Diet Coke is amazing.* You know that as a human being with taste buds, and if you somehow don’t like it because you don’t drink soda and are, in fact, a robot, then you know people who like it. Either way, you definitely know the brand. Coca Cola, if the company chose, probably wouldn’t even need to advertise anymore and could still turn a profit. Yet, it still advertises. And its new marketing plan is genius.
You’ve totally seen it: The bottles say “Share a [Diet] Coke [Zero] with” and then they have a name. Have you found your name? I did, and even though it’s not an uncommon name (thanks, ’80s), I got super excited and made sure that I bought that bottle. Another day I found a bottle with my husband’s name. Bought that bottle too. Both times, I took a picture of it and uploaded it to Instagram. So not only was I excited about a product, I also shared it on social media. Look at that: Coca Cola made money, increased brand awareness (in case there was someone who lives on the moon and has never heard of Coke but is also somehow tech-savvy with social media) and started a conversation about their product…all by putting some random names on their bottles. And I’m sure I’m not the only one–it was the whole purpose of the campaign, which is called, fittingly, “Share a Coke.”
Not literally, of course. It wouldn’t necessarily boost rentals to graffiti random names on unit doors in the hopes that someone will see that name and be like, “Oh wow, that’s my name. I’m home!” (Or would it? No, probably not.) But there are other ways to make your community “shareable.”
For instance, is there a cool, unique feature in your community that residents or prospective residents could take a picture in front of? Point it out on tours, include it in communications to residents, give a hashtag (include the name of the community in this), and encourage residents to take a picture in front of it and share it on social media. Monitor that hashtag and the pictures for interaction, and to jump in with your own comments about how awesome it is for people to be sharing it.
You could take the name part from the Coca Cola campaign and use it to your advantage. Like if you give community- or property management company-branded keychains to all residents with their welcome packet, go the extra mile and put the resident’s name on it. They’ll be more likely to use it that way instead of if it’s a generic keychain, and then, Boom!, eyeballs on your community’s or property management company’s name every time they take out their keys.
And what about literally sharing? Instead of only giving out one giveaway for new residents or prospective residents, give more than one. Just make sure it’s branded. Especially if it’s something really cool, or something no one seems to have when they need one, like a pen or something. Then when their friends say, “Do you have a pen I could borrow,” your resident could say, “Oh, take this one, I have an extra,” and then that new person has a pen with your community’s name and maybe website on it.
What do you think of the Coca Cola marketing plan? What other ways can you steal from that idea?
-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor
*Please note that I am in no way affiliated with Coca Cola, and am not receiving any compensation from them. But, if any Coke executives are reading, I’m not entirely opposed to that idea.