Hi all, here’s a summary of the social media project that I did for The Coca-Cola Company, in particular Dasani.
Introduction and Research Question
The Coca-Cola Company offers a myriad of products, including its headliner – Coca Cola, which solidified the company’s position as a leading beverage brand, translating its popularity online with the advent of social media. Whilst the variety of beverages produced Coca-Cola Company allows the company to capture a wider target market, not all of the brands performed on par with Coca Cola. Some brands lagged behind Coca Cola in terms of consumer perception, especially so for Dasani, which came under scrutiny for deceptive advertising when Dasani’s water source was revealed to be purified local tap water (Huff, 2013). Hence, this paper discusses the methods in which how the Coca Cola Company can increase the brand equity of its lesser performing brand – Dasani, without canalizing on its other existing brands, by deriving learning elements from its successful brands which enjoy a strong presence on social media, namely Cola Cola and Glacéau Vitaminwater.
Findings (Strengths & Weaknesses)
There are various strengths and weaknesses observed between the brands that Dasani can learn from and improve on:
Coca Cola’s signature and best performing advertisements were ones that highlighted a simple slogan, often about happiness, easily understood and accepted by global consumers. Thus, a clear message would be ideal to attract audiences and prevent misperceptions.
Most influencers have built a strong and loyal audience base who will view their content on a regular basis. Hence by working with influencer, companies will be able to tap in to the influencer’s secondary network and extend their own audience pool, as evidenced from the from Coca Cola’s and Vitaminwater’s collaboration with Kurt Hugo Schneider and Kevin Hart respectively.
Dasani appears to struggle to keep its channel active as it only has 14 video uploads since its inauguration 3 years ago. This poses marketing challenges as audiences might be confused by outdated product information and branding (Pixability, 2013), and as a result unsubscribe to Dasani’s channel due to inactivity.
Content Strategy 1: Oasis
The Oasis campaign aims to spread the message of eco-friendly living to its audience, tapping into the image associated with its environmentally sourced and produced bottles.
As shown in Figure 10, the Oasis campaign is a video content which is to be uploaded on Youtube. In the first scene, an influencer is shown walking home when he or her surroundings changes before his or her eyes. Subsequently, he or she finds himself or herself in a green and lush city and is drawn into an oasis in the urban city.
The influencer chosen for this strategy is preferably someone who is known to support environmental awareness and partakes in recycling habits. Potential influencers would include anthropologist and environmental activist Jane Goodall, who is heavily involved in sustainable development projects in Africa (Jane Goodall Institute, 2016). Another potential candidate for an influencer would be Gisele Bundchen, an international supermodel and green advocate who was presented the Best International Green Celebrity Award in 2011 (International Green Awards, 2011). As influencers act as brand advocates, an influencer who is aligned with Dasani brand image would be able to establish credibility with consumers and help to increase market share.
The strategy is aligned with objectives 1 and 3 and promotes the message of environmentally friendly and sustainable living. Dasani can measure the success of this strategy through tracking the number of views, likes and rise in number of subscribers.
Content Strategy 2: #howdoyourecycle
According to Cohen (2014), there has been a growing level of environmental awareness amongst the global population, implying a change in consumer values and a new niche market, which supports Dasani’s existing suitability outreach. Hence the #howdoyourecycle strategy taps into new consumer insights, engaging with its audience whilst building on its existing sustainability campaign.
As shown in Figure 11, the video shows ordinary people from all of walks of life sharing how they recycle. For example, the person in scene would say “I bring my own containers for takeaway food.” The video ends with Dasani asking its viewers how he or she recycles, prompting viewers to share their recycling habits and uploading them on Youtube (Figure 11) with the hashtag #howdoyourecycle.
To motivate viewers into joining the campaign, a competition element is added. The user with the highest number of views on his or her video will be invited to be the next green ambassador for Dasani and headline Dasani’s next green campaign. Also, the viewer joining the campaign has to subscribe to Dasani’s channel in order to be considered for the competition.
Thus this strategies fulfills all 3 objectives, allowing Dasani to engage with their audience with a reaction video to their campaign as well as increase their number subscribers through the competition requirement.
In conclusion, with Youtube’s adequate technical features, companies are better equipped to create unique content catered to and easily accessed by their audiences. As Dasani revamped its brand identity, it has the potential engage a new niche market and develop its customer base, thereby increasing its popularity and brand awareness on Youtube’s platform. Hence, the proposed strategies are aimed at increasing Dasani’s number of subscribers, incite conservations amongst users and generate a WOM effect all in all to increase awareness of Dasani’s new brand identity.