Tag Archives: Coca Cola

Coca-Cola’s “Taste the Feeling” slogan does not differentiate

Marking a significant shift in its marketing strategy, Coca-Cola  announced on Jan 19 that for the first time, all Coke Trademark brands will be united in one global creative campaign: “Taste the Feeling.”

Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto says that “The bigness of Coca-Cola resides in the fact that it’s a simple pleasure – so the humbler we are, the bigger we are. We want to help remind people why they love the product as much as they love the brand.”

Rudolf Echeveria the VP of global creative, connections and digital, adds “we’re going from ‘Open Happiness’ to exploring the role Coca-Cola plays in happiness, we make simple, everyday moments more special.”

Sounds like a convincing story except that it does not differentiate Coca-Cola from the competition – at all. “Taste the feeling” works just fine with Pepsi as well.

Pepsi-taste-the-feeling

The soda industry is in decline

CMO de Quinto explains the insight behind the campaign “we’ve found over time that the more we position Coca-Cola as an icon, the smaller we become.” This is a strange insight since the decline of the soft drinks category is happening with or without the iconic Coca-Cola brand.

In the USA the category is already for 10 years (!) in decline. In 2014, there was 14% less sold than in 2004 with the biggest losses for the Diet variants fuelled by concerns over the use of artificial sweeteners. “Water is hot and diet soda is not” writes the WSJ.

It is Coca-Cola and Pepsi again

Inside the soft drink category there is a shift happening: for the first time in years the regular Coca-Cola and Pepsi drinks are leading again. Cola drinkers are back to the core: real cola with sugar. The time could not be better to giver cola drinkers the real reason to choose Coca-Cola over Pepsi.

Taste the Real Thing

‘Taste the Feeling’ is not unique. What is? Taste the Real Thing of course!  No matter whether it is a regular Coca-Cola, Diet or Life, there can be only be one The Real Thing and that is Coca-Cola. The real reason to stay with the brand and buy it time after time again.

Coca-Cola-Taste-the-real-thing

Growth from other categories

To continue growth as a company the Coca-Cola Company will need to re-focus and reposition. Get leadership positions in new categories with new products under new brands.

And while exploring new categories and working on gaining leadership positions give current consumers the reason to drink Coca-Cola: Taste the real thing.

 

Coca-Cola Life: the start of a new life?

Recently a woman was busy handing out green cans in the supermarket. From a distance it looked like the introduction of a new health drink. I got curious! When I got closer I saw that it was nothing less than the introduction of Coca-Cola Life – the Cola with ingredients of natural origin – in the Netherlands.

The pressure on Coca-Cola Company to go along with the trend of natural products requires little explanation. The soft drink category is in decline. At this time, Americans drink about 167 liters of soft drinks per year. This is a sharp decline from the 201 liters per person in 1998. Surprisingly, water once again has become America’s favorite drink. Up to 211 liters per person in 2013, an increase of 38% compared to 1998. At the same time, the worldwide market for organic food and beverages has grown enormously and it is expected that this year the US $ 100 billion limit will be exceeded.

It is therefore crystal clear that Coca-Cola must formulate a response to this trend. Yet, I cannot conclude otherwise that Coca-Cola Company has failed to create a brand-worthy match between the trend and the Coca-Cola brand.

On the trend but not on the brand

Coca-Cola represents energy, refreshment, joy and live positively. It is not about being healthy. To make a brand worthy connection with a trend, Coca-Cola Company must make sure this experience comes back in the answer on the trend. If you launch a new proposition, which Coca-Cola Company does, and then going to call it “Coca-Cola Life is our latest innovation within the Coca-Cola portfolio, sweetened with ingredients from natural origin and contains a third less sugar and calories’ , then you’re well on the trend but not on your brand. This is a missed opportunity.

Be fresh in nature

The brand image of Coca-Cola Life is very green. A green wooden crate with some plants, a few bottles of Life and in the background a haze of green grass. Very nice, but not for Coca-Cola, the brand that just about the real experience of energy, refreshment, joy, enjoy and live positively.

Red is the color of Cola

Coca-Cola Life is green and rationally that is right: green is the color of natural products. Emotionally, however, we know better: red belongs to the Coca-Cola brand experience and the cola category as a whole. Therefore you also find the color red on non Coca-Cola brands. The cans of Pepsi have some red, Walmart’s Sam’s Cola and the Freeway Cola of the German discount store Lidl are red. It seems to me unwise to let go of something so fundamental which is built by investing years in helping consumers making the association. To me, a much more brand-worthy experience would have been a red Coca-Cola Life can with hint of green.

