You will search far and long to find someone who has not heard of Coca Cola. It’s a refreshing cold drink, but also the most recognisable (non-tech) brand in the world.
Having your brand’s name on the whole world’s lips is the goal, but it’s no mean feat. Coca Cola’s advertising budget is more than that of Apple and Microsoft combined.
While most of us don’t have Coca Cola’s marketing budget, we can learn from their marketing strategies.
How to attract customers’ attention
Think about the amount of advertising you have to face every single day. We are targeted from all directions by desperate efforts to get noticed.
So much, in fact, that we start blocking most of it out. We just don’t have time to take it all in.
Forbes confirms this. “Advertising is an excellent way to attract buyers, but unless you catch their attention, it’s like shouting into the void.”
“With so many tasks needing to be done, many buyers just don’t have the attention spans to take in the message that advertising is crafted to sell.”
They offer these pointers to make your potential customers look twice:
Focus on their pain points
An important part of any business plan is to know your target market inside out. This will allow you to also know what your potential customers are worried about.
This information empowers you to be there with the solutions they need. People who are busy or stressed are focused more on their immediate needs and not so much on the world around them.
Therefore it makes sense that your marketing focuses on these immediate needs in order to catch their attention.
Carefully consider the content you share. Do you sometimes get distracted from work by something you see online that seems so intriguing that you just have to go and take a look?
Your own content needs to be so valuable to your target market that they can’t resist. Don’t waste their time with fluff, but be purposeful, clear and brief.
Focus on what makes you unique
State your value proposition in a way that puts your prospects and their needs in the centre. Make sure you show how you are different from your competitors.
Follow the five-second rule
What is your core message? Can you convey it in 15 words or less? Can you pass your message on within five seconds?
Have a clear and meaningful message
Always remember that your target audience has limited attention due to the number of messages they receive every day. No one has time to figure out what you are trying to say.
Make sure your message is easy to understand, and that it adds value to your prospects’ lives.
Elicit an emotional response
Making your prospect feel something is a great way to help them remember your message. There are various ways to do this. Make them laugh with a joke or shock them with an unexpected discount, for example.
Make your message hard to ignore
If your message sounds like a typical advertisement, it might be on the boring side. Find a better way to present your information.
Instead of just providing data, included insights or analysis of the data. Also include visual elements as they go a long way in helping people understand and remember information.
Focus on the key takeaway
The one thing a potential customer wants to know is: “What’s in it for me?” Ensure that your marketing strategy answers this question.
Make use of humour
Most people, these days, can do with a good laugh. Finding a humorous way to deliver your message will ensure that people remember you.
Value in visual elements
A long piece of plain text is unlikely to appeal to busy people. Make things more interesting with the clever use of visual elements such as bold fonts, bullet points, infographics and the like.
Lessons from a marketing giant
Upon scrutinising Coca Cola’s marketing strategy over the years, one can see how they made use of some of the above guidelines. One thing that stands out is how they kept it surprisingly simple.
Just take a look at some of the slogans they have used:
Passport to refreshment.
The cold, crisp taste of Coke.
Can’t beat the feeling.
Life tastes good.
Taste the feeling.
From these slogans alone, we can identify two marketing techniques used by Coke. Firstly, they have successfully created a multi-sensory brand identity.
You can almost experience what it’s like to have a Coke just by reading the slogans: the red and white can, the sound it makes when you open the can and the taste of the ice cold liquid.
A lot of marketing is centred around what the customer can see. But, is there perhaps a way you can incorporate smell, sound and touch in your marketing?
Secondly, Coke has consistently over the years worked on having customers identify their brand with one idea: happiness. And they have never deviated from this basic idea.
They stuck with it even as they grew into a massive global industry with many products.
Across many decades and marketing campaigns their strategy has remained consistent in communicating one strong message: pleasure.
And it works, because this is something all humans crave, it never goes out of style and it’s easily translated across the globe.
A few other things that kept Coke on top of their market include:
- Consistent growth. The brand kept on reinventing themselves to stay on track with what’s happening around them.
Back in the day when soft drinks shifted from being sold in pharmacies to being prepackaged, Coca Cola came up with their iconic glass bottle.
When new types of soft drinks made their appearance, Coke expanded their own product line as well. Change with the times.
- On point branding. White, flowing letters over a red background is one of the most recognisable in the world. In fact, over 90% of people know it.
- Offering a high quality product at all times. Coca Cola rarely strays from their original formula. Every time they have tried it, there has been a huge public outcry.
It’s a matter of sticking to what works, and providing your customers with a product that meets and even exceeds their expectations always works.
- Managing mistakes with grace. Talking about changing a formula that works, Coca Cola did this 1985, and it failed dismally.
Coke drinkers were furious, some even going as far as hoarding hundreds of cans of the original formula Coca Cola in their basements.
They reverted back to their original formula – and sales figures went up as customers had a renewed appreciation for their favourite drink.
|Did you know?|
|In blind taste tests most people actually prefer Pepsie over Coca Cola. When shown the brands, however, most people prefer Coca Cola. |
This clearly demonstrates the strong brand loyalty Coca Cola has managed to create.
Douglas Adams said: “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
Your business is not the first trying to attract customers’ attention. There is no need to reinvent the wheel – take what you can from the greats who did it before you.