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‘The ShareACoke campaign is about our consumers’

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GLOBALLY, consumer goods companies have recognised the increasing sophistication of their target markets, and they are going beyond normal advertising and marketing strategies to attract consumers and build loyalty. 

  The word ‘creative’ is no longer strong enough to describe what turn consumers on, as the new norm has to reflect an unusual wow factor that is able to attract consumers from the plethora of sights, sounds and trends that define today’s lifestyle. 

   Such campaigns not only capture the attention of consumers both online and offline, it also resonated with consumers across different segments of the market. 

     Just when consumers thought they had seen it all, it emerged that no one had reckoned with the ‘creative genius’ of one of the world’s oldest brands, Coca-Cola, whose uncanny ability to retain a youthful appeal across generations remain a conundrum to brand analysts around the world. 

   No doubt, the bottling company has warmed its way into and won the hearts of its numerous Nigerian consumers with its new marketing campaign of labelling each bottle or can with familiar names in Nigeria: ‘ShareACoke’. 

     It is a global marketing strategy sweeping across over 80 countries including Nigeria and still counting. Most Nigerians today, seem not to be buying Coca-Cola without their names clearly and boldly written on it anymore. For them, it is fun and interesting finding their names on a Coke bottle, but the brand says it is about celebrating the consumers and deepening its market leadership. 

      Today, names such as Esther, Sam, Sarah, Tutu, Isioma, Osas, Audu, Sade, Tolu, Amara, Uju, Amaka, Kemi, Ify, Nkem, Turai, Aisha, Chairman, Boss, Kenny, CEO, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, and Soulmate among others are found on a bottle or can of Coca-Cola. And like a new bug, it is sweeping the consumers off their feet.  

      Speaking with The Guardian, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Patricia Jemibewon, said the ‘ShareACoke’ campaign is one innovation that has helped the Coca-Cola brand push further its market leadership and sales dominance in the soft drinks section of the Nigerian beverage market. She also, explained the concept behind the innovation, the sales advantages the campaign has brought to the brand and plans for sustenance 

   “Many marketing strategies and techniques are being use to gauge our consumers’ reactions, but at the end of the day, our priority is the consumers’ satisfaction. Some are scientific and some specific; above all, it is all about delighting our consumers. Also, we look at the responses that we get everyday from people and this has really helped us in gauging our consumer’s reactions to the campaign. 

     Continuing, she said, “For us as a brand, it has been an amazing campaign to work on, and I have had the most fun. The reason is as a result of our consumers’ responses; everything from going into a store and seeing everybody clamour for Coca-Cola. One of the exciting moments was when I saw two girls hugged each other when they found their names and jumping for joy online on our hastag #shareacoke.com.ng. 

  “Again, it gives us more joy when we see people propose to their loved one with a personalised Coke; even during weddings. All of these have helped to gauge the responses of our consumers and measure the success the SAC campaign.”

       Asked how the brand intends to meet up with the rise in demand that the ‘ShareACoke’ campaign is generating, she said, “one, it is available across all of our pack; anywhere you readily find the regular Coca-Cola, you will find the personalised Coke with your name. Secondly, we have an experiential campaign by going on a tour of Nigeria. If you have not found your name or the name of someone that is special to you, you join any of our experiential campaign and have your name customized on a Coke. The tour is live now and you can go to www.shareacoke.com.ng to find out where we are.” 

      The magic factor of the ‘ShareACoke’ campaign is that it strikes an emotional sweet chord in the heart of everyone whose name is on a can or bottle of Coke. Little wonder the campaign has rage and raging like wildfire across the globe since its launch in Australia in 2011. 

     Speaking on how the brand has managed the distribution to deepen penetration and ensure consumers in all parts of country get the taste of their personalised Coke, particularly people in remote rural areas, she said     “It is available on every single pack from our IGB bottle to Pet bottles, glass bottles and Cans.

   “Everywhere you find a Coke, you can find the personalised Coca-Cola. So, we believe with this strategy, people in the remotest village can also find their name on the personalised Coke. For our consumers who are yet to find their name(s) personalised on a Coke bottle or can, there are a couple of ways. The first which is one of my favourite is the more generous names; for example, Chairman, CEO, Boss, Daddy, and Mummy among others. I love the Boyfriend and Girlfriend can. 

     “The second option is going to our experiential activation. We have a tour around the country right now and it is ongoing. Because we know we can’t capture everybody and personalised their names from the numerous name we have in Nigeria, we have made available the experiential option, which is a tour and through this medium we able to make specialised packs for those that come. 

     On the plans in place to sustain the SAC concept, Jemibewon said, “We are looking into the needs of our consumers and their responses, particularly during this campaign. Don’t forget, we are a very innovative company; so, even if it is not the ‘share a coke’, we have a strong strategy that is helping us to remain a force to reckon with in the market.”



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