A Lesson From Coke: The Importance of Personalization

Personalization has become key to attract and retain customers. Brands that manage to offer value and personalization will have a competitive advantage over their competitors. In today’s world, consumers have high standards and expectations when it comes to brands offering and content.

Research shows that 57% of online buyers are happy to exchange personal data in return for personalized offers or discounts, and 58% say personalized experiences are important when buying from a company”.

When it comes to digital, personalization has become easier to achieve, especially with today’s technology. There are many ways to implement personalization in marketing. From simple things like sending an email with the recipient’s name, which has proven to be very effective as it increases open rates, to the recommendations you offer to your customers about products they may like based on previous searches or purchases. There are more complex and detailed ways to narrow down personalization, and that is by allowing your customers to completely personalize your product. Nike has been doing this type of personalization with their sneakers and has proven to be very successful.

But how can we personalize something offline especially when it comes to massive consumption products?

Coca-Cola Company managed to personalize their most general and massive consumption product, Coke. They came up with a brilliant campaign named “Share a Coke”. The campaign was launched after the company realized that more than 50% of teens and young adults in Australia hadn’t even tasted a Coke. The objective of the campaign was to boost its popularity in the country and recover their strong market position while reconnecting with their audience.

The company printed 150 of the most popular names in the country in their bottles and cans, and the reaction was unbelievable. The campaign went viral, creating a huge buzz. The whole internet was talking about Coke and their amazing campaign. Because of the company’s position and advertising budget, they managed to have their campaign everywhere, from billboards to digital platforms. They even installed kiosks so that people could print any name on a Coke can.

The campaign managed to achieve their marketing objectives in 3 months by increasing 7% of young adults’ consumption and 5% more people were drinking coke. They increased their Facebook traffic by 870%. Not to mention the amount of earned media they received from the press, which was around 12 million media impressions.

The part that intrigues me the most about this campaign is that the brand managed to have a huge impact and increase millions in revenue by making a simple change to their label. They didn’t use algorithms, data, or cookies to personalize their product, yet it felt very personal for consumers. The other thing I find interesting is that a product that is so generic, with little to no differentiation, and that sells by the millions for massive consumption all over the world was able to implement personalization in such a successful way.

Some Final Words

Coke is an exceptional example of how personalization can have an incredible impact on the consumer, and that impact translates into revenue. Today more than ever, brands must be aware of the importance of personalization and make sure they are offering valuable and personalized communication, content, and offers. Otherwise, potential customers may start looking elsewhere.

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