There, we were provided some insights into Coca-Cola’s research and development initiatives, particularly in the field of eco-friendly and sustainable manufacturing.
We also sat through an intense bloggers conference at the same venue, whereby Coca-Cola invited a host of global speakers to share with us marketing insights. My day job is as a marketeer for online portal, www.omy.sg – hence this was a rewarding session for me as I get to learn some of the marketing strategies of one of the top brand name in the world, Coca-Cola.
One of my key take-away is to think long-term when it comes to branding and marketing. It may seems common sense, but when you are engulfed in day-to-day battle to meet various KPIs and ROIs, the long term branding and marketing goals tend to take a back seat. Running contests and giving away prizes are effective hit-and-run marketing to raise figures in the short-run, but they tend to do nothing for your brand in the long run. I need to bear this in mind the next time I am executing a campaign.
Another key take-away from this trip is that Coca-Cola deems China as a very important market in the near future and are already working ahead, channeling resources to capture this emerging market. Just by sheer size with a population of over 2 billion, the China market simply cannot be ignored by any brand that claims to have a global presence.
The other blogger who went to Shanghai with me, Walter Lim, have written five very comprehensive and detailed posts on the conference and other marketing-related insights. You can read his posts via the links below. It’s better to leave the niche marketing topics to the expert (Walter is the Marketing Director at the National Art Gallery under the National Heritage Board).
Learning Coca-Cola’s Secret Success Formula
The Impact of Macroforces on Coke’s Strategy
Coca-Cola’s Brand-sational World Expo Pavillion
How Brands Can Apply Digital Communications
The 4 Rs of Coca-Cola’s Social Media Strategy
For a junior marketeer like me, I will focus on the “experiential marketing experience” that Coca-Cola provided me with through this trip. I am now a convert and vow to drink Coca-Cola over Pxxxi any time. 🙂
I will let the images below the the captions do the talking versus a heavy chunk of text.
Upon arriving at GITC, we were warmly welcomed by Brenda and Nancy from the local Coca-Cola office. Both of them gave us a tour of the building premise while explaining to us about Coca-Cola’s operation in China and their green initiatives.
There are some 600 Coca-Cola China associates and the Pacific Group’s R&D team housed in the GITC. The building is also one of the few “green building” in China, boasting environmental-friendly features like rooftop solar panels, rainwater harvesting facilities and wind turbines-powered street lamps (Captain Planet will be proud of this building).
Walter’s post has a detailed walk-through of the building. Essentially, we visited their R&D labs where the bottle designs are incubated and produced as well as the koLab collaboration centre which looks at Coca-Cola’s collaborations with their customers.
Due to commercial sensitivity, photography was not allowed in the labs. Sorry guys, you have to be there to see it. The koLab was quite an experience, starting with a 360 degree wall-to-wall video screening, followed by a sliding table top, where Coca-Cola beverages from around the world mysteriously popped up for our sampling pleasure. The sliding walls then opened up a large alley which individually featured various fully-stocked mock up Coca-Cola retailers and distributors like convenience stores, restaurants, bars, and even karaoke rooms.
After the tour, it was time for lunch. We headed to the GITC canteen where a buffet spread was already prepared for us. The Coca-Cola folks are great host and we all had a hearty meal. I was delighted to try some of their beverages which are not available in Singapore, particularly the funky “Sprite Ice Tea”.
After lunch, it was time for the heavy stuff – the bloggers conference on Innovation, Urbanisation and New Trends.
The host very thoughtfully provided translation for various languages, in view of the international group of bloggers. We were also presented with some cool Coca-Cola premiums to take home.
The first speaker was Tom LaForge, Director, Knowledge & Insights, Coca-Cola. Tom’s job is to identify trends, foresee the future, and position Coca-Cola accordingly. He spoke on the impact of eight macroforces on Coca-Cola and the respective responses. You can read this post by Walter for the whole deal. In summary, consumers nowadays are more environmental conscious and has a general dislike of cold, big corporations. Hence the launch of the Coca-Cola’s “Live Positively” campaign, various green and eco-friendly initiatives in identifying with the consumers.
The second speaker was Deidre McGlashan, CEO, wwwins Isobar, Greater China. She spoke on digital communications in Asia, with examples from major brands like Toyota, LEGO and Nokia. You can read this post by Walter for the whole deal.
The third speaker was Natalie Johnson, Manager, Digital & Social Media, Coca-Cola. She spoke on the company’s 4Rs in marketing – Review, Respond, Record and Redirect. Again, you can read this post by Walter for the whole deal. Natalie’s segment was the most useful to me as it has the most relevance with my day job, marketing a web portal.
After listening to three speakers, there was a blogger panel involving Stacey Sullaphen from Australia, Chen Qiang from China, Celia Cheng from Hong Kong, Motohiko Tokuriki from Japan, Kum Ran Son from Korea, Katika Saiseni from Thailand, and of course, Walter Lim from Singapore. Each gave a short self-introduction and answered questions posted by the moderator, Natalie and the floor.
Walter Lim’s self introduction:[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/v/-ZEUicu5Ndc&hl=en_US&fs=1&”]
We had some time for mingling, networking and exchanging of ideas after that. This concluded the first half of my second day in Shanghai. Stay tuned for my next post on our evening at Xintiandi (新天地) where we met the trio from Expedition 206.
My previous posts on Shanghai with Coca-Cola:
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