Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

More than a “brown, fizzy drink.” – 2 things you can learn from the most memorable Coke marketer [Tuesdays: “Write with the Pen of the Masters”]

March 16, 2021

Sergio Zyman, the marketer known for the campaign that launched the “New Coke” once said:

“If you don’t keep giving customers reasons to buy from you, they won’t.”

Customers are not hard to decipher―give them what they want and they’ll buy from your brand. Otherwise, they won’t.

It’s as simple as that… no need for other complicated formulas to boost your sales conversion rates!

Let’s use that concept in copywriting.

As a copywriter, what can you do to give your customers―even prospects―reasons to buy your products or services?

In this article, we’ll focus on 2 notable tips!

These are important lessons we can learn from Zyman’s experiences as Coca-Cola’s former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO):

  1. Be relevant.

    Prior to Zyman’s stint as CMO, Coca-Cola had a famous advertisement where free-spirited people are gathered together, singing:

    “I’d like to teach the world to sing
    In perfect harmony
    I’d like to hold it in my arms
    And keep it company.”

    True enough, the ad stuck in consumers’ minds and the song resonated everywhere. However, as captivating as the ad was, it didn’t sell much Coke.

    Enter Sergio Zyman…

    The moment he was appointed CMO, his first sweeping change was to “dump the ambiguous brand strategy” of Coca-Cola.

    According to Zyman:

    “Forget making people ‘feel happy!’ Let’s sit down and find out why they really drink the stuff.”

    Zyman pushed his team to precisely understand why customers bought Coke. After deliberate thinking, the marketing team came up with 35 reasons why the product had an appeal over other brands.

    What did Zyman do next?

    He helped create 35 different ads to capitalize on those “hot-button” hooks already present in Coca-Cola’s target market!

    Some of those ads included how Coke was a reward worth having after a hard day’s work, went great with a hotdog, and made people feel good during the summer.

    After the release of the new ads, the company went back to “growth mode.”

    See how giving customers more relevant reasons to buy Coke made a huge impact in the company’s business operations and marketing strategies?

    It’s all thanks to Zyman and his team’s creativity and insights!

    As a copywriter, you must also consider how to make your copies relevant to your readers.

    You may include client reviews or testimonials

    … make the tone of your content more friendly or conversational…

    … or use the loss aversion tactic (the principle of preferring avoiding losses rather than acquiring gains).

    Whatever your strategy is, one thing you have to remember is relevance is one of the most “critical weapons” in copywriting.

    When readers can easily relate to your copy or content, it gives your brand a more authoritative voice and power to convince your target market to answer your call-to-action.

    That’s why you always have to make sure your copies establish a clear connection about why consumers should choose your brand.

    Use a simple and well-focused message.

    Once you master the craft, you’re one step closer to achieving your copywriting objectives!

  2. Be ready to take risks and do things differently.

    According to Tony Robbins, an American author and professional speaker:

    “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

    One secret to getting more out of your business?

    It’s to not be afraid of doing something different!

    When Sergio Zyman’s campaign for the “New Coke” didn’t go as planned, he and his team found themselves working on bringing the old Coke back in its place.

    After the “biggest marketing blunder in 1995,” the Classic Coke once again gained traction in the market… and the Coca-Cola Company recovered pretty well.

    When asked to comment about the “New Coke” topic in one of his speaking engagements, Zyman said:

    “… the totality of the action ended up being positive.”

    Meanwhile, Tom Pirko, the President of Bevmark Drinks Consultancy in New York, stated the incident was a wake-up call for the company to “do things differently and take risks in a way it had not done before.”

    Indeed, the “New Coke” blunder and the return of the Classic Coke made Coca-Cola stronger!

    Just like the beverage company, doing things differently every once in a while in writing will help you add life to your copies.

    Don’t be afraid to explore new styles, approaches, and techniques in writing content.

    Experiment with different methods and observe what works better for your brand. Also, don’t be afraid to commit mistakes―it’s in these instances where you’ll learn and improve a lot.

    The writing process may be hard at the start, but don’t worry! Once you see the “fruits” of your hard work (higher viewership stats, website traffic, sales conversion rates, engagement rates, etc.), you’ll also say the experience is worth it.

    Remember: Copywriting, or being a writer in general, is not easy. However, with patience, constant practice, and effort, you’ll see yourself improving in every draft you create.

A lot of businesses are competing both in the online and offline world to strengthen and grow their customer base. Using different strategies, these brands do everything they can to convert prospects daily.

If you don’t do your part well as a copywriter, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to expand your business’ reach.

Make your copies on-point and laser-focused!

Keep Sergio Zyman’s advice in mind―you have to give your target market clear reasons to choose your brand.

A few secrets to achieve that?

Always be relevant and willing to do things differently.

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Write with the Pen of the Masters”

Who doesn’t find content writing to be a skill that requires a lot of practice and effort?

In fact, many people may even find copywriting very intimidating.

However, you can be a good writer as long as you have the right tools. You won’t always get things right the first time, but with enough time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it!

When you write a copy for any brand or for your company, your aim is to make an impact and…

…to get people to remember.

Getting people to remember means getting consumers to buy your product or to avail of your service.

And when you get your content to deliver the results you want, THAT is a great copy!

Every Tuesday, we publish content based on tips and insights from the masters of content writing, copywriting, and storytelling.

Become more familiar with ways to write great copy that helps you gain ROI from your efforts, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals.

Learn time-tested tactics that better capture the attention of your target audience, and maximize the benefits of great copywriting.

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Write with the Pen of the Masters!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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