Thursday, August 22, 2013

8 Stupendous Online Business Lessons I Learned from Coca Cola

I am reading an interesting book now. The book eviscerates Coca Cola. So not the best online business read for generating good karma because Coke has some serious skeletons in its closet but at least I learned a few key lessons from what to do and more importantly, what not to do, to grow your online business.

CC is the monstrous brand ruling the universe. No brand comes close to dominating the world like Coca Cola; not McDonald's, not Apple, not IKEA. Nope, Coke has wrestled the mantle away from its competitors. Not only that, the company has sprinted away from the competition.

1: Sell a Delicious Dream


Coca Cola sells a delicious dream. No, not the sweet sticky sumptuous formula. Coke sells something beyond that. An experience. I remember drinking Coke at my grandparent's house as a kid. Ice cold Coke out of a glass bottle, old skool style. Naturally, I remember this experience in a positive light. Bingo! Always feels good to down a Coke because my memories of CC, rock.

2: Sell Happiness


I changed taglines on my blogs this morning after reading a few chapters of the book. Coke sells happiness. No, not just a dream, the company presents happiness through the product, meaning the product creates happiness before anything else. Sure a Coke tastes great, sweet, delightful, but the campaign slogans selling Coke as happiness make you happy to have a Coke, before you drink the Coke, if you know what I mean.

3: Spend a Fortune on Advertising


Coke spends countless billions of dollars to be all over the world. No more aggressive marketing campaign exists in the world. Coke is everywhere. I mean, I saw Coke machines in the jungles of Bali, in Laos, in Sri Lanka, in remote Costa Rican jungles. Insane, really. The power of marketing. If you have no fortune spend man - or woman - hours marketing your brand.

4: Do Damage Control When Necessary


Coke runs a monstrous PR machine. Or the monstrous organization hires out a massive PR machine. Damage control 101, for when accidents happen, and they do. Many people have been negatively affected by the world's most recognizable brand. This means the PR team jumps into action to defend reputations and keep brands shiny looking, and fresh, and positive. As an online business pro check out your online rep once in a while. What do people say about you? Keep your ear to the cyber street.

5: Now the Negative; Do Things from a Place of Good Karma


Coca Cola tastes great but the product is sugar water with coloring. 8 teaspoons of sugar in a can. Yikes. Change up the ratio a bit. Lighten up. OK, I get the branding deal, and taste, but marketing such an unhealthy product in a skillful fashion promotes obesity, disease and misery. We can drink or not drink Coke, I get it, but people in developing countries have little awareness as to what is healthy, what is not and what they should avoid. Coke is a treat, at best, not a daily drink.

Run a karmic online business. Do things from a high energy space. Avoid any urge to snag a quick buck. Help people. Do not hurt people.

6: Take Care of Accidents


Damage control goes beyond protecting your reputation. Coca Cola turned a blind eye to scores of union workers being killed by militants in Columbia, among other transgressions. The right thing to do was easy to see yet CC looked in the other direction. Monstrous organizations are subject to such incidents; accidents happen but CC can just as quickly do the right thing and address these accidents by fixing what needed to be fixed. Instead, the company has done a poor job addressing pressing issues with worker's rights.

Online business accidents happen. Address these incidents immediately. Mend broken relationships, help people who you have wronged.

7: Accept Criticism


The pit bull/watch dog attacking Coca Cola criticizes the entity like crazy. Officials seem to nod to some forms of criticism yet refuse to learn from the feedback or suggestions. Errors or mistakes are made over and over, as long as feedback is ignored. Same deal with your internet business; learning from criticism accelerates your growth. Ignoring criticism impedes your progress.

8: Do Not Drink Coke after 10 PM


This is the most brutal lesson. It is 5:11 AM and I have been up all night. Too much caffeine.

Do you drink Coke?

Why?

What lessons did you learn from this post?

What lessons did you learn about your online business?

- Image http://www.flickr.com/photos/kb35/