With a recent weekend stay in Atlanta I couldn't miss out on Coca Cola World! As an avid sports fan I have always been fascinated behind how the brand has leveraged events like the Olympics, Football World Cup and even finds itself on Kuakini Highway (thats a stretch of road in Ironman World Champs Hawaii...). It also triggered some memories of being put in front of European Coca Cola Executives in Hammersmith some 10 years ago to help market a new brand, Powerade, to the mass participation running market (more on that later).
What resonated to me when taking the tour in Atlanta was actually how Coca Cola has paved the way for where modern b2b marketing and sales is now.
As you take the tour you see the early advertisements praised coke's unique taste, later the ads became scenes of people enjoying life with Coca-Cola. The success over of the marketing over time helped this refreshing drink become part of the fabric of everyday life.
The common thread of Coca-Cola is happy, exciting living against a backdrop of new trends reminding us that Coca Cola should always be by our side. If you flank new trends with a brand you will always be perceived as a leader and this is just what b2b buyers want to hear.
Importantly the communication of these advertisements is through 'experts' (i.e. NBA Basketball Players) to the expert consumer (i.e. aspiring athlete).
The article below also explains their need to do this at speed. Interesting to think that a globe-dominating brand can't afford to wait but must activate their brands fast...
All of this combined is exactly how leading b2b brands now leverage their own marketing and sales. They showcase their experts in-person and digitally in a timely manner that matches trends and the needs of their clients in a targeted and personal manner.
Getting back to my involvement, we did a pretty successful job and had a lot of fun! Powerade is still in Europe and yes, that is me in a Powerade Bottle.
This means that Coca-Cola has to change the way it works with agencies. Echeverria says: “We cannot go through the long process of calling Ogilvy or McCann or the big networks we usually work with. We are willing to use influencers and co-create with our consumers, and use models that are not the typical big, fat agency which we may use when we have the time and budget.” Last year, Coca-Cola used crowdfunding site Indiegogo to launch its premium Swiss water brand Valser into the North American market. Not only does it allow for quick – and, most importantly, cheap – failure but also functions like a marketing tool and creates buzz around a product, as well as offering valuable learnings.