Absolutely nothing beats Life

When a brand has the name Life it suggest that it is also good for your life, especially when it is reinforced by the green color that we all associate with healthy. But where does that leave all the other products? Does it not give an indirect warning to consumers that they are not good for your life?

This makes Coca-Cola ‘Life’ also an outsider in the Coca-Cola portfolio: all other Coca-Cola brands help consumers to make a choice based on taste or lifestyle. Think of Vanilla, Cherry, Zero, Coke and Caffeine-free. ‘Life’ does not help to make a choice on taste or lifestyle. A less comprehensive name that is in line with the brand would have made a better fit.

As a summary: it is great that Coca-Cola Company follows trends and capitalizes on it. Too bad they passed their strong brand totally. But hopefully also for Coca-Cola “Life can be full of surprises’ ….

Coca Cola should ride, not fight

Coca-Cola Company feels pressure as the overall soda drink category is in decline. At the moment Americans drink about 167 liter of soda per year. This is a drop from about 201 liter in 1998.

Water has again become America’s favorite drink, with an increase of 38% from 1998 to about 211 liter per person per year in 2013.

At the same time there is a growing pressure to fight obesity. Even so that New York City tried to put a size limit on sugar soda drinks served in the city.
It seems though, that it is not just the sugar soda category that is in decline, it is the diet soda category as well.

To turn the wheel Coca-Cola Company started running an advertisement to defend the use of artificial sweeteners.

The advertisement has the following headline “Quality products you can always feel good about” and then goes on saying “Our use of high-quality, low- and no-calorie sweeteners, including aspartame, allows us to give people great-tasting options they can feel good about”.

Why would Coca-Cola Company defend the use of artificial sweeteners while there is clearly a trend towards natural?

In the US the growth of organic food and beverages has grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. The global alternative medicine sector is expected to reach close to $115 billion by 2015. This is all fuelled by a trend towards herbal and nature-based products.

Coca-Cola Company should see this trend as an opportunity and not fight it. After all, when consumers see an advertisement defending ingredients in products it can be interpreted as coming from somebody trying to ‘prove them wrong’. Especially since the perceived honesty and ethics standards of advertising practitioners are very low. In the US they are just above the bottom two: members of congress and car salespeople.

Instead, Coca-Cola Company should ride the trend and grasp the opportunities now before somebody else will.

First, Coca-Cola Company can position Coca-Cola as the number one brand in All Natural Cola: a Cola truly made of 100% natural ingredients, no chemicals, nothing, just natural.

Second, Coca-Cola Company should consider introducing the natural Stevia sweetener in Cola products. It recently started doing that in some countries with Sprite.

The tough question to answer is: will it keep using sugar in its normal Coca-Cola and use Stevia only in the diet/light variants or will it go the full way and kill the diet/light products all together?

Either way, the soda business is up for a change, a change towards becoming more natural.

This post appeared in Markkinointi & Mainonta

Coca Cola: how do you get me hooked again?

About 4 months ago I decided to stop drinking coffee and Coca Cola. I was really drinking a lot of both every day. At the same time I stopped eating candies and reduced all my food intake after 8PM in the evening. All this had a great effect on my wellbeing: I lost a bit of weight and at the same time started to feel better and better.

My wife however is drinking some Coca Cola still and once in a while during these past 4 months I am taking a little sip, just to see how I react and curious about the taste.

Here is a funny thing: I find that the taste of Cola turned into something completely not desirable… I don’t even like it anymore, isn’t that weird? Remember: I was a real Coca Cola drinker! The first time it happened I thought that it is my mind trying to resist the addiction. I was wrong: it happens every time I try a sip.

Another interesting observation is that I cannot recall the taste of Coca Cola, isn’t that weird? I can easily recall the taste of Fanta, 7up and many other soft drinks, just not Coca Cola.

So, here is what I am thinking: the Coca Cola Company must have done some research in understanding people like me and how to get them hooked again. I simply do not belief that the brand image and brand desire of Coca Cola is made up from the feeling you get when consuming Coca Cola, or could it be?

Curious to read your views!