Oh the humanity

Oh the humanity

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When the personalised Coca Cola bottles came out, I have to admit – I hated the idea. I thought it was lazy, cheap and devoid of any thought process. I was wrong.

Apart from the fact that it’s been a huge success, generating loads of coverage, customer interaction, and of course, the hike in revenue, it’s been a great exercise in brand personality.  Coke has connected with its audience in a really simple way. The print technology was there for the taking and although it’s not really anything new, (there were initially a limited number of names and there’s no genius creative behind it) it’s really got people buying and sharing.

I’ve seen people buying bottles for their friends just because it has their name on it. I nearly did it myself. And that’s when I realised that it IS a genius campaign.

The thing about brands is that there are so many out there. They’re all screaming for their place, shouting from billboards, Facebook and Twitter, jostling for position on television and the internet and coaxing you in with offers in order to get their hands on your data. Fair enough, it’s how the game is played. But what is it that makes a brand so appealing? Why do some people only drink Coke or use Heinz Tomato Ketchup and scowl at you if you even dare to suggest an alternative?

Is it a big marketing budget, or is it an ability to connect with customers? Well, maybe both; however, the interesting thing is the connection. By thinking about who uses your product or service, how it makes their life better, easier, more interesting, you can find the connection – the hook that turns a customer into an ambassador, a champion for your cause and a loyal flag carrier. It’s the thought process that uncovers the nitty gritty of human behaviour and makes what we do so interesting – we love it. It’s not about hoodwinking or deceiving people; it’s about finding that common experience, the wry smile or belly laugh. It’s what makes us human, and the brands that understand it, great.