Lessons from developing Branding & Marketing in Coca-Cola and Nestle

What real Brand Strategist should focus on everyday

Being Marketing and Branding Specialists in Coca-Cola and Nestlé opened my mind for several things:

  1. Everyday knock new door. Literally. I came to office in Coca-Cola in Asia and after 5 minutes of conversation near reception desk with (as it turned out) one of HR managers, I received a job that day. Leave your fears and go. Telephone won’t answer if nobody calls. I became more confident. Both companies are very fast moving, you’re always running and talking a lot, every 15 minutes solving appearing problems. At that time I was the youngest person in the whole company, I was 18; and it really shaped character, voice and my personal attitude to life and business.

2. Marketing is 80% of analytics, research and 20% of Creative Execution. Don’t dig into creativity, design, open conversation with consumer until you know exactly:

  • What Consumer Portrait is? Take a picture of your ideal TA and spell descriptive words and statistics around. Income and living place was enough in 90s, but today in “design thinking” world go deeper, write psychological features, emotional characteristics, even his feelings — when person entered your grocery store/online shopping place.
  • Explore Real Person’s Expectations from your brand. Write a list of problems that consumer is facing in one column. And a list of solutions that brand provides for each problem in another column. Become confident that your brand is actually useful and instead of “telling” a story, it actually DOING it.
  • Everyday there are new niche opportunities for marketing in existing channels. Focus your attention on one channel and dig into that until you find new place to show off your product. You will be surprised that it can be actually cost-effective because nobody has ever tried to be there. As simple example if competitors push heavily you from shelves in stores, strengthen your presence by placing product and big banners in outside Fruit Tents. Let everyone think it’s your whole Tent. Grab surrounding areas and expand your influence. Opening Blue Ocean is the best proven strategy for brand establishment.
  • Be in the field every week to see and feel what actually is happening in retail, online e-commerce, or restaurant, etc. Be ready with prepared spreadsheet.

Read continuation in future posts.

Written by Art Polina