- It's all about the product, not the concept behind it — that's the marketing strategy spreading throughout the food and beverage industry, with Coca-Cola leading the way with its new one brand, product-centric campaign, "Taste the Feeling."
- Consumers are more interested in details about the product, such as flavor, ingredients, and how it's made, rather than the concepts created by marketing departments that can feel disconnected from the brands and products themselves, consumer and marketing experts told Ad Age.
- While optimistic messaging and cultural leadership won't disappear entirely from Coca-Cola's marketing efforts, the company is using its new ad campaign to focus on product-related experiences, such as the ways Coke products can be enjoyed as "simple pleasures," Coca-Cola CMO Marcos de Quinto told Ad Age.
Consumers' focus on the ingredients in their products and how those products are made have encouraged food and beverage companies to re-strategize their portfolios. Manufacturers have since introduced products that are non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, and free of certain artificial ingredients in response to consumer demands.
Now, that focus is shifting to marketing, where products and ingredients have become the centerpiece of a brand's story. General Mills' recently debuted ad campaign, "Again," highlights the removal of artificial flavors and colors from various cereals.
This kind of marketing push is critical to Coca-Cola's future as soda sales have consistently declined for the past decade, and brands like Diet Coke have seen mid-single-digit drops in sales the past several quarters. Focusing on the product again and the experiences associated with the brand could enable Coca-Cola to remind consumers why they drank Coke products in the past, evoking nostalgic feelings for the product. Also, efforts like mini-cans are advantageous in luring back health-conscious consumers who are concerned about their sugar intake.
Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent remains confident that the company is destined for growth, as is the rest of the soda industry, he told CNBC.