“Using a person’s name is crucial, especially when meeting those we don’t see very often. Respect and acceptance stem from simple acts such as remembering a person’s name and using it whenever appropriate.” – Dale Carnegie
Have you ever been in a situation where someone you’ve met multiple times forgets your name? Or, instead of calling you by the wrong name, they say “hey¢¦you.” Not only is it extremely uncomfortable for both parties, but it can also be offensive and make you feel unimportant.
Marketing professionals have discovered that consumers want a personalized experience. Coca-Cola took this information and created the ingenious “Share a Coke” campaign. They swapped their logo for individual first names on the front of the bottle so consumers felt special when purchasing one of their products, or even just seeing it on a store shelf. Many people gave or received a personalized Coke product, or sent a picture of one through social media.
By 2014, Coca-Cola had more than one thousand names on its soda bottles. Their social media channels exploded with 998 million impressions on Twitter, 235,000 tweets using #ShareaCoke and more than 150 million personalized bottles sold.
So, why did this campaign work so well?
Unique Experience – Using a person’s name transforms the purchase of a product into something greater. It allows the consumer to have an experience searching through the bottles for their name or sending one to a friend. It creates a special moment they will remember.
Feeling Important – Everyone loves to feel special. Connecting individual first names to a product or service makes your consumers feel appreciated and valued as a human being, rather than just a number on a sales sheet.
Earned Media – When people found their name or a friend’s on a soda bottle, they wanted to tell others about it. Coca-Cola was able to promote their products through earned media and reach a much wider audience simply because customers were willing to share stories about the bottles on social media.
Personalized promotion fosters a connection. It implies that you are directing your message at this individual for a purpose, making them feel special. Today’s consumers want experiences, not just tangible products. Using a person’s name allows them to have a personal experience with your brand and remember it in the future.