I remember seeing the global Coca-Cola Journey site on the day it launched last winter.
My team and I looked at the screen in our Berlin offices, went through the features, clicked on the different tab options. We knew instantly that this was different from what we had seen before. And we knew that this was exactly what we wanted for Germany, as well.
Compelling headlines, great pictures and interesting stories about unexpected topics: That was the way to go.
So we went on this journey. Being a leader in the social sphere, looking for meaningful innovation – new and better! – was something the team was ambitious about. Two years ago, Coca-Cola Germany won an external national award for the social media newsroom we created for journalists on our corporate website. Navigating through the first Journey stories from the U.S., it was evident for us that it was time to make the next step.
Our vision was clear: We wanted to create an online magazine offering consumers and stakeholders unique insights into our brands and our company, as well as share stories from the world we operate and live in. At the same time, we wanted to do this in a way that inspires dialogue and an exchange of views. While we could draw from the technical solution the U.S. had developed, it was clear for us from the start that we needed content specifically relevant to German readers and viewers. And we needed to build on the initial learnings from the U.S., which included creating a platform for external opinion pieces. Journey’s success is bigger than our individual efforts combined. By taking a broader look at the world, we knew we could create something truly special.
So how could we bring this to life for Germany? We set up a task force, made plans and organized structured meetings. The stuff that Germans are known to do in such cases, and mostly do well. :) We made sure we invited plenty of creative and sometimes crazy thinking as well; and we enjoyed the fun of exploring new territory. For the last five months, we have established a digital working bridge between Berlin and Atlanta. Although most of the exchange was virtual, the core teams on both sides of the Atlantic met twice in Berlin – to review progress, identify and remove roadblocks, and to develop unique features we believed to be interesting for our readers.
Our German online magazine now, for example, contains a “Blogoskop” featuring our favorite blogs in areas such as lifestyle, nutrition and happiness every month. The story that got the most clicks on the U.S. Journey site in the first months came from Germany. It was about men and romance and an interesting study just released by the Happiness Institute, founded by Coca-Cola. It concluded that cuddling with their partner makes 80% of German men happy.
I look forward to many more such stories on Journey!
Here's a look at the old website:
Patrick Kammerer is Director of Public Affairs & Communications at Coca-Cola Germany.