Coke drinkers just turned the iconic company on its head – again.
In the world of content marketing, knowing your audience is crucial to getting it right. You have to understand their personality, their likes and dislikes, their behaviour as a buyer, and the kind of themes that will make them connect with you emotionally. And you have to understand all of that, and how your brand relates to them, before you ever put pen to paper.
So what happens when, after more than a century, your audience suddenly changes?
You change with them.
I know what you’re thinking. You’ve spent so long building your brand, why would you go and change things now? But when your audience changes you have to change with them – or they’ll leave you behind.
More than 130 years ago, the original Coca-Cola was launched in the US, apparently purposefully avoiding alcohol to get around those pesky prohibition laws. And today, the company is still going strong – because all along that 130 year journey, they’ve adapted to their audience.
Adapting is something that Coke has always been good at. When people became more health-conscious, the company began introducing more sparkling water and sports drinks – and those are now their leading products. Going niche helped save their brand. And it’s happening again.
Enter Japan, and the growing Sochu market.
Sochu is an alcohol-based fizzy drink gaining more and more popularity in Japan, particularly among young women as an alternative to beer (think Smirnoff Ice). Although the product will likely never make it’s way to western countries, the addition of an alcohol-based coke product shows how well the Coca-Cola company understands the need to keep up with its audience and find new, niche areas to get in to.
According to BBC, a senior Coke executive said the addition of the alcohol-based drink was “a modest experiment for a specific slice of our market.”
A specific slice: finding multiple niche slices is what has, and will continue to, ensure Coke stays at the front of the pack. When your target audience begins to slowly change their habits, you have to find out what segments they’re breaking in to. And Coke has won that game.
So how do you make sure you win that game, too? Buyer Personas.
Buyer Personas are character profiles of your key target audience – your 3 or 4 top types of customer. If it has been a while since you’ve created these, they’re likely due for an update. Take a look and see if any of the character traits you’ve given your key demographics have changed. What can you do differently to resonate with this group again?
You’ll also want to look at the industry and see if there is now a new player in the game. Coke found a new buyer persona in young Japanese women drinking sochu. Do you have a new niche audience you need to create a buyer persona for?
Once you’ve updated your personas, it will be easy to spot the holes. Revisit your marketing efforts based on these, and you’ll find fresh success in no time!
If a company like Coca-Cola, after more than 130 years, is continuing to look for new opportunities in niche markets then you can, too.
Need help with creating buyer personas, or figuring out who your target audience is? Let’s talk – we can help get you on the right path for success.