Boxer Marlen Esparza was the first American woman to qualify for the Olympics. She was also one of Coca-Cola’s Olympic 8-pack of Athletes who talked about the importance of working hard on behalf of others. While you may expect to read a story like this in Women’s Health or Fitness Magazine, this is actually the highlighted story on Coca-Cola’s new company website, the Coca-Cola Journey, which aims to be viewed as a dynamic, digital magazine rather than a typical corporate website. Aptly named “The Coca-Cola Journey” after Coca-Cola’s Employee Magazine (Journey) that was published from 1987 to 1997, Coke’s new site has been a year in the making and seeks to focus on “universally important topics, social causes and company news,” and tell the Coke story in an exciting and innovative way .
Site visitors can now check out regularly refreshed content by type (Stories, Opinions, Brands, Videos and Blogs) or topic (Brands, Business, Community, Entertainment, Environment, Health, History, Innovation and Sports), and will also find in-depth feature stories enlivened by high-res photography, videos and sound. Further, the Coca-Cola journey also features striking infographics and a “Debate Board,” which surveys readers on a range of Coke-related topics.
Chief executive Muhtar A. Kent challenged his employees to incorporate the employee’s magazine into the digital age, which left Ashley Brown, director for digital communications and social media asking, “Why should our great Coke story stay internal?”
The role of story is indeed the focal point to the new digital-magazine site, which doesn’t surprise any of us here at Braithwaite Communications, as story has always been at the center of our offering, and of any good communications approach. According to Brown, acting as newshounds is the hot new thing. They believe in the power of great, real content that can spread.
At Braithwaite we tell our clients there is a rare accepted truth in marketing: great brands tell great stories. Today, real people don’t want to hear any more sales messages. They want stories that arepowerful, simple and memorable. Through our Master Narrative Branding Model™, we replace worn messages and materials with real stories worth spreading. Then they spread through our client’s markets, media and people.
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then a story’s worth a thousand pictures. The power of narrative is playing out across all spheres of marketing, creating a unique competitive advantage for today’s leading brands. We’ve been converts for years. Quite simply, we build stories that build brands. We know that human beings are wired for narrative. That’s why stories work. Information in story form outperforms any tactic and transcends any media. Audiences retain up to seven times the information shared through a story than through statistics. And they work equally well in ads, PR, social media, training and recruitment. Coca-Cola successfully tapped into this truth in a new and inventive way. With story at the center of the Coca-Cola’s new website, we have no doubt Coke’s new journey will be as successful and refreshing as its products.