Written by Olutokun Emmanuel
So here am I, wittingly musing which is going to happen first: A drastic reduction in the price of the dollar, circulation of fuel in the country or a change in Coca Cola Nigeria’s marketing strategy.
Coca cola is by far one of the most successful brand in the history of marketing. Since Pemberton discovered the magic recipe, coke continues to play in a second to none market, doling out campaigns that not only change and upbeat the landscape but one way or another connects deeply with their consumers.
Quite remarkable is her effective use of human truths and insights that time and again appeals to consumers’ emotions often making many berserk and head over heels on the brand.
Rewind 16 months, coca cola with its Share-A-Coke campaign caught the attention of Nigerians, I repeat Nigerians- Consumers, Potential Consumers, Retired Consumers, Unrepentant Consumers (at least the ones that have names). The human truths behind the campaign was so apt you could tell Coke had just clinched a million dollar Jackpot. As someone rightly put it “A pure marketing genius”.
Every phase of the campaign was a back to back hit.
UNDERDOG VS. SUPERDOG
The applaudable feet attained in 2015 was sure supposed to act as a sound springboard to soar in 2016 but that ironically seems not to be the case, as some underdogs, mini superdogs are subtly and fiercely battling the supremacy of the Superdog.
The unanswered question still remains! Can Coca-Cola really survive these bants? Survive what exactly? Survive retaining its place as the number one CSD in the country?
The Coke brand sure looks like it can’t be dethroned any time soon but processes and structures are already underway by competitors which inadvertently may lead to the brand’s loss in market share. Tackling one fundamental weakness of the brand and the innate nature of man to always want optimum satisfaction at the lowest rate possible.
One quick thing I have to come to realize in my little days studying and monitoring brands is that marketing is an ocean full of surprises.
When Apple came on board in the 80s, its close rivals, IBM and HP weren’t just strong forces to reckon with but brands bearing strong market influence capable of sinking Apple and its inventions but Voila! Apple Thrived!
THINK BIG! GO BIG!
BIG COLA made an unprecedented move into a market you will agree with me looked like application was closed to new entrants but Big Cola came with a unique feature that just couldn’t be overlooked or ignored. It offered more at an incredibly lower rate. 65cl at the rate of N90 (Some sell N100).
I mean who saw that coming or knew such mouth-watering offer ever existed. Skeptics and analyst wondered how market penetration was possible but while Coca-Cola and Pepsi were still trying to recover from the Big Bang offer, The Big Guy had already established and registered its presence not just in the Nigerian market but also in the minds of the consumers.
Wow! That was the end! Game Over! Wonderful Strategy! Very much similar to Admiral Yamamoto’s game plan at Pearl Harbour.
Soon the quickest brand danced to the tune, leveraging on the Long throat nature of the Nigerian Consumer. Coke also took a step to the tune.
Big Cola continues to make headways, acquiring new customers obviously from Coca-Cola with its brilliant pricing strategy and product offering.
RETHINK YOUR SOFT DRINK!
Talk about market pinching, Guinness Nigeria recently launched Orijin Zero into the CSD market tactically intended to grab its own share and add to the woes of the superdog.
The bitter-sweet non-alcoholic soft drink goes head-to-head with the market dominators providing a leeway for consumers who are tired of consuming sugar which happens to be Coca-Cola’s major snag.
TASTE THE FEELING
In light of these recent quagmire, Coke’s new one brand marketing strategy still finds it difficult to fit into the Nigerian lifestyle.
I believe this is as a result of the brand’s complete alteration and change in a direction consumers have been familiar with for over a decade.
Do you think Coca-Cola can really survive these mauraders?