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Marketing Coca Cola: the Real Story behind the Real Thing and Manufactured Housing 

June 25th, 2014 No comments

It's an iconic brand found in over 200 countries around the world. For its first five years in existence, the formula included tiny amounts of cocaine. It was the original 'energy drink,' no wonder the short name for this product is "Coke."

For decades, Coca Cola held a wide lead over any other 'like' product. But the famous "Pepsi Challenge" gave them such a serious run for their money, that Coke's senior leadership did what was later seen as unthinkable, they changed the formula.

"New Coke" was born.

It was widely seen as one of the most bone-headed moves in corporate history.

In record time, the public clamor brought the return of "Classic Coke." What many forget is that in short order, Coca Cola was #1 again.

In more recent years, sugary drinks are under assault. "It's the Evil Thing" say health critics. What happened?

Coke's CEO said they were; "Slow. Not innovative and we lost our way."

Lessons for Manufactured Housing?

Those words by Coke's president should be etched into every manufactured housing professional's brain. It's a recipe for weakness, even for a world leading product like Coke! Before continuing, let's share CNBC's broadcast on the subject of Coca Cola's marketing and sales success.

Since it is true that a failure to innovate and be in tune with the market can be costly even to a major global brand such as Coca Cola, what does it mean to an owner, executive, manager or sales leader in manufactured housing? Do you see the point?

We can't afford the kind of mistakes that Coke can.

Creating Positive Associations

Coca Cola invests mega bucks not only in marketing their product, but also in understanding consumer psychology. They deliberately want to inspire emotions and establish positive associations in the minds and feelings of their customers.

This Coke commercial originally aired in 1971. Even though it is over 40 years old, it has had about 1.5 million visits on YouTube since it was posted 5 years ago.

Do you see all the 'feel good' that is going on in this promotion? Do you see the emotional connections they are seeking to establish with consumers?

Lessons for Manufactured Housing Pros

First, our industry must invest more in marketing, period. That investment ought to take place at the location, corporate, state and national levels.

Next, consider what Ken Segall of Apple marketing fame told us in his exclusive article for MHProNews,

Marketing and the Power of Love

We tell our clients and the live audiences at corporate or association events that ours is a complex, unique situation. Very few products face the challenges we do, but that is precisely why we have enhanced opportunities!

We must address heart issues as well as mind issues in our marketing and sales presentations.

It isn't enough for us to 'brand' a product, part of our problem is that we HAVE been branded, and negatively so! Therefore, we must UN-Brand and Re-Brand our products!

There are sound reasons why we used in our original logo and tag line these words, “Innovation, Information and Inspiration for Industry Professionals.”

As a unique industry, we need equally unique solutions.

On our MHC-MD.com site, you see dozens of quotes which include the names of the professionals who shared the comments. Each of these highlights certain needs, skills and results we've demonstrated over the years in driving results for clients in communities, retail, finance and other segments of the MH Industry.

So what we preach here isn't theory, it is proven in practice.

Even with all the head winds, Manufactured Housing is rising. But we could be doing so much more!

It begins with belief. An attitude. “Inspiration” if you will!

Then it must proceed to some innovations, because the same methods are sure to achieve the same results. If you want new, better results, then you must be willing to innovate!

Finally, information is needed on both the B2B and B2C levels that ties the inspiration and innovation together.

Think again about what Coke's CEO said a few years back, they were slow, lost their way and failed to innovate. Today, Coca Cola's leaders are responding to the new challenges to their product. When Pepsi challenged them, they tried something new, and even though it 'failed,' that 'failure' actually led to the successful rebirth of “Classic Coke.”

There are plenty of lessons for manufactured housing to be found in the story of the Real Thing. Because we have the Real Thing for Quality Living, and it just happens to be affordable. Good for us…

…when we put those advantages to work!

Go sell something! ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach