Godiva Chocolatier is a gourmet chocolate brand that has an international presence. The company has operated for over 90 years and is currently in 100 countries worldwide.
This beloved chocolate brand’s success can be attributed to  its clever marketing. Despite its cultural ambiguity, the company has done thorough image-making as Belgian. In fact, the company has been under non-Belgian ownership for the better part of its history. Four decades after the Draps founded Godiva in Brussels, Belgium, the brand was sold to an American company in 1967. The chocolatier’s ownership changed hands once again in 2007 to a Turkish company. Most recently, in 2019, MBK Partners from South Korea bought a stake and took over  operations in Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Another successful branding effort of Godiva has been associating itself with the impression of both quality and accessibility. Godiva isn’t a local boutique where an artisan painstakingly produces truffles one by one. At the same time, it separates itself from other popular brands like Hershey’s with a promise to deliver quality. This niche positioning that combines quality and accessibility doesn’t have many direct competitors, though competitors may include Lindt and Ghirardelli.
The chocolatier also uses different marketing approaches in North America and in East Asia. In North America, the brand leverages accessibility omnichannel distribution, using both online and offline channels. In East Asia, the emphasis is put on premium branding through higher pricing and brick-and-mortar  stores. In fact, similar products are more expensive in South Korea than in the US, adjusting for exchange rates and tariffs. (A 19-piece gold collection box retails for $32 in the US, while the same product with one more piece sells at ₩67,000, almost $50, in South Korea.) After failed attempts to expand cafes in North America, the company has relied more heavily on accessible channels, such as drugstores, supermarkets, and online retail, to “democratize” chocolate in the US.
This two-fold approach isn’t particularly new. Products and services that rely on perceptions of social status have historically taken advantage of  luxury marketing in East Asia, while appealing to affordability or practicality in other regions. Although this strategy is not a recession-proof one, given Godiva’s brand awareness in the East Asia region, it has worked well.