Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

“These brands belong to the consumers who love them everyday”

In Insight on January 18, 2009 at 11:59 am

The quote in this post title is not from some Social Media Expert, or branding consultant. It’s from Katie Bayne, Coca-Cola North America’s Chief Marketing Officer, and it’s from a new Microsoft ad:

Can you imagine the CMO of Coca-Cola, say 30 years ago, making that statement? How about the CMO from 10 years ago? Five?

It’s a great quote and an interesting new campaign from Microsoft.  If you believe, as Ms. Bayne believes, that the brand belongs to the consumers, then your job as a marketer changes dramatically. Is getting endcap space in the super market really your top priority?  Is deciding if the offer in your FSI needs to be a $1 off or a buy two, get one free, really a critical decision?

Or is understanding that your consumers want to drop Mentos in your 2 liter bottles and videotape the results (and post them on YouTube) the most important thing you can know? With the change in the relationship between brand and consumer comes a change in the skills needed in the C-Suite.

UPDATE 1/20/09: Rob Walker of Murketing/Buying In/Consumed fame sends this along:

“The reality is that the American consumer owns Coca-Cola.” — Robert Goizueta, 1988

Curse you Walker, with your ‘facts’ and your ‘research’. Actually, thank you for passing that along. Certainly others before Bayne understood the emerging consumer-brand dynamic.

  1. Companies can’t afford not to know their consumers anymore, because in this rapidly changing world we live in we need to hang on to something. This is where brands can come in.
    Sure, we change or mobile phones every few months, our car maybe every few years, but we still drink Coca-Cola every day. Why? Because it’s become part of our life, of our daily routine.
    That’s why brands belong to the consumers. Because people get emotionally attached to them and no matter the changes they go through in their daily lives, they always find time to love their favorite brands.

  2. The statement from Katie Bayne in that Microsoft advertisement doesn’t even make sense. Maybe it’s because MS decided to chop the interview up and make her look incompetent, but the end result is an incoherent and unresponsive retort from Bayne.

    The original question is, “how important is it to get the right information instead of just a lot of information?”

    Katie fails to answer the question while at the same time blathering on and spouting nonsensical ad slogans that are apparently revered in the marketing world but in reality makes no sense at all.

    Katie Bayne is probably a great advertiser because the main point of an ad is to create a smoke-screen of BS and sell you a product at ten times it’s original value.

  3. That comment from bayne is insulting. That women sounds like an idiot, it was just a bunch of bad obvious quotes stuck together. I can’t believe she is a marketing director. Hopefully she’ll be fired soon. Imagine working for an ego maniac like that.


  4. Good grief!
    That Microsoft ad campaign makes no sense. Who are they talking to?
    Want a good chuckle, go to:


  5. […] turned out some of the most talked about creative in recent years (I talked about it here, here and here). Recently CP+B had an intern auction on eBay, where brands could bid for the services of CP+B […]

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