I think when we talk about digital branding and marketing, the ‘digital’ means much more than ‘digital channels’ and ‘social media’ although they are the most pervasive and affordable tools for marketers. ‘Digital’ in the current era also includes a magnitude of novel ‘digital technologies’ such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and augmented reality (AR). A recent survey shows that fifty-three percent of B2B marketers believe artificial intelligence (AI) will boost how effective marketing is in driving revenue (Ref. 1).
Coca-Cola has set up a good example of using augmented reality (AR) to take consumers “beyond the real thing”. Recently the brand added AR to its personalized cans in China, with each can representing a province in the country. The cans could be activated via one of China’s internet services, such as Alibaba or Tencent via WeChat, to bring stories of the areas to life (Ref. 2). While other soda brands have struggled to win over the coveted millennial and Gen Z consumers who prefer less-sugary drinks, Coca-Cola cleverly implemented novel AR technology in its products to attract these young consumers because they are more tech savvy and would like to try ‘cool things’. Moreover, the AR-enriched cans promote the engagement and interaction of consumers to reach a story making scenario, which further strengthened the brand image, enhanced personalization of products, and improved brand experiences. In order to provide better experience, Coca-Cola has started to rely on AI and AR to collect data for brand marketing because the company believes “people are open to share data in exchange for better experiences” (Ref. 3). The big data and analytics can assist the brand’s operational transformation.
Looking ahead, Coca-Cola’s next major event for sponsorship is Tokyo 2020. Do you think digital technologies can help the brand to achieve higher level of awareness and acceptance? Will the brand realize it four-point transformation plan (Experience transformation, Operational transformation, Business transformation, Cultural transformation) with the aid of digital technologies?
- Erica Sweeney. June 29, 2018. 53% of B2B marketers think AI will boost marketing success, study finds. https://www.marketingdive.com/news/53-of-b2b-marketers-think-ai-will-boost-marketing-success-study-finds/526825/
- Erica Sweeney. Aug. 27, 2018. How Coca-Cola leverages digital to reach ‘beyond the real thing’. https://www.marketingdive.com/news/how-coca-cola-leverages-digital-to-reach-beyond-the-real-thing/530952/
- Charlotte McEleny. August 23, 2018. Beating the real thing: Coca-Cola on its four point digital transformation plan. https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/08/23/beating-the-real-thing-coca-cola-its-four-point-digital-transformation-plan