After one hundred years as a public-listed company, the Coca Cola company is continuing its history of innovation with new ideas that continue to delight shareholders and create even more loyal customers.
Following ongoing commercial success and its 57th annual dividend increase in 2019, the brand has launched an exciting programme offering exclusive access to new Coca Cola drinks and flavours through a subscription programme that people are paying to be members of.
It’s a truly revolutionary idea, flipping from the outdated approach of consumer brands offering complimentary samples of new products, to instead leverage the power of its iconic brand to create desire and demand for products that have not even been launched yet.
The Coca Cola Insider’s Club
- The Coca Cola Insider’s Club was launched on December 16th 2019.
- Only 1,000 members were accepted as members.
- The subscription-based club is initially running for 6 months in 2020.
- Each member pays $10 per month or $50 prepaid (one month free).
In return, they can look forward to six monthly packs of limited-edition drinks from three different beverage categories.
Coca Cola chooses which products are sent – members have no input or choice of drinks they are sent.
- Coca Cola will ship the selected drinks free of charge to members starting in January 2020.
- Along with access to exclusive drinks that are not yet on sale in stores, these paying members will also be sent Coca Cola “surprises and swag”.
- The subscription programme was launched on Twitter and the first 1,000 “Insider Club” memberships sold out in three hours.
- Coca Cola is currently capturing a “waitlist” of aspiring “Insider Club” members. Joining the waitlist requires confirmation that members give full marketing permission to Coca Cola and share their date of birth and zip code details (this trial programme and waitlist is only currently open to residents of the United States).
Insights and Innovation
- Coca Cola said the concept “was inspired by the growth of the e-commerce subscription market” – perhaps referring to the Amazon Prime programme and its explosive 50% annual growth. Paying subscribers for the Amazon service are expected to exceed 130 million by the end of 2020.
- The programme cleverly taps in to consumer psychology and shows a clear understanding of human behaviour, with the brand creating a sense of scarcity (Facebook famously launched its platform in the exact same way) as well as a sense of accomplishment for those “lucky” enough to succeed in becoming one of the first paying subscribers. Within 24 hours of launch, the waitlist was reported to already have exceeded 8,000 names.
- The sheer fun and experience of receiving monthly deliveries from marketing experts like Coca Cola will ensure “bragging rights” that early subscribers will enjoy, creating an enhanced emotional connection with the brand.
- The announcement explained that “people want choice, convenience and customization” – although it’s not yet clear how the subscription programme will offer either choice or customization. One clear tangible benefit of any subscription programme is real consumer “convenience” – with drinks delivered direct to consumers. We’ve previously written about the idea of connected homes and how “convenient” drink deliveries are proving for early adopters of Valora’s “ok.- button”.
While it’s highly unlikely that Coca Cola has any immediate plans to bypass convenience retailers at scale in the near future, there’s no doubt that the extensive permission-building, data capture and the clear focus on creating more compelling relationships with customers does create the possibility that Coca Cola sees the potential to scale up its existing direct-to-consumer channel.
For now, the brand has said they will monitor the performance of the pilot programme across “sales, feedback and social media buzz” so we will watch with anticipation to see how the launch programme performs in 2020.
Watch this space for more exciting insights and we’ll keep you updated on key trends on driving loyalty for convenience products and retail stores worldwide.
Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialized for the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.
How we do it:
We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.
Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.
One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.
Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:
Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant
With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer, as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards.