Emotional Branding – Coca Cola Cases

Why a simple soft drink product could help Coca Cola to build a consistent international market and become the global brand that make many people around the world feel interested and excited? Indeed, the solution is that Coca Cola has implemented many marketing campaigns that attached brand values to things close to consumers and their core hearts as a friend.  Emotions are a necessary part of life that affect how people feel, behave and think. Therefore, brands that effectively provoke consumers in a personal dialogue on their needs and persuasive feelings could win in the battle of saturated markets. Nowadays, instead of telling audiences about the brand and its value directly, emotional branding strategy has played an important role as the new concept of building loyal relationship and creating love and respect for the brand with customers by triggering emotional touch in the mind of consumer. To be more specific, it let consumers making buying decisions based on how they feel about the company brand. For instance, Coca Cola is a big successor in creating a sense of belonging within customers tied in with emotional campaigns such as “Share a Coke”, “Open Happiness” and “Taste the Feeling”.

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For years, companies like Coca-Cola have been using tactics such as cartoons, characters, and many other things to appeal to children. Now the “Share A Coke – Share a feeling” and ‘’ Hug me’’ campaign are basically using the same concept, except it targets a broader demographic: children, young adults, and adults. However, the marketing strategies of Coca Cola are becoming diversified and more viral. If ‘’Share a Coke – Share a feeling’’ is the creative way that brand puts emoticons on cans and bottles so people can share their feelings with friends,  you would have to squeeze the sides of the soda dispenser in a specific way to make a free Coke come out from machine in Hug me campaign (Forbes 2016). Both campaign not only capture incredible growth rate in revenue but also be a prove for the achievement of emotional branding of Coca Cola beverage.

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Connecting with the consumers at a personal level

As Coca-Cola itself admitted, for teens and millennials, personalization is not just a fad but is, in fact, a way of life. These consumers place high value on self-expression, individual storytelling and staying connected with friends. The “Share a Coke – Share a feeling” and ‘’Hug me’’ campaign gives the ability to do all of these things while promoting the Coca-Cola brand.

For example,  ‘’Share a feeling’’ will give people a way to express how they feel by allowing consumers to personalize cans at key outlets popular with the youth, as well as customize stickers on Zalo chat. At one point, there was a group of friends who hugged the machine at the same time. In the process, they hug each other too. . Moreover, Coca-Cola wanted to engage with its customers and at the same time promote its own brand name. For instance, when a consumer shares a name-branded Coke bottle with his father, he feels as he is honoring his father rather than promoting the Coca-Cola brand itself. Moreover, by taking and sharing photos with the #shareacoke hashtag on social media, it drives more personal online media content which leads to many shares across.

Empower and advocate the emotional connection.

Emotional branding is considered to be successful and on the right track when it triggers an emotional response in the consumer. If the share-a-coke campaign become phenomenon, the Hug-me machine project is contagious. The Coca-Cola Hug Machine is a simple idea to spread some happiness,” explained Leonardo O’Grady, ASEAN IMC Director, The Coca-Cola Company. “Our strategy is to deliver doses of happiness in an unexpected, innovative way to engage not only the people present, but the audience at large.” – to put smile on their face and share that emotional connection together (Coca Cola) Similarly, Share a Coke emotional-icons are, once again, proving our way of doing marketing with the “Consumer at heart”. I believe Coke Emoticons will be a new way for Vietnamese teens to communicate their feelings. This campaign not only brings Coca-Cola closer to our consumer but also benefits our business with promising volume increase,” said Uyen Pham Na, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Vietnam.

Emotional brands strategies of Coca Cola have a significant impact when the consumer experiences a strong and lasting attachment to the brand comparable to a feeling of bonding,companionship or love among community, family and individuals.

Coca-Cola felt the new way to engage with its customers was through personalization and, therefore, designed the campaign in such a way that it encourages personalization in a prospective way. Consumers like to self-express themselves creatively through storytelling and staying in touch with its friends and as a result, the campaign leveraged on this kind of consumer behavior. Moreover, Coca-Cola wanted to engage with its customers and at the same time promote its own brand name. For instance, when a consumer shares a name-branded Coke bottle with his father, he feels as he is honoring his father rather than promoting the Coca-Cola brand itself. Moreover, by taking and sharing photos with the #shareacoke hashtag on social media, it drives more personal online media content which leads to many shares across.

Powerful Calls to Action in the campaign

Using communication platforms like social media requires companies to look beyond the text and pictures on a screen and center on the people creating them. Coca-Cola created a powerful Call to Action in the campaign. The campaign name ‘Share a Coke’ and ‘’Hug-me’’ was a Call to Action. It made people purchase Coca-Cola and share their memorable moments with their friends and family on social media. Coca-Cola had ensured that the campaign slogan should be something that is very catchy and easy to recall such that the call should action should immediately come to mind when the customer purchases the brand.

Secondly, after the “Share a Coke”, Coca Cola has already driven customer emotions into a new campaign of spreading smiles all around the world through “Open Happiness” message. Coca Cola received many attentions from consumers by letting them find happiness in the context of Coke brand while interacting with other people. Rather than showing a normal video advertisement, all ads are life stories that transform a vision of how Coke brand could positively improve the lifestyle of customers.

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To the viewers, Coca Cola product has improved the emotional friendship among different people and cherished joyful memories with hope for better life.

 

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