Growing demand for healthier beverages is pushing the company toward a new marketing approach
Spotted: Coca-Cola is trying out a new communication strategy in South East Asia based on the idea of “experience.” The company hopes that its “integrated brand experience” (IBX), with a focus on shaping new consumer habits, will help it to stay relevant as consumer tastes shift away from fizzy drinks and towards healthier alternatives.
This approach isn’t exactly ground-breaking in general world of marketing, but few FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) brands have made this shift. “Experience is not new, but I think for a brand like Coke or the Coca-Cola Company in the packaged goods industry, we have to think differently. We have these old rules, but you need to break those rules,” Pratik Thakar, director of integrated marketing communication of Coca-Cola ASEAN, told The Drum.
Changing consumer habits toward healthier drinks are a driving force here. At the start of this year, Coke launched its energy drink Coca-Cola Energy. Last year, the company acquired Costa Coffee and sports drink BodyArmor. Coke also used crowdfunding site Indiegogo to launch its premium Swiss water brand Valser in the North American market, and is rebranding older products and investing more in its lower-sugar variants.
Coca-Cola is also focusing much of its product expansion on the fast-growing South East Asia market. Coca-Cola Clear with lemon was launched in China in 2017, and the company has been launching products every week in Japan, many of them as marketing experiments. For example, the company launched Coke with Coffee in Japan, designed specifically for people looking for a pick-me-up during an afternoon energy slump. The company has also launched Coke plus Fibre in Japan. The company claims the drink, which is is targeted at the over-40s, lowers the body’s fat absorption.