Coke’s Cute Cans Revive and Excite the Brand Without Changing the Essentials

I love the Coke mini-cans and I’m not even a Coke drinker.  I love the colours. I love the size. I love how collectable they look. I love the cost is a small gold coin. I’m sure one of my kids will have a holiday project of collecting one of each colour.

I also love what they say about doing small business well.

A client told me the other day they were concerned about feeling bored in the business. ‘I’m worried I’ll lose my inspiration and get bored’. Yes this does happen.  Another client has a book coming out early next year. I suggested we find some surprises for the second half of the year. He’ll need refreshing after talking about the book themes non-stop for months.

This is not to say we need to hop, skip and jump out of the fundamentals of what we do in business. Nobody expects the familiar red Coke can to vanish…just yet. And the inside of a mini-can is still filled with charcoal-coloured sticky liquid.

But sometimes we need to shake things up a bit. Boredom is a risk in business and formulas can shut down inspiration.

Some small business owners risk taking up boredom buster projects that are unaligned. If Coke put another colour and flavour in their red can it would be all wrong.  Or if Coke suddenly started selling cookies it would seem very odd. If you take on a boredom buster project that is unaligned, identify and name it. Then measure it, so you know the impact it’s having on your time and the business.

I recommend a boredom buster look more like the new little coloured Coke cans.  Or the Share a Coke campaign that saw popular names printed on cans. The rules are: Have fun, keep it close to home and make sure it excites your clients and market. But don’t confuse or alienate them. Choose a project that helps people see you and your values more clearly.

I’ve spent a lot of time aligning small business owners to keep them on-track and on-message for their public profile.  If they’re off track, the energy and time being spent doesn’t deliver back to the business. That’s a problem. I want all their activity and communications to be on mission, not off-target. Then everything ties together like one big power lift instead of ten finger pulls.