A few years ago, the Coca-Cola Company standardized its U.S. cola product names to “Coca-Cola Such-and-Such.” Good idea to be consistent, but that didn’t stop people from using the old names, like “Cherry Coke.”
It turns out Coca-Cola is called Coke by 90 percent of the population (don’t take it from me, see what Google says). This wouldn’t matter if it weren’t for the fact that Coca-Cola now serves up two distinct user experiences to searchers.
He has a great pair of screenshots comparing the results if you search ‘Coke’ versus ‘Coca-Cola’ (scroll down to “Ignoring how the public perceives your brand”). Unless customers are searching ‘Coca-Cola,’ they’re going to miss the company’s branded content and end up at third-party sites instead. Probably not what the company had in mind.
We marketers are “bilingual” — speaking the language of the customer as well as the language of our company or clients. But external communications had better be in “customer,” or we’re going to lose opportunities. I’m still calling it Cherry Coke Zero, no matter what the label says.
People like creative director Greg Ng and baseball marketer Matt DeMargel talk about the importance of understanding your target demographic. Coke seems to be dropping the ball on its search engine optimization (SEO).
What do you think? Hat tip to @veemoe for the heads up on Dave’s article.
Photo credit: Public domain by My100cans at Wikimedia