It’s been done before, who else remembers scouring the gift shop for a pencil that features your name? Yet not quite on this scale or in this fashion. Coca-Cola has given the industry a kick-start when it comes to incorporating two strategies in one: blending print media and social media in one package. It’s called personalized print media, and if it can work for Coke, it can work for small businesses too.
Catch the Wave of User-Generated Content
The trend toward user-generated content is rising, even though it’s really nothing new. However, when you have a successful campaign like Coke’s that blends both online and offline elements, you’ve got a winner. You’ve probably seen the effects of this latest campaign: they take the country’s most popular names and print them on the label of a can or bottle, encouraging huge amounts of consumerssome of whom aren’t even soda drinkersto share the brand both in real life and online. This not only boosts brand perception, but it uses advertising and social media to influence their experience, making young and old feel special and involved, according to The Guardian. In fact, nearly 80 percent of consumers say they feel more connected with brands that offer personalized features because it shows the company is truly vested in developing a relationship with their customers. It’s a simple concept, really, but it works.
Proceed with Caution
Personalized print can be a double edged sword however. While the sweetest word in any language is seeing your own name in lights, getting it wrong can leave a bitter taste in your customers mouth so be sure to do your research and check and double check the results before rolling out your campaign. Even the big companies get it wrong sometimes which instead of instilling brand confidence can turn into a public relations nightmare.. or worse still, legal action. The fact that Coke missed the mark on names with unique spellings only highlights the need to have drill further to the technology of UGC to create labels on the fly to ensure that for all customers truly be a part of something you have to embrace those that fall on the far ends of the bell curve as it relates to names. (Or hire us to do it)
Make a Profit
The success of Coke’s personalized print media campaign was realized almost immediately when the first demographic was tested in Australia in 2012. Consumption of the beverage among young adults climbed seven percent during the campaign, with Facebook site traffic increasing 870 percent, according to Marketing magazine. In addition, consumers shared 76,000 virtual Coke cans online, and 378,000 custom cans were printed throughout the country. The UK, United States and many other markets followed with similar campaigns. For example, Coca-Cola’s value sales rose 4.93 percent in the UK, with total sales of colas rising 2.75 percent, says Marketing Week.
Fostering a connection with your consumers by tailoring printed materials to their interestsand who’s not interested in themselves?is an ingenious way to drive your sales. Like the example with the pencil, I’ve found that even a small gesture can go a long way toward gaining a new, loyal customer. All you have to do to understand the value of personalized print media is imagine your excitement at finding your name in an unexpected place; if someone in the know like you or I loves this idea, you can bet it will be a hit with your customers.