Robin Hintjes

Coca Cola: the marketing strategy that made us hold a brand in our hearts

Coca Cola is world’s leading soft drink maker and operates in more than 200 countries around the world. It sells a variety of sparkling and still beverages. It all started in the US but today it has strong brand recognition across the globe. At this moment, approximately 94% of the world population is aware of the red & white logo of Coca Cola. They are essentially a seller of sparkly sugar water, and they have been doing this for over 125 years. The product isn’t that spectacular so how do they stay on top of the market for that long?

The answer is actually really simple. Coca Cola has invested enormous amounts in relationship marketing during its lifetime, even before the name “relationship marketing” existed. The company tries to connect their product to something that is dear to their customers, to touch their hearts and find a place for the brand at the core of who they are. With this strategy, Coca Cola depends on their costumers to grow the company via their love for the product. Coca Cola mustn’t be just a brand to them, its must be their friend.

We will now discuss two of the biggest campaigns Coca Cola that Coca Cola has done in Belgium based on emotional actions:

  1. Santa Claus & the Christmas trucks

If you were to ask someone to describe Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad, most would be able to do so in an instant. Red trucks speed through a little town covered in snow, lighting up the Christmas lights as they go. These ads might be around already for a couple of years, but interest in it shows little sign of diminishing as it brings out everyone’s nostalgic side. Coca Cola has connected these trucks and especially Santa Claus to their brand that they cannot go without anymore. These 2 symbols signal the start of the holiday season each year. It even goes that far that a lot of people believe that Coca Cola invented Santa Claus!

2. The “Share a Coke” campaign

In the summer of 2015 Coca Cola launched the “Share a Coke” campaign. This turned out to be one of the company’s biggest and best performing campaigns ever. Essentially, consumers had the chance to have a generic name, such as “David,” printed on Coca-Cola bottles and were encouraged to share those bottles with friends and family. Additionally, consumers could share their experiences and stories on Twitter with the hashtag #ShareaCoke. Those who shared their stories were entered to have their photos featured on the company’s website and across company billboards.

In the end, the campaign was based on the following 3 pillars:

  • Consumers Were Prompted to Participate and Create Online Media Content
Coca-Cola was able to generate massive amounts of social media content by specifically targeting consumers who use social media to share photos and stories. The company gave full creative control and brand ownership to these consumers, letting people believe to feel like they were not promoting the Coca-Cola Company online so much as they were starting their own social media conversations.
  • The Brand Connected With Consumers on a Personal Level

The consumer places high value on self-expression, individual storytelling and staying connected with friends. The “Share a Coke” campaign gives the ability to do all of these things while promoting the Coca-Cola brand.

While the 250 common names have been used, not everyone’s name is common, which could have decreased the personalization of the campaign. Knowing this, Coca-Cola created a cross-country “Share a Coke” tour that allowed fans to customize a Coca-Cola mini can for themselves and a second one for someone special. The company tour also provided alternative options with nicknames such as “bestie,” “star” or “BFF.” This added an additional personal touch for consumers.

  • The Words Used in the Campaign Are a powerful Call to Action

The main slogan in the campaign, “Share a Coke,” is a great call-to-action phrase. This slogan prompts consumers to buy a physical Coke to share and also share their Coca-Cola stories online. The slogan is catchy and easy to remember, making the call to action unforgettable. Further, it is reported that Coca-Cola purposefully used the “Share a Coke” phrase so it made the call to action more about giving a Coke to someone else rather than a consumer keeping it for himself.

 

Conclusion

Being one of the most recognisable brands on the planet, Coca Cola was here before many us were here and it will still be here after many us will have passed away. It consistently manages to associate itself with things that matter greatly to its customers so our love will forever be with them. We can only wait to see how Coca Cola will conquer our hearts even more in the future.

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