what you’re taking out of your job offer rather than just focusing on what you’re giving. A lot of times, it’s the things that are taken away that people focus on. Don’t be like Toblerone.