Coca Cola and the advantages of brand disloyalty

Among Coca Cola’s 82,000 employees worldwide, there must be at least one or two that drink Pepsi.

After all, they are consumers who are free to spend their money as they choose when they’re not at work. I’m sure that their personal preference doesn’t mean they are any less loyal or hard working than their colleagues who choose to sip ‘the real thing’ – although I imagine it could create an ‘awks’ moment in the factory canteen if someone happens to put the wrong can in their lunchbox!

In the communications industry there’s similar scenario when someone at an agency finds themselves working for a client while also being a customer for a competitor. It’s a scenario that’s unavoidable in any busy agency. Some employees might choose to keep quiet and not reveal their consumer preferences – but in our experience that’s usually a sign that the agency and client don’t have the close, open and trusting relationship that they need to have in order to get the best results.

Here’s an example. Last year we began working with Zurich International to promote their employee benefits solutions created specifically for the Isle of Man market. You can find out more here. We were asked to create an advertising, PR and SM strategy and – as always – began by working closely with the client so that our whole team could develop an in-depth understanding of the product, target market, and USPs. Following research and analysis of competitors, we began work on creating key messages that would then flow into the creative ad design, and PR and SM content.

During our initial discussions with the client, we found out that one of the MMC team happened to be a customer who had an employee benefits solution from their biggest competitor! Following a bit of friendly banter, it developed into a really useful discussion which allowed us to get a better understanding of our client’s USPs because our colleague provided useful insights based on their experience from a customer’s point of view.

Having that type of relationship with clients is, in our experience, always the best way to get the best results. The campaign is still running, but we have already had some great outcomes – here are the highlights:

  • The client has received a great response to the eye-catching print and digital ads we designed
  • We produced engaging social media content to encourage individuals and business owners/managers to think of key questions to ask their current employee benefits provider.
  • SM stats are impressive with an average CPC of £0.38, reaching 60,642 people and generating 945 website visits
  • Thanks to media releases with strong news angles and supporting images, we generated news and business media coverage in print and online.
  • That was followed by more coverage generated by organising interviews with broadcast media (and we also used that as a way to introduce key journalists to our client as an authoritative source for comment on topical news about retirement planning).

We think that’s something worth raising a glass to. Now, who wants Pepsi, and who wants Coke?


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