How Coca-Cola is embracing Euro 2016
More than €1.26 billion will be generated in France thanks to Euro 2016. The 2.5 million fans filling the 10 stadiums throughout the tournament will spend €835 million, with another €352 million of revenue being generated in the fan zones across the country.
For official sponsors such as Coca-Cola, sporting events such as this represent a unique opportunity to reach out to consumers, innovate and test new ideas. The world’s most iconic drinks brand is certainly looking to do just this in France, utilising the advantage of being the only UEFA partner present in the 10 host city fan zones.
From tailored match day merchandise and at-seat drinks delivery to real time content creation and build-your-own Panini sticker stands, Coca-Cola fully intends on playing a key part in the festival atmosphere of the tournament.
Manuel Berquet is General Director of UEFA EURO 2016 for Coca-Cola, the man in charge of ensuring maximum consumer impact, who has been working on the project since the final whistle went at the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil.
“We have a culture of best practice, change and learning from previous experience,” he says. “As soon as we finish an event like this we transfer all of the knowledge to the following event. When Brazil finished they came to Paris and spent a week with us talking about everything; what went well, what didn’t, and what we can do differently. I will do exactly the same with the next Fifa World Cup in Russia in 2018.”
Coca-Cola is everywhere. One of the lessons learned from Brazil was simply to provide more variety in bigger quantities, all of the time.
Each of the 51 matches taking place at the tournament will see Coca-Cola dispensed into a unique plastic cup bearing the colours of the teams playing, while a new aluminum bottle and sleeker can will also be launched during Euro 2016.
The company has also entered a partnership with Panini to provide stickers of the French players on special 1.5 litre plastic bottles. It will also provide photo booths in fan zones and cities which will enable fans to make their own selfie-style stickers.
At the games, 816 13-17 year olds have been recruited as flag bearers to accompany the players as they enter the pitch.
Away from the stadiums and fan zones, Coca-Cola is supplying 300 bars with eco fridges and WiFi to help fans without tickets to watch the games. “Unlike the UK, this tournament is only available on paid for TV in France, so many people will be going out to bars to watch the games,” Berquet explains. “Our aim is to make the football experience as big as possible.”
“As soon as an event like this comes around consumers want to be part of it. We will have between five and seven million visitors coming from around the world to be part of the atmosphere and celebrate the event. Out of these millions coming over, only 2.5 million will have tickets to the games and will be in the stadiums. Many are coming just to have a good time and celebrate the event, and for us this means a huge demand for Coca-Cola.”
Indeed, visiting Europeans will see Coca-Cola from the moment they arrive, with airport arrivals halls, baggage reclaim areas and train station concourses all labelled by the brand.
Asides from a huge increase in physical presence at transport hubs, stadiums, fan zones and in bars, Euro 2016 is being treated as a prime opportunity to innovate in the digital space.
The ‘Deliver Me’ app will be in operation at the two biggest stadiums, the Stade de France in Paris and Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon. This is a pre-ordering system allowing fans to receive a delivery of Coca-Cola to their seat during games.
“I find that whenever I go to a game, at half time it is crazy to try and get a drink and something to eat,” Berquet says. “The Deliver Me app allows fans to order before or during the game from their seat and they will have their order with them inside two minutes. We have worked on this project for months and tested it thoroughly in the stadiums. All you have to do is put in your seat location and we will find you.”
A digital extension of the Panini partnership involves an app-based sticker trading platform. By scanning bar codes of Coca-Cola merchandise, fans can fill up digital sticker albums and swap with fellow collectors, giving a far greater chance of acquiring a complete set. Before the tournament started, more than half a million had signed up, trading more than 15 million stickers.
Coke TV is a dedicated YouTube channel, presenting real-time content from the tournament, including analysis by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, recruited by Coca-Cola as its expert voice. He will be commenting on the matches and progress of Euro 2016 as a whole in exclusive videos that will be posted on social networks.
Another partnership in the social sphere is with Snapchat, where the two parties will be providing exclusive filters for users to post images and videos. Increased real-time social media presence was something highlighted by the Brazil 2014 World Cup team, and Berquet is ensuring Euro 2016 will deliver this.
He adds: “We will have a social media and communication hub in Paris where we will provide and generate real time content. This will be staffed by 30 people who will share everything to fans on social media as and when it happens.
“Coke TV will also continue after the Euros, as everything we are doing can be applied to our wider business. These are not one off innovations we are coming up with - my work on strategy and innovation involves looking at what we want to be doing after the tournament because the legacy and long term business is just as important.”
Coca-Cola’s lasting legacy of Euro 2016 will also be felt at a grassroots sporting level. One of the 10 host cities will win a brand new indoor sports stadium courtesy of Coca-Cola in a bid to get teenagers active during the tournament.
“Another big change in consumer behaviour when tournaments like this are on is the desire to get out, practice and be active, inspired by the action on show,” Berquet says. “People want to play football during the World Cup and emulate athletes during the Olympics. What we are doing among the 10 host cities is holding a contest which challenges the cities to encourage their populations to be active.”
Coca-Cola is partnering with the French Football Federation and Ministry of Sport to deliver the facility and run the competition, which will be judged on the number of attendees at events, use of hashtags #moveParis, #moveLyon etc. and plans for the management and use of the stadium.
By ramping up distribution and innovation of physical and digital merchandise, rolling out new campaigns to consumers and encouraging locals to get out and be active, Berquet is convinced that Coca-Cola will make its mark in a big way.
He concludes: “I love sport, and this is a fantastic opportunity to bring something to the company and the nation. I am also enjoying the opportunity to build a team, much like you do in football. I played football so know the importance of teamwork and what it can do to business performance.
