Harnessing happiness: How Coca-Cola creates shared value with retailers

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When it comes to iconic brands, Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable in the world. Coca-Cola is not just a drink; it’s an experience. And most importantly, it’s one that’s shared by billions of people around the world.

In a keynote session at Retail’s BIG Show, Coca-Cola Refreshments Chief Retail Sales Officer Melvin Landis and Coca-Cola Company Senior Vice President for North America marketing Alison Lewis discussed how the brand is finding new ways to work with retailers that want to “harness a little bit of happiness in their business.”

Lewis pointed out that the rules have changed with the always-connected consumer. ”We have to first realize that we’re in a world where marketers don’t own the brand. The market does,” Lewis said. So rather than try to control every message, Coca-Cola focuses on creating compelling stories that spread on their own.

Coca-Cola is undeniably brilliant at generating a ripple effect of happy feelings. Just take a look at this new ad celebrating people “crazy enough” to spread kindness, which had thousands of people smiling from ear to ear in the audience on Sunday.

Who wouldn’t want a little bit of that happiness? HSNi CEO Mindy Grossman and Joseph Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions at Walgreens, joined the discussion to share insights into each company’s relationship with Coca-Cola. For example, Coca-Cola freestyle machines are a good fit with Walgreens’ “At the Corner of Happy and Healthy” campaign, while HSNi sells an exclusive line of Coca-Cola merchandise for fans of the American icon.

Grossman and Magnacca agreed that brands that create experiences for consumers instead of just transactions are those that will thrive in the future, and businesses who share values will find synergies in working together. It’s about being generous, Grossman said: give something to your customers aside from what you’re selling them, even if just a smile.

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