In this hyper-connected world, each and every brand wants to go beyond the obvious and wants to be able to carve out a specific identity and place in the hearts of consumers. The industry has witnessed a revolutionary change wherein the power has shifted from companies to customers. The conventions of branding are evolving day-by-day since consumer consumption patterns are no longer static but fluid in nature. They no longer concentrate on just the product and its functional benefits but have an equal focus on the meaning and value that a brand adds to their lives. This very change in power relations led companies to innovate, renew and think of building brands through new-age methods in order to build a long-lasting connect with consumers, enabling them to become brand advocates in the long run.
When one looks closely at the recent industry patterns, be it the automobile industry, lifestyle industry, e-commerce industry or the luxury market, the most noticeable observation is that almost every industry is incorporating emotional engagement as a vital element in their brand building operations and brand promotion strategies. However, they are not just relying on trends but are actually conceptualising narratives that could move consumers. Thus, producing a powerful emotional connect and creating a crucial touchpoint for customers.
For instance, in case of automobiles, emphasis is laid on happiness and comfort. The campaigns highlight how families or couples can spend quality time together while driving through lush green valleys. The lifestyle industry is constantly aiming to build a connection by evoking beautiful emotions, namely love, affection, and care. Luxury products also leverage similar trends of emotional engagement via building a significant historical or cultural legacy, eventually culminating in making a consumer feel powerful and empowered by the possession of such brands.
Almost every industry is incorporating emotional engagement as a vital element in their brand building operations and brand promotion strategies
The e-commerce industry thrives on the spirit of festivity and harmony and enriching lives with fulfilment in order to gain momentum in the market. Thus, all the key players in the industry are taking emotional routes to build brands effectively and engage consumers in the most captivating manner. Coca-Cola India, as a company has always focused on consumer centricity and has always been wholly committed to the preferences of the consumer. Over the years, it has launched campaigns like ‘Sabka Thanda Ek,’ ‘Open Happiness’ and ‘Share A Coke’ and each of these campaigns spearheaded a major success for the brand. The simple reason for this is that it appealed to the senses and emotions of the consumer, filling the gaps and moving beyond the traditional geographical boundaries and stereotypical constraints.
The ‘Share A Coke’ campaign by Coca-Cola India, is one of the most successful global campaigns which has been reinvented to connect with Indian consumers, using ‘relationships’ as a key concept. With the theme ‘Har Rishta Bola, Mere Naam Ki Coca-Cola,’ the narrative draws upon the significance of relationships for Indians and emphasises moments of happiness that arise from sharing a Coke. What worked well for ‘Share A Coke’ was the inclusion of the emotional engagement in its entire integrated communication model. From print advertisements to television commercials, from product packaging to on-ground activation, the focus of every element of strategic brand promotion remained impactful emotional engagement. The positive reaction of consumers towards the ‘Share A Coke’ campaign itself speaks for qualitative brand building and promotion. The most important factor that contributed to widespread consumer engagement and acceptance is that the campaign took extreme care of regional diversity, thus, catering to a large chunk of the audience base and increasing the scope of its reach and frequency. The brand’s idea of delving deep into the meaning behind shared experiences supported it to garner much love and attention.
‘A brand is not just a name or a logo; it’s a feeling’- this is the standard concept that has always been followed by Coca-Cola. This is a brand-building solution that every key player and industry must resort to, to build unique, timeless brand-consumer relationships.
Ajay Bathija is Director-Colas, Coca-Cola India and South-West Asia
This article was originally published in Pitch Magazine