I am sure it is not news to you that Coca Cola has been facing declining sales numbers for a considerable stretch thanks to consumers who are less inclined to want sugar based carbonated drinks. That trend notwithstanding, Coke’s global presence and marketing strength have allowed it to offset many of the company’s revenue losses in places like the US with growth in other parts of the world.
In an effort to get at least a seasonal boost in sales across America, Coca Cola’s recent marketing campaign has some rather important lessons for all businesses today. Coca Cola calls their effort the “Summer of Sharing” and it comes together in three important dimensions:
Personalization – getting on a first name basis with consumers
Sharing – Associating your product in a gifting or positive moments context
Social – Building ways for customers to engage with one another through social and digital platforms
From the perspective of personalization, Coke has removed its logo from 20 oz. bottles and replaced their name with the 250 most popular millennial names. It has also added the words “Share a Coke with….” to the bottle label. In essence, we are encouraged to buy a Coke and share it with a person we know whose name is printed on the bottle. Stuart Kronauge, senior vice president, sparkling brands, for Coca-Cola North America puts it this way “Summer is the perfect time to get together with others and share moments of happiness over an ice-cold Coke at barbecues, sporting events, family reunions, amusement park outings and other gatherings…Now, enjoying a Coke with your name on it and sharing the occasion with someone else makes these moments even more special.”
The final component of this campaign that warrants our attention is the integration of social media platforms. For example, the newly created www.shareacoke.com website allows consumers to personalize virtual bottles of Coke and share them on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. Use of the #ShareaCoke hashtag, allows members of the Twittersphere to post photos and stories in the hope they can appear on interactive Coke billboards across America. If you have the free Coca-Cola Freestyle mobile app on your phone you can scan a QR code on a fountain dispenser’s touch screen that will result in $1 off coupon for a 20 oz. Coke being sent to a friend.
Early reports suggest this Share a Coke campaign is having a lift on sales this summer….what are you doing to create experiences that personalize, encourage sharing, and offer social platforms that integrate with product or service offerings?