“It is also one of the biggest challenges and opportunities - building a great team for this event, engaging all of our employees and succeeding together. We have the team to win, I am sure of that.”
Read the July EURO 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.
Re-defining the economics of CX in the new customer journey
There’s no shortage of customer service channels for the enterprise to select from today. Regardless of the many new metrics that have emerged – such as customer success, or empathy – cost reduction is still a primary driver in selection criteria.
There are many articles dedicated to how companies can turn customer service and customer experience (CX) from a cost to a revenue centre. The problem is, if you stop there and don’t look beyond cost reduction, you’re limiting the scope for CX to become an even bigger economic contributor in the enterprise.
There is every opportunity for customer service and CX to significantly influence the front end of business, particularly amongst direct-to-consumer subscription-based products and services, such as popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, as well as sports subscription services like DAZN.
In these products and services and others, there are new customer journeys that may drive business growth and revenue. They start earlier and may last a lifetime, so getting things right at the start of the journey is key so that customers have the best experience from day one.
Not only will this help in making customers less likely to reach out for issues-based support further down the line, but these customers will be much less likely to churn, and much more likely to take up new services as they are offered throughout the lifetime journey.
So, what does the new customer journey look like for these services?
Opportunity waiting for the likes of Netflix & Disney
While consumers may have previously regarded customer service as a way to mitigate the inconveniences in their lives, the customer journey is expanding in scope every day. Today there are many more touchpoints available that put CX in a position to drive revenue.
For one-off purchases, traditional CX deployments have not changed significantly in the past few years. However, if you look at the change in the CX relationships we’re seeing with subscription-based products and services, particularly media-based streaming services, it’s clear that these companies lead what quickly become very multifaceted relationships with their customers. These have serious potential to evolve over time for increased economic benefit.
For any sort of subscription-based business, customer lifetime value is paramount, and the requirement to actively manage a continued positive customer experience is critical.
Every interaction is an opportunity, and every data point is a chance to offer more value. Introductory offers can convert to longtime customers. Longtime customers may take up opportunities to upgrade to more premium products or services. They may also appreciate incentives to invite family and friends to become customers. Consumers who like a particular service, for example, may appreciate a recommendation for another similar or complimentary service.
It all starts with customer interaction, and the customer experience journey becomes an opportunity to strategically affect the user base and resulting revenue - which is a far cry from the limitations of call center cost reduction or churn metrics.
How do companies support the new customer journey?
More and more, customers look at the new customer journey as engaging with brands as part of their lifestyles. Many companies are making brand ambassadors available before the traditional customer journey even starts, which is a marked change from a purely transactional relationship associated with a one-off purchase.
These ambassadors, who are often independent users of products or services, are providing trusted pre-sales advice, and that same trusted advice can also function to nurture the customer journey in a subscription-based relationship. Call it ‘GigCX’ or ‘crowdsourced customer service’ or even ‘peer-to-peer customer service’ - it doesn’t matter.
The key is in providing impartial, trusted advice from real users. Think about it: who would you rather get advice from? Someone who has used a product or service extensively, or someone who has been trained to provide customer service surrounding that product or service?
For services such as streaming media, advice from trusted experts with real product know-how could be invaluable. This may not be limited to technical issues, such as what to do when you can’t access your favourite show, or how to access services across various devices. It could be parents helping other parents who are concerned about how to restrict adult content from child viewers, or simply customers who have similar taste in programming who can comment on the benefits of upgraded or premium products. The point is, these experts are easily available at any touchpoint in the customer lifetime journey, creating more chances to add value.
It’s also about tipping customers from ‘passive’ to ‘promoter’ in the NPS scale. It’s an opportunity to turn neutral customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings into loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others, fuelling growth. It may ultimately help drive even further revenue by creating customers that are helping to sell the brand itself.
And, while chatbots and automation may play a key role, they are often not able to handle the more complex support needed in the new customer journey. Conversational AI is rarely as conversational as it claims to be, and in the new customer journey, most companies are finding that a mix of automation and people-centric service is an ideal way to nurture the many new touchpoints created.
It’s no longer about trying to replace human capital with automation: it’s about orchestrating a uniquely personalised CX, and proactively engaging during the customer lifecycle to enhance the experience, and to create more long-term value.
At the moment, we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the power to affect the economics introduced by the new customer journey. We’ll no doubt see this evolve rapidly particularly amongst streaming companies as they use human-centric connections in CX to support the full potential of customer lifetime value.
About Roger Beadle
Roger Beadle is an entrepreneur and business leader who is reinventing how customer service is delivered via the gig economy. After establishing several businesses in the contact centre industry, Roger co-founded Limitless with Megan Neale in 2016. Limitless is a gig-economy platform that addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the contact center industry: low pay, high attrition and access to new talent. Previously, Roger and Megan helped to build one of the largest privately-owned outsourced contact center business in Europe, before selling the business to the global conglomerate Hinduja Group. Roger is an outspoken proponent of digital ethics, worker’s rights and the ‘good-gig:’ which encapsulates gig work for incremental pay versus full time work, skilled gig work, no unpaid time/downtime and zero expenses.
Named a Rising Star at Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program, Limitless is a gig customer service platform, combining crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges – rising costs, increasing attrition, variability in demand and the need for diversity. Brands like Microsoft, Unilever, Daily Mail Group and Postmates are using Limitless’ SmartCrowdTM technology to connect with their most engaged customers, and reward them for providing on-demand customer service that can flex in line with demand. Limitless is one of the world’s first global tech platforms to introduce localised platform terms to protect the rights of its gigging workers. Backed by AlbionVC, Downing Ventures and Unilever Ventures, Limitless is empowering people worldwide to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for the brands they love.