Published 02 May 2018 Category: Compass Leisure

The Importance Of Brand Evangelism

Coca-Cola is one of the foremost companies that understands the need to abandon traditional advertising on social media sites in exchange for fan engagement. Asking for fans’ opinions, videos, stories and photos is endearing and shows that the company cares.

But here’s what happened when Coca-Cola fans Dusty Sorg and Michael Jedrzejewski wanted to make their love of Coke official on Facebook. The problem was that Coke (at the time) didn’t have an official Facebook page, only 250+ lame looking ones. So the boys tracked down a high resolution photo of a Coke can and created one themselves with the full support of Coke of course.

Coke had a choice. Facebook instituted a rule that regular users couldn’t create branded Facebook pages. Only those authorised by, or associated with, the brand could. Coke either had to take control of the page or allow Facebook to close it down. Coke was smart. They created a third solution: Let Dusty and Michael keep the page, but this time, work together.

It shows a maturation by big brands. Not long ago, Coke publicly disapproved of the Diet Coke + Mentos viral craziness because they felt like it didn’t fit their brand image (whatever the hell that is). Now it’s 2018 and Coke’s been around the block a few times. They know that you can’t control your brand 100 percent in social media and that sometimes it’s better to embrace it.

We’re seeing companies empower those who are empowering them; the acceptance of brand evangelists and lifting them up to do great things in your name.

Coke did itself a huge favour here. People want to interact with companies that care about them. When Coke had the choice to choose between corporate bureaucracy or its brand evangelists, it picked its brand evangelists. They didn’t just let the two fans keep the page, they flew them out to Atlanta and gave them a tour of the World of Coke museum. They brought them into meetings where they discussed how they could leverage the Facebook page together. They brainstormed ideas. They made them part of the company.

They showed these two guys, that behind everything else, they gave a shit. And that’s what consumers want. To know that their favorite brands give a shit.

It really doesn’t matter what size company you are, you need to empower those who empower you. Coke showed what happens when big brands learn how to play in social media - we all benefit. And that’s something that can brighten anyone’s midweek.