This is the first in a weekly series of articles that will highlight three marketing case studies that have captured the attention of the Sensei Marketing team and should capture yours as well.
This week’s theme is corporate branding.
1. Starbucks Launches First Brand Campaign
Starbucks has always shined a light on its products – never its brand – in advertising campaigns. Until now.
For the first time, Starbucks has launched a brand campaign titled “Meet Me at Starbucks,” which features a six-minute documentary-style video about the day in the life of Starbucks. The mini film, which was shot in 1 day in 59 different stores in 28 countries, is a global effort that plays on a growing public sentiment that we’re overusing technology to stay connected with friends.
Below is the one-minute commercial that will help promote the campaign. The coffee giant will use its YouTube channel as the microsite/hub of the digital effort: https://www.youtube.com/user/Starbucks
Sensei’s take: Arguably, Starbucks is a brand that doesn’t need to invest in brand advertising; we all know the brand position, voice, etc. It’s iconic. Yet, this new campaign is a great tactic that demonstrates how a business can weave its brand into a cultural movement.
The campaign suggests that we’re really not connected unless we’re meeting face-to-face, and it establishes Starbucks as the place to be “really be connected with friends.” Ironically (and brilliantly), it is using social media to make its case.
2. Storks Now Deliver Coca-Cola
By now everyone is familiar with Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, which encourages consumers to share a Coke product featuring a personalised name with family and friends, and then record their experiences digitally. What we’re highlighting this week is not the personalized cans or the interpersonal engagements that Coke is inspiring but the brand-consumer interactions that the campaign has fostered.
One of the personal stories captured digitally was a young couple who announced their pregnancy to family and friend by recording the opening of different personalized Diet Coke cans. Upon seeing this video, Coca-Cola’s marketing team sent the couple a shipment of cans featuring every name available in the campaign to help them start the process of choosing a name for their child.
Sensei’s take: Coca-Cola learned its lesson when consumers, in blind taste tests, reported that the New Coke formula tasted better than the original Coke and Pepsi, but then universally rejected New Coke because it messed with a beloved cultural icon (if, unlike me, you’re not old enough to remember this fiasco, ask your parents). This new campaign highlights what Coca-Cola has done brilliantly since the re-introduction of Coke Classic in 1985: Weave its brand into the daily lives of customers instead of pitching the product.
3. Southwest Airline’s Heart Grows
Customer service has always been at the heart of Southwest’s communication and advertising strategy but this week we’ve seen a major shift in that focus. Everything – from the airline’s airport kiosks to on-plane signage to its slogan – has been revamped to place more emphasis on the iconic heart in the company’s logo.
A new commercial has been released, which unveils the new airplane design and ends with the statement: “Without a heart, it’s a just a machine.”
Sensei’s take: Customer service has become the litmus test for engagement in our digital age where social media can turn customer kudos or complaints into a tsunami of good or bad press. Social-savvy customers have become cynical of digital outreach and are more demanding than ever. As a result, it’s become increasingly difficult to achieve or surpass customer service expectations.
By highlighting the heart icon and building communications around tag lines such as: “Puts your needs first” and “People are its most powerful fuel,” Southwest Airlines has shifted its brand position to caring for its customers instead of just serving its customers. It’s a sign of a maturing business that really understands the market.
What are your thoughts on these case studies?
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego