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Entry 5

Sali Davies

Entry 5: Personalisation Everybody loves something that is personal and unique - even if it is just your name on a drink so this week I have primarily focused on researching into the topic of personalisation within the community to see what themes and motivations interlink. It has become apparent in recent years that authentic and personalised content is key to any form of marketing as 78% of consumers feel that firms who personalise their experience are much more interested in building a long-lasting relationship with them as consumers - making them feel more valued (Hanley-Wood Business Media, 2013). Additionally,


HQ identified that over 50% of UK social media users are in fact willing to share personal information in order to receive personalised content in return. Service research denotes personalisation as the customization of a service to an individual customer through adaptive behaviour (Shen & Ball, 2009). This is often characterised by two distinctive dimensions; interpersonal adaptive behaviour and service offering behaviour (Gwinner et al., 2005; Surprenant & Solomon, 1987). In order to demonstrate a genuine desire to assist the customer, Starbucks primarily engage in interpersonal adaptive behaviour as employees consistently adjust their behaviour to the context of the service interaction by addressing their customers by their first name (Goodwin, 1996). This form of personalisation of their service is often considered to be a great benefit, offering a superior service thus greater customer satisfaction. Traditionally, personalisation was always policy-defined. It is not until recently, that it has been shaped by the consumer themselves as personalisation is now achieved through a combination of co-production and collective actions (Cornes, 2011).

In fact, since the revolution of social media, there has been a major cultural change. Personalisation is happening all around us; therefore consumers are beginning to expect it. However, putting consumers at the centre of the business is a central contributor to personalisation, providing them with a superior choice in how they live their lives and how they experience different services (Kennedy, 2009). As I have stated in an earlier diary entry, Starbucks introduced this element of personalisation in 2012 to better their consumer relationships by making them more personal. However, the masters of innovative marketing themselves, Coca Cola have since joined the revolution by launching their extremely clever “share a Coke campaign� placing names instead of their logo on the side of each bottle of coke, personalising each individuals experience when buying a the fizzy drink. Since launching the campaign in April 2013, Coca Cola has experienced a growth of 3.5% in its UK Facebook community and 6.8% globally, coined with the Hashtag #shareacoke being used in excess of 29,000 times on twitter (Brandwatch, 2013). The success of the campaign was predominantly due to the fact that it reached out to consumers as individuals – much like Starbucks. Although some consumers expressed disappointment at not finding their names, they could still get excited about the possibility of finding a friend or family members name and order their own online. This is the element that Starbucks is missing. By encouraging consumers to share their experience, consumer-generated content became the backbone of the entire campaign. Taking photos of personalised Coke bottles and posting them on various social media platforms with the hashtag of #shareacoke became a cultural norm, generating 66,540 Instagram photos and 54,200 twitter followers.

Nothing makes u feel more special1 than having ur name on a soft drink! Thanks @WMTeck – BEST BROTHER




#ShareACoke3 Not only has it employed a little happiness and personalisation as consumers found their name on a bottle, but Coca cola benefitted from the masses of online photo sharing as the nation became obsessed. This consumer explains how she feels “special” as a result of the personalisation of the coke can. It highlights that there is a real desire, not only for the drink itself but the desire to find the personalised can, whilst evoking a real sense of happiness and contentment. The following data was collected from – an online forum. They are responses from a threat titled: ‘Living in a very white conservative area, I can't share my coke with Rasheed or Mohammed, they don't exist here.’

You do not share with Stannis. That coke is his..BY RIGHT1


He doesn't even want it. But god damn it, he will have it. I never wanted the coke, it was my duty to drink the coke.1 2 FRUSTRATION

I don't like Coke and my name is rarely ever on any of these types of things (bracelets, keyrings etc.) anyway. I feel like I'm missing out on something...2 I bought a bottle just because it had my name on it.3 I wasn't even thirsty.4

3 4


Starbucks personalisation analysis

My name is Chad and I get that a lot. "Chad? Is that short for something?" Also when they think I said Shad it's surprisingly hard to annunciate without sounding like an asshole "it's ChaDD"1



Mine is "Ned". When they ask "Ed?" I say "No, Ned...Ryerson". They never get the joke.2 Mine is "nedrick". One time the person calling names looked really confused, showed a coworker, and finally yelled "Venti Mocha". I got the cup, looked, and it said "Negger." I'm white, so it wasn't that awkward, but there were african americans in there, so it could've been.3


My real name is Hunter, but being female and living in a nonEnglish speaking country (The Netherlands)4 I often end up with interesting variations on 'Hunter'. These include, 'hamster', 'hander', 'hanter', 'handur' etc.5

Similarly to CocaCola, the same themes are presenting themselves again and again. The theme of identity is becoming apparent in these posts, as it is clear that the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;namesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; are the focus of the posts, not the image of the drink itself. Members are part of this online community because of their names, and their experiences they have encountered which relate to their names. However, as a result of the misspelling a theme of embarrassment does occur in some cases. Although it is the consumer who says their name to the Starbucks barista, ultimately it is the employee who has full control over what is written. This is why they have been scrutinised as there is room for human error as names are easily misinterpreted, especially in such a multi-cultural country.

Coca cola on the other hand has allowed the

consumer to be in full control, by giving them a choice of the top 150 names and the option

to then order your own name online if necessary. This strategy made the campaign much more flexible as there was a vast choice of names to choose from as they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t discriminate against any individual.

Entry 5  
Entry 5