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What lesson can you learn from Coca-Cola?

by Alison Bradford

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It’s probably not escaped your attention that Coca-Cola have a new marketing campaign out right now, ‘Share a coke with…’.

I first came across it on Facebook when one of my friends posted a picture of themselves holding a bottle of coke with their name on.

‘Cool’ I thought. ‘I want one!’, was my next thought.

Since then, I’ve had a strong urge to rummage through all the coke bottles in my local shops but alas, haven’t found one with my name on.

Although I like coke, it’s not something I buy very often. Occasionally I’ll have a craving but think this is probably down to needing a sugar hit.

So, finding myself rummaging through the bottles in the shops prompted me to think about what had stirred up my interest.

After all, it’s the same old product simply with a new label on.

What Coca-Cola have done is to look at the previous year’s fall in sales and looked at how to turn this around in today’s market place.

After trying out the idea of personalising a bottle of coke in Australia, where sales apparently increased by around 10%, they’ve launched it in the UK and have so far seen an uplift of around 5% in sales.

But what does this mean to your business?

Well, it shows that even huge brands like Coca-Cola have to keep moving to keep their brand fresh and in people’s mind. It also shows that buying a product (or service) isn’t just about the taste, quality, price etc. – it’s about the emotions it creates in us, to want to buy something.

How can you create these emotions in your marketing?

What existing products or services can you put a new ‘label’ on? Maybe you can come up with a new name for something, to make it resonate more strongly with your target customers. Maybe you can package it up differently.

How can you make your product or service more personalised?

If you’re stuck for ideas, start off by getting into your customers heads – it’s all about them. What do they want to feel and how can you help them achieve this?

Here’s some ideas to get you started:

  • What else do your customers want that you could offer them?
  • Send your existing and previous customers a small gift, as a thank-you and to remind them that you’re there for them. Make it personal!
  • Send them a handwritten note or post-card with a funny message they want to pin up
  • Call them and find out what they’re up to
  • Put together a short personal video, to remind them why they should do business with you – make it personal and inject some humour (Try Animoto to do it yourself or Fiverr.com to outsource it at a low cost)

Above all, apply these 3 principles to your marketing:

  1. Be different
  2. Make it fun
  3. Stand out

Don’t make the mistake of focusing your marketing too much on price and too little on differentiating your business from your competitors.

By the way, it looks like I’m not going to find a bottle of coke with my name on after all – they’re only using the top 150 names and Alison didn’t make the list!

Please leave me a comment to let me know how you’re going to apply this in your marketing to make your business stand out.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

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