What Your Brand Can Learn From Coke's Digital Strategy

Katie Huston Picture

by Katie Huston | Last Updated: Dec 18, 2018

Polar bears, football games, a red bottle. What do all of these have in common? If you guessed Coca-Cola’s trademarks, you’re correct! Coca-Cola has consistently had one of the most iconic advertising campaigns worldwide, usually airing their biggest commercials during sporting events featuring messages of peace and hope. Coke not only has one of the most recognizable brands in the world, but they’re continually doing a great job of incorporating digital experiences in with a more traditional mix. Coke’s digital strategy is a figurehead of what digital looks like on a global scale and they incorporate new technologies and updates to innovation that far outpace some of its competitors in the beverages industry. How do they do it so well? Two main ideas. Make It Personal One of Coke’s largest and most successful campaigns to date has been the “Share a Coke” campaign, where Coke bottles feature more than 250 common names or phrases like “Best Friends” or “Star”. The ploy encourages fans to find their friend’s name on the bottles and give it to them as a sign of friendship or love and post that content on social platforms. During its first year, the Share a Coke hashtag on social media had more than 500,000 tagged photos and consumers created more than 5 million virtual Coke bottles to send off to friends and loved ones. This personalization dive made consumers feel less like they were promoting the brand and more like it was a “feel good” thing to do for a friend. Coke was able to foster a happiness around customization and personalization that enhanced the customer’s experience and ultimately helped drive brand loyalty. Mobile Experiences Lead the Way In an effort to foster more innovative branding for Coke’s Asian markets, Coke released cans that can be activated by popular internet services like WeChat or Alibaba to trigger an augmented reality (AR) mobile experience. These mobile experiences each paid homage to one of the 23 different provinces of China that told a story about the area, including characters that look like major landmarks and represented that region's tastes and preferences. This video shows what the mobile experience looked like from a customer perspective—Coca-Cola’s vice president of digital transformation, Mariano Bosaz, said that AR experiences like this are taking consumers “beyond the real thing” and creating brand experiences that matter to them. Coca-Cola is a great testament to the fact that it’s not enough to just have a digital strategy anymore. Brands need to have a digital strategy that works—custom personalization, mobile experiences and new ways to connect with their consumers create a start to several avenues that can bring your brand to the forefront of a great digital experience.  

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