The Coca‑Cola Company is emerging from the pandemic poised for growth with a leaner lineup of high-potential brands and a more disciplined, consumer-centric approach to marketing and innovation, Chairman and CEO James Quincey said Feb. 19 at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) virtual conference.
Step one was a deep, data-driven analysis of the company’s global beverage portfolio that ultimately trimmed its total number of master brands from 400 to approximately 200 global, regional and local offerings with strong scale potential.
“We've recentered ourselves on being consumer-centric with our marketing and being powered by greater effectiveness and efficiency, complementing that with a robust innovation pipeline balancing big bets with ongoing intelligent experimentation,” Quincey said on Feb. 19.
Global category leads will focus on building the newly optimized portfolio – which spans all drinking occasions and dayparts – through insights-powered marketing that “tells a brand story in a relatable way”.
One of the first major outputs of the company’s revamped marketing model is the upcoming launch of the first-ever global campaign for Sprite, “Let’s Be Clear”, which will roll out in more than 50 markets this year with creative including TV and digital films, outdoor and print advertising, and user-generated digital and social content.
A more rigorous focus on resource allocation will boost the impact of “fewer, bigger” integrated campaigns and fuel brand reinvestment by consolidating media planning, streamlining agency rosters and reusing marketing assets aligned with passion points like music and gaming.
The company’s 2021 innovation pipeline will include a 40% increase in projects, managed with an equally disciplined approach.
He added, “We're looking, yes, for more innovation – but also more impact.”
While the bulk of the company’s innovation efforts will focus on core categories, teams will continue take a test-and-learn approach in adjacent, emerging segments through offerings like Costa coffee and forays into alcoholic beverages via Lemon-Do (Japan) and Topo Chico Hard Selzer.
Chief Financial Officer John Murphy said these core strategies will convert top-line growth into sustainable value creation. “Our emerging stronger priorities and the acceleration of our transformation have been designed to get us back to this long-term growth algorithm as fast as possible,” he said.
The pandemic accelerated Coke’s transformation into a digitized, data-driven organization that can execute marketing, commercial, sales and distribution strategies in both the online and physical worlds. A new appointed O2O (online-to-offline) digital transformation officer and new chief data officer, combined with digital tools, will facilitate more efficient marketing, brand building and improved execution.
“We've reshaped the organization around this opportunity,” Quincey said. “It's still early days, but these digital investments are starting to transform logistics, transform the entire distribution model, transform client relationships, and transform how consumers engage with the company and our brands.”
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