You know that old keychain you have with your name on it? You know the one I’m talking about, it’s the one that your parents bought from the tchotchke store when you were a kid that you’ve been holding onto all these years. Well, Coke in the UK is taking this idea of personalization up a notch in the by offering personalized bottles and cans. The products will feature 150 of the UK’s most popular names. So for all you Sophias, Emmas, Olivias, Aidans, Jacksons and Ethans: you’re in luck! (Top names from 2102 according to babycenter.com) Sadly, there are those that may not be as lucky. For instance, Jason Lee named his child “Pilot Inspector” and I suspect a branded can will not be available featuring said name.
For those folks whose names were not chosen, the company will also have cans available that read “Share a Coke with Friends” as well as a website where users can customize their own bottle and share it virtually.
The campaign is quite intriguing from a branding perspective. As one Coke spokesperson put it: “it’s quite unusual and arresting to see your name replace a brand as iconic as Coke.” It certainly creates a buzz around the product and perhaps even makes a subconscious connection with the consumer that this drink is special because it is personalized especially for them.
However, from a Sales perspective, it seems they also run the risk of distributing a product that many people won’t purchase. In the digital world, often times the more specific you can be to a user, the better, but does that same thinking hold up with a product? Rather than drinking a generic Coke product, perhaps consumers will feel alienated when they cannot find the bottle or can that is specifically theirs.
One thing I would assume is that the average soft drink consumer will likely spend just that little bit more time in front of the cooler before choosing the soft drink. And perhaps the next YouTube sensation will be hidden camera videos of people sifting through bottles upon bottles to find their very own personalized version that they can drink, enjoy and place the empty bottle right next to that old keychain they’d been holding onto.