The Coke recipe is infamously kept a secret by Coca-Cola. It’s also not going to reveal the contents of its brand-new, seasonally exclusive flavors.
Coca-Cola has introduced a variety of intriguing products during the past few months, including Coca-Cola Starlight, Byte, and Dreamworld. The beverage firm provided high-concept descriptions of an experience rather than particular flavor names for each of the limited-edition flavors. The mystery is the key, according to Coke.
“We’re engaging with people,” said Selman Careaga, global category president of Coca-Cola Trademark, which includes Coke drinks but not other Coca-Cola products like Fanta, Sprite or others. “They’re interacting with us, and they’re trying to guess what’s in it.”
Getting people to talk is a key part of Coke’s marketing strategy, particularly if it may pique their interest among younger customers.
According to Beverage Digest editor Duane Stanford, Coca-Cola has recently “seriously tried to push people to discuss” their goods. For instance, the firm invited customers to vote on whether the new Coke Zero recipe was the “greatest Coke ever” when it was first introduced. Additionally, as part of its “What the Fanta?” marketing, it has been offering mystery Fanta tastes.
Consumers are more likely to remember brands when talking about product flavors. According to Stanford, Coca-Cola (KO) wants those who participate in or view these talks to consider Coke the next time they enter a store. Additionally, the beverage firm must focus attention on its trademark, which it has prioritized after cutting its failed brands.
Consumers are more likely to remember brands when talking about product flavors. According to Stanford, Coca-Cola (KO) wants those who participate in or view these talks to consider Coke the next time they enter a store. Additionally, the beverage firm must focus attention on its flagship brand, which it has prioritized after cutting its failed brands.
Additionally, these goods go beyond the usual weird Coke tastes. Each includes a unique online experience. They work as a unit to draw in Gen Z, a highly sought-after population.
Letting Costumers Figure it Out
Coca-Cola gave each product its own cryptic description instead of a typical flavor name like “vanilla” or “cherry,” and let customers fill in the blanks.
The business said that Starlight included “notes that make you think of starry beside a campfire, together with a chilling sensation that makes you think of a chilly space adventure
Byte “invites you to discover what pixels might taste like,” and Dreamworld is apparently even more creative, telling customers that they would “enjoy the classic Coca-Cola taste now with an unexpected flavor from a dream world.”
While bemoaning the tacky advertising, the product reviewers on YouTube attempted to decipher the flavor and invited users to share their opinions.
There were a wide variety of theories on what Starlight tastes like, including cotton candy, funnel cake, and S’mores. Some people who tried Byte then predicted grapefruit or blueberry. Dreamworld was claimed to taste like mango, peach, or orange. Or perhaps cough medicine.
Some companies release flavors that are mysteries but then reveal them to customers. It’s been tradition for Mountain Dew to introduce a covert VooDew flavor before revealing it to customers. The Fanta flavors from Coca-Cola will also be introduced.
But Starlight, Byte and Dreamworld’s flavors are staying in the vault, said Careaga.
“In a way, [it’s] like our secret formula,” he said. And in this case, the flavors aren’t really the point.
The Target: Gen Z
Coca-Cola withheld the sales data for these goods. However, according to Careaga, it is happy with the results so far. He claimed that initiatives like the mystery flavors had helped Coke products’ overall sales increase. Trademark In the second quarter, Coke increased by 7%.
The drinks were created to fit into the more general themes of computing, dreams, and space, respectively. The flavors themselves, though? Not that significant.
“It’s actually more about the experiences we create than it is about the flavor of the product”, he said. In an effort to appeal to a younger audience that spends a lot of time online, those encounters are frequently virtual.
Each of the seasonal flavors was introduced alongside a variety of online activities. Among them are A QR code on Starlight’s can allowed users access to a holographic Ava Max concert. In Fortnite, Byte was introduced, and Dreamworld users could purchase virtual goods for their online avatars.
What is important, however, is that every Coke product tastes like a Coke.
“The R&D team does a great job [of] developing these new flavors, which are Coca-Cola based, but then we kind of play a little bit with the taste.” Careaga said. “Without a doubt, it’s a Coca-Cola product.”
Developing new Coke flavors can be risky if they stray too far from the signature flavor, Stanford noted.
“When you create these formulas that could be hit or miss, you’ve got to be very careful,” Stanford said. “The longevity of the brand has been all about that very unique Coke taste,” he added. “You want to make sure you don’t undermine that long-term message.”