CPGmatters: Coca-Cola Aims to Connect With Recession-Weary Shoppers
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary
of a current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
is mounting a major marketing offensive as it tries to connect
with shoppers keeping a tight grip on their purse strings in these
challenging economic times.
believe these pressures are real and that they’re not going to
change quickly even if the economy does rebound,” said Diana Wallace,
the vice president of shopper marketing, speaking at a Shopper
Insights in Action conference hosted by the Institute for International
Research (IIR) in Chicago recently.
her presentation, Ms. Wallace listed four components of Coca-Cola’s
has been a significant shift for us over the last couple of years,” said
Ms. Wallace, “but it’s a tried and true approach that has worked
in other global markets for us in tough economic times. It’s really
getting very relevant about what you offer with what shoppers are
looking for. ”
explained that Coca-Cola has placed a value on the occasions when
people drink beverages. It is focusing on two occasions: Chilling
Out at Home Watching TV and Eating Meals at Home.
are eating at home a lot more. It’s a phenomenon which is occurring
and we don’t think it will change drastically. So that’s one of
the reasons why we’re going at this approach,” she said.
Segment and Merchandising
is something we put into the market last year and we’re fine-tuning
it this year,” she said. “Each store has a different mix of shoppers,
needs and occasions occurring. It’s the store’s shopper DNA.”
has created smaller segments and tailored solutions to each of
them. Then it merchandises against the predominant shopper cluster
within each outlet.
gives us the ability to connect with shoppers at outlet levels,” she
said. “We have to segment what we’re doing. That’s how we get really
distinctive and tailored at a chain or outlet level by product.”
has been a very important strategy for us this year and it will
be into next year in terms of how we create the most relevant and
innovative bundles out there,” she said.
described bundled solutions as the best combination of product,
food and beverage in stores for shoppers.
enables you to group things together on price points, which also
gives you a unique opportunity to begin to separate yourself out
from the everyday deep discounting that sometimes can occur in
some of our categories,” she said.
an example, she pointed to the contour two-liter bottle of Coke,
a package that lifted sales by double digits. Another new product
is the 16-oz.-99-cent “entry” package offered cold in stores.
of the things that we’ve learned,” she said, “is we’ve got to think
very differently about how we talk to shoppers in store and create
various sizes and shapes, improving our messaging. Putting the
right package on those merchandising racks has been one of the
most important elements of our plan and has reaped wonderful results
for us in markets where we’ve been able to execute it.”
questions: Which of Coca-Cola’s shopper solutions – Occasion-Based
Approach, Shopper Segment and Merchandising, Bundled Solutions,
Packaging Solutions – will do most to boost sales in the current
climate? Which will likely prove least effective or most challenging?