In 2011, Coca-Cola launched one of the most successful mass personalization campaigns ever.

The idea? Taking a country’s one hundred and fifty most popular first names, nicknames, and terms of affection within each country and paste them on Coke bottle labels. The total volume, to begin with, was one billion custom labels to be shared around the world.

Mass Personalization: Making Individuals Feel Special

In the 21st century world of marketing, customization and personalization are everything. Coca-Cola’s newest marketing gimmick, Share A Coke, is perfectly capitalizing on this consumer preference.

Not surprisingly, consumers around the world love this marketing technique. When the initiative launch, it instantly went viral, spanning across oceans on social media. A man named Donnie McGilvray rose to Internet fame after he posted a photo on Facebook of proposing to his wife with personalized Coke bottles.

How This Mass Personalization Translates Into Sales

So while Donnie is getting international recognition from Twitter, Coca-Cola is cashing in on his famous Coke bottle proposal. Not only is Coca-Cola raising their bottom line because of this great marketing idea, it has also been named the third largest global brand, falling just two spots short of #1 after Apple and Google.

This shows the ever-lasting success that Coca-Cola has had. The brand has survived over one hundred years of volatile markets, shifting economic policies, and industry competition. Coca-Cola’s brand is valued at just under eighty billion, which puts to shame the next best beverage competitor at just under twenty nine billion.

What’s more? The market cap for Coca-Cola is valued at approximately $175 billion, with its brand equity accounting for almost half of the company’s total value. This is huge and illustrates just how valuable a brand is to its company. What Coca-Cola is doing with their new marketing strategy paints a picture of the today’s successful advertising: firms need to focus on customer customization.

In the past, business models worked towards selling products to the masses, but today they must focus on appealing to individuals who are looking to connect with the brands they buy. Businesses must stand out form the crowd, differentiating themselves from the competition, and allow consumers to express themselves – just like Cocoa Cola’s personalized bottles.

A study done by eConsultancy found that companies who employed methods to customize the consumer experience increased their sales, on average, by 19% as a result. Companies finally comprehend the power of personalization, which is why 94% agree that personalization is “critical to current and future success.”

From Demographics To Personalization

Recently, there has been more and more talk on the death of demographics.

From a marketing perspective, demographics are inadequate when it comes to engaging with the customer. In today’s world, consumers expect more. It is no longer enough to send the same email to all ‘males aged 18-25’. Organizations must go the extra mile.

Personalization delights the consumer and increases the corporation’s bottom line. Data has shown that individuals who use personalized mobile commerce were 18% more likely to make an impulse buy and 49% more likely to return to a store.

Personalization is giving consumers the acknowledgement they crave. It encompasses more than a name on a pop bottle; it’s the future of commerce.

Again, this brings us back to how much non-profit organizations can look to benefit from building their brand with a personalized approach to donors. It all comes back to (you guessed it!) the four principles:

  1. Make it easy for them.
  2. Add value to their lives.
  3. Personalize / customize their journey.
  4. Give them choice on where and how they can make their donations.