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How Coke uses Cross-Industry Collaborative Marketing as a Way to Find New Fans

Apr 24, Sneha Virmani | 4 min read

When a 133-year-old brand name takes unprecedented risks to cut through industry barriers, this is how it looks.

When Coca- Cola made a revolutionary change by going all out in their global cross-category collaboration, the brand also epitomized its values of creativity, style, and innovation. A big strategic marketing plan by Coke slowly uses cross-brand collaboration as a means to engage with new audiences.

In the past brands like Johnnie Walker partnered with F1 and Uber to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. While the legendary whiskey brand broke industry boundaries, Uber leveraged from a new brand association that boosted their name.

Similarly, Microsoft and fashion brand Fyodor Golan collaborated during the London Fashion Week on an interactive concept when technology met fashion. Collaboration allows brands to gain exposure to different audience groups, opportunities to innovate and eventually gain credibility as mass innovators.

Similarly, Coke’s collaboration strategy was to create different variants under one master brand. Here’s what they did:

Limited Edition Cans

With Marvel’s last lap Avengers: Endgame is on the corner of its release; the two brands extended their hands to collaborate on a franchise. A joint venture where the beverage company launched limited edition Avenger Endgame cans. The cans donned Coke’s staple red, black and white color palette but alongside had Marvel characters imprinted on them. Targeting a millennial audience base, this collaboration of cinema with the FMCG industry revolutionized standard marketing models.

Coke X Avengers: End Game

Source: avengers-coca-cola-endgame-can-series-info-1.jpg

Converse 

With James Quincey as CEO, Coke has undergone what you call the ‘Quincey Effect’. Pragmatic use of marketing models; Coca-Cola’s brilliant collaboration with KITH and Converse was a raging success.

A cross-collaboration with the fashion industry, Chuck Taylor All Star ’70 shoes saw a makeover when a new color scheme was released. The shoes were adorned with Coca-Cola embroidery along with a KITH patch that revealed the real converse brand under.

Coke X KITH Converse

 

Nike

Rodolfo Echeverria, Global Vice President, Creative of Coca-Cola says, “We have always been big but now we are obsessively pursuing growth, not in the sense that we want to be richer but in the sense that we are looking at those consumers who are not our consumers right now. We’re asking how can we grow? How can we satisfy more and better consumer needs?

Their collaboration with Nike shows how “Coke White” collection is a revolutionary move into the apparel industry by satisfying consumer needs better. Encircled around Air Force 1 they have embellished the classic white sneakers with Coke debossed branding along with a matching apparel range.

A pure white theme, these slick sneakers, denim jackets, and hoodies have very subtle co-branding but emphasize on the collaboration as a start of something new. 

 

Coke custom merchandise

Fashion Apparel

After a raving success of converse shoes, Coca Cola and KITH reunited for another round of Summer Apparel collection. By collaborating with high-end fashion brands like Marc Jacob, KITH and Dr. Romanelli, Coca Cola has made it cool to look like a fashionable billboard for the brand! Coca-Cola has shown brands how to ace marketing like a boss by exploring and conquering new territories.

From collaborating with London based accessory brand Skinnydip for iconic Coca-Cola embellished bags to a line of classic vintage Coca-Cola t-shirts by Dr. Romanelli, this sugary soft drink brand is stylishly executing packaged pop culture with its name.

Javier Meza, CMO Coca-Cola put the brand’s marketing tactics into apt words. He said, “The way we engage consumers is different, the way we do insight is different as well. For smaller explorer brands we are taking the new approach of more social listening and less of the structured research that we do with Coca-Cola; it’s trying to learn faster from the consumer.

Coke X Fashion Apparel

 

Takeaway

As a marketer, you can either be envious of Coca-Cola’s fearless marketing methods or appreciate their meticulous marketing pursuit in the global space. They went back to basics to adopt a strategy that focused on changing consumer needs. Coke’s stint of cross-category collaborations with brands has helped it to identify 'brand building' in a different way. With rapid innovation and exploring nascent trends, Coca-Cola is a name that has not lost its fizz even after 133 years!

 

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Sneha Virmani

I am a writer and professional content strategist. I have a passion for storytelling and always try to incorporate original ideas in my work. I write blog posts on sales strategies, marketing trends, product descriptions and social media optimization.
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