Friday, December 09, 2005

Welcome to the Coke Side of Life


Coca-Cola Company recently launched its global advertising campaign with the theme “Welcome to the Coke side of life”, according to BBC [via Adage]. Though the primary aim at a macro level is to boost the growth of its core brands and in turn capture a larger market share, at a micro level the campaign would focus on building loyal customers. The objective is to drive consumers to consider the brand as the ‘only beverage option after years of viewing it as simply another beverage option’.
For the loyalty programs, Coke would distribute 4 billion codes on packages for consumers to collect for prizes, building on successes of similar programs around the world.
From the press release, what I could gather is that Coke wants to develop a brand essence around its flagship brand, and pad it from competition through aggressive loyalty programs and advertising. Though the entire campaign has not been officially released so far, the media plan and the timelines indicate that the teens form a major segment for Coke and would be treated separately.
Unfortunately, this target demographic for Coke that is “the teens” segment is not the best segment to buy the idea of loyalty programs. They do not like the idea of sticking to one brand and stay as loyal consumers for their life. UNLESS…yes, unless the brand is perceived to be as a “Cult” brand. In that case, it is not loyalty but an obsession for a particular brand. Though this can have negative as well as positive connotations, let m not get into that as of now. For now, let the optimistic cells roll! Interestingly, the techno-savvy generation would be tapped by the ‘online’ route – through online interactive forms (under the iCoke platform).
The best thing I liked about the campaign is that the company, after an extensive research with 60,000 consumers, has divided its consumers based on “need states”. This holds valid for all its 80 brands across 200 countries (including Coffee, tea, energy drinks, water and juices).
The research identified 17 different "need" states that represent 352 billion unit cases of opportunity. The company is micro-targeting against those need states, extending existing brands with new packaging, marketing or new benefits to creating new ones.
Products in the pipeline for Coca Cola - Sprite 3G, an energy version of the lemon-lime soda; Coke Blak, a coffee cola targeting adults over 35; a black tea brand called Gold Peak; and Powerade Advance, a single-serve enhanced water.
By the way, you should visit the website of Coca-cola India and take a plant tour. It gives a good insight to the entire manufacturing and bottling process for Coke and the various stages in between.
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