The New York Times' Stuart Elliott broke the story this morning about Coca-Cola relaunching its corporate website. Armed with that revamped website, Coca-Cola now wants to break more of its own stories.
While maintaining the same website address for the Coca-Cola Company, the content is now arranged and commissioned to resemble a slick magazine or digital media brand's website, with the emphasis on storytelling from around the world. The inspiration came from the top, as Elliott recounts, when chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent charged his marketing and communications executives to refresh the company's old employee magazine, Journey, which ran from 1987 to 1997, for the digital age.
Having spent 2011 celebrating Coca-Cola's 125th anniversary, they were inspired to tell the forward-looking journey of the Coca-Cola company's multitude of brands in a more engaging, digital fashion — taking a page from Journey to reimagine the company's online and digital presence in a fresh, more engaging way that incorporates social media and blogging from around the world. The relaunched website (its first relaunch since 2005, after being launched in 1995) is described by NYT's Elliott as "the company's most ambitious digital project to date" for good reason.
Ashley Brown, director of digital communications and social media for the company, walked Elliott through what's new on the more editorially-focused website, which creates, aggregates and curates content while maintaining the core functions of a corporate website (careers, investor relations, press releases, executive bios). It's not just content marketing, either, with a focus on original content that's not just self-promotional.
Brown says the goal is to spark a debate, and host differing points of view, while showing the totality of Coca-Cola in a way that surprises and establishes a lively brand voice, one that Brown says had to be created "from scratch" with this launch. So how would he sum up that voice, as expressed through the new digital home of the Coca-Cola brand? "Smart, fun and fearless" — not exactly words you'd associate with the world's biggest brand. And that's the whole point.Continue reading...