Continuing the Coca-Cola Empower Lecture Series towards the end of 2017, a session was held at Beaconhouse National University (BNU), Tarogil