The Coca-Cola Secret: Blending Global and Local Positioning

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Khalil Younes, Coca-Cola’s EVP of Marketing in Japan, took the stage at AWAsia to discuss the secret behind the brands strong performance in the country. Coca-Cola has been in Japan for over 60 years and has consistently performed as the brands most profitable global market – with a diverse portfolio of over 800 products. Younes contributed this success to the countries incredible creativity, acceptance of innovation and the opportunity to market freely.

When delving into the exact practices behind these profits, Younes discussed the company’s core structure on speaking to their marketplaces, IMC – Integrated Marketing Communication – proclaiming that media was the cornerstone of the company’s marketing initiatives. Four types of media contributed to interaction between consumers and media – paid media, owned media, shared media and earned media.

These endeavors went hand in hand with other prominent areas in Coca-Cola’s consumer engagement tactics. One massive area being brand experience, how to interact with your consumers directly – how to make your brand synonymous with fond memories. Next, brand conversation, how to communicate with the audience who is discussing your brand and their stories involving your brand. Finally, producing content and ultimately, connection – Younes referred to this as the ying and yang at Coca-Cola. The brand develops content through multiple mediums, serving the market needs and speaking to the consumers.

Younes spoke to two specific case studies. The first on Craftea, using Australian chef Curtis Stone as the spokesperson. Stone, a westerner, was chosen to speak to the products western roots. The second, Coca-Cola itself was promoted using Haruka Ayase, a major actress in Japan that partners with multiple brands each year. Yones explained that it was important for the flagship brand to engage the local audience with a local celebrity, making it a more local brand. “For the global brand you have a local celebrity. For local brands, a global celebrity.”

There’s a fine blend between local development and global development in the secret Coca-Cola formula. It is a major factor in the iconic brands outstanding history and growth. That and the thrive for greatness – Younes invited those looking to achieve such to join Coca-Cola.

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