Warm Coke

One drop of water makes a difference.

In marketing and product design, the accumulation of tiny details motivates people to want. I would argue that Apple designed the iPhone with a critical mass of tiny little features, and the one huge feature of simplicity. Together they wowed the world. In marketing, knowing the motivations of your target audience and subtly tickling each fancy creates an irresistible offering.

Which makes me wonder when Coke forgot this reality.

Coke is one of the best marketing machines on Gawd’s grey earth. From cuddly polar bears (who in real life can rip the flesh off a seal in seconds) to kumbaya songs suited to the hippie era, Coke touches consumer sentiments and constantly creates product preference (being a Georgia born southerner and former Atlanta resident, I have natural bias about their product anyway, as do most people south of Masson and Dixon). But Coke failed to capitalize on a simple moment of marketing.

warm-coke-smallThis photo of a Coke delivery truck (click to enlarge) was taken in Florida in August, a locale warm enough to make Dante sweat. Cute in concept, the bottles of coke “appear” inside the truck, a place which is guaranteed to be several thousand degrees hotter than outside. But the bottles of beverage do not look cold. No ice, no condensation, no artic gnome trying to pry the caps off bottles. In short Coke failed to sell the refreshment value of their refreshments.

In the Start-up CEOs Marketing Manual, I go on at length about how Angus beef is a set of values that create an augmented product. It isn’t the beef but the sizzle, fat, smell and taste that make people waddle over to Ruth’s Chris for a slab. In marketing promotions (and the strategy behind your promotions) touching each motivator creates a mental image of the complete value proposition. By paying attention to each small detail, you either create a little desire in everyone by hitting their specific motivations, or you create market-wide want by building a multi-angled whole product value proposition.

Pay attention to the details when creating campaigns. You need not bullet list every value prop, but you need to make people perceive each one be it through words, images, videos, colors or beads of bottle sweat.


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