A former chairman of The
Coca-Cola has long history of using creative marketing and advertising to promote our products. But when it comes to talking about who we are as a company, the deep roots we have in local communities, the people at the heart of our business and the variety of beverages we make, we haven’t been as talkative.
When we started asking people what they know about us, our research showed they knew very little beyond our flagship brand,
We put together a cross-functional team, helmed by a talented leader in Caren Pasquale Seckler, to do the homework and help us figure out if we should tell our story, and how to do it. We asked people in local communities, our own employees, our bottling partners and the people who drink our beverages every day what they wanted to know.
As a member of that team, I learned three things. And while these apply to the work we’re doing now, they really are applicable to any business.
1) If people want to know your story, you need to tell it. How will they know anything about you if you don’t speak up? And if you don’t tell it, someone will do it for you, so you have to step outside your comfort zone and share. But telling your story isn’t enough. You have to listen, too.
2) Regardless of how big you are, you should always go back to your local roots. At one point every company started small, and it’s those local ties that will always connect you back to the communities where the people who buy your products live, work and play.
3) People are at the center of any company, large or small. While you may have the world’s best-known brand, the most valuable asset you have is your people. Every day they represent your business to the world.
Based on these insights, we created a new nationwide storytelling effort which brings to life the people, products and character of the
We want them to know that people are at the heart of our business. We’re a family that includes
We want to tell them about the increasingly local nature of our business. As The
We want them to understand how we’re working to become a total beverage company by diversifying and building our portfolio of more than 100 brands and 800 beverages, offering more smaller-sized packages and growing our business while reducing the sugar in our beverages.
Simply put, we want people across America to get to know
We’re just beginning this journey and we hope people will be part of it. Join us by checking out #CocaColaRenew. There you’ll meet Toni, who’s worked for
While #CocaColaRenew is about sharing stories, it’s also about listening to and learning from the people who touch our business every day. As our film says, thank you for listening – we’re listening, too.
Matt Echols is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for