CocaColaPersonalisedBottle large - Consumer generated: Coke and Stella

Your drink is getting personal

Coca Cola and Stella Artois are the latest to capitalise on a growing consumer trend we identified in January as part of our 9 global trends for 2013. We’ve called the trend ‘Consumer generated’: a desire to personalise the world around us. Of course, personalising possessions is something we’re familiar with, whether it’s a key ring souvenir or customised Nike trainers. What’s interesting now is how communications technology has provided a catalyst to tap into this trend in new and profitable ways.

The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign started in Australia in 2011 where the brand had its most successful summer, before launching in Europe and Asia earlier this year.

The consumer is made the hero by replacing the brand name on the label with a selection of the top names in each market. It taps into a desire for personal recognition, to find your own name, whilst also enriching social connections by encouraging consumers to share names with friends. Beyond just rummaging for a name on the shop shelf, this has resulted in a profitable online presence for the brand: people posting names on Facebook for example, or even buying on eBay (see photos).

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Whilst the campaign has global appeal, naturally it has had to be personalised to each market. For example, executed in China last week (w/c 17th June), Coca Cola has used 60 nicknames, rather than first names which don’t work due to the vast number of names and population size. Their consumer research revealed that certain nicknames are very popular on key social media channels.

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Meanwhile, Stella Artois, the leading beer brand in the UK, offered consumers the chance to own a personalised Chalice by ordering online. Of course, ‘Consumer generated’ won’t be suited to everyone. ‘Curiosity Cola’has released an ad this summer in London that mocks Coke’s campaign. It’s a distinctively ‘Retro’ label – which, incidentally, is another of our 9 trends. But let’s save the update on ‘Retro’ for another story.