Coca-Cola Journey: corporate websites and digital assets

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One of the questions that should be asked (but not often enough perhaps) before creating a digital asset for a corporate brand is: ‘why would consumers come back again and again to this property?‘. Unfortunately, the creators of such digital assets (be it a corporate website, microsite, mobile application, Twitter feed or a Facebook page) are not clear about it. Result: Twitter feeds for brands that look like ghost towns, poor interaction with consumers on social media space or a website or online brochure, lost in the clutter of the digital world.

In this context, what Coca-Cola has done to its corporate website is interesting.

The Coca-Cola Company replaces its corporate website with Coca-ColaJourney, a rich, socially enabled digital platform…a dynamic, digital magazine that focuses on universally important topics, social causes and Company news.  It will feature original and curated content, and is designed to spark dialogue and tell the story of Coca-Cola in a creative, refreshing way.

I think it is (a) an acknowledgment that just because there is a company or brand website out there it doesn’t mean the job is done (b) we must give a strong reason for a consumer to visit the online property of a brand. It must give something in return for the consumer for taking the trouble to spend time with you in the online space.

All of which is true whether we are talking about a brand’s Twitter feed or mobile application. Ashley Brown, director of digital communications and social media for Coca-Cola, said:

“We’re now stitching everything together: Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn,” Brown comments. “Over the last four months our tweets, for instance, have become not about ‘broadcasting’ but engaging, and driving to real content that inspires. We’re looking at ‘Journey’ as your sit-back, high quality, ‘learn something new'” digital portal to all things Coca-Cola. The blogs, he adds, are “your lean-forward, very snackable information and breaking news — informative and dynamic.”

A quick glance of the website shows inspiring stories from around the world, including one from Sachin Tendulkar and his views on education. There seems to be a truck load of original content from sports to entertainment, health and environment.

The takeaway for brands is: (a) it is never about telling consumers how awesome the brand is. It is always about ‘how can the brand make the consumer a little more awesome’ (b) even a seemingly ‘poor-fit’ digital platform can be made to work for the brand, if the planning & execution is right. An FMCG brand can look beyond the microsite or a Facebook fan page and make a Twitter handle or a YouTube channel work for it. It is all about figuring out the context, the relevance and offering a reason-why for the consumer to pay you repeat visits.

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