Let’s get personal

What do polar bears, NASCAR, the Olympics, and now Brandon, Kendra, Alex, Zoey, and possibly you have in common? Well until the end of August, the answer is Coca-Cola. In the midst of another ingenious campaign, this time Coke is sponsoring none other than you.

Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign has swapped out the iconic logo on their Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero bottles for personal names. Do a double take next time you walk down the soda aisle – you may find yourself having a friendly game of seek and find with the bottles as you search for your own name. Names that are in production for the campaign are based on the 250 most popular first names among American teens.

And for this modern twist of a campaign, teens are key. Stuart Kronage, Senior Vice Present of Sparkling Brands, Coca-Cola North America, commented on the creative behind the campaign, saying, “For teens and Millennials, personalization is not a fad, it’s a way of life”.

This concept of personalization is becoming increasingly important for marketers in the postmodern era. A new study released this spring by Adobe cites  that personalization topped marketer’s list at the one capability that will be most important to marketing in the future.

Customization is no longer just a trend, but a need for marketers if they wish to make an impact on the consumer. The article, “Marketing in a Postmodern World” flushes out the ideas of the growth in consumer and product relationship: By immersing themselves as an object, rather than attempting to maintain a detached position, consumers become a participant in customization.

As a result, products become increasingly less of a finished object. Products are essentially templates waiting for consumer input to dictate the finish. In turn, consumers are not just consuming the product, but producing it as well.

Marketers are continuing to open their proprietary processes and systems to the consumer. Input now drives design, manufacturing, assembling, packaging, delivery, and billing.

The “Share a Coke” campaign is a prime example of the role of packaging. Sure Pepsi also produces a refreshing cola, but when sitting next to a Coke bottle that has my name on it, which one am I going to pick? Coke, of course. Why? Because it’s MY bottle.

What products have you noticed that have become increasingly customizable?  Is a product that is personalizable more valuable than one that is not? How do you incorporate customization into your work?

– Savannah Valade

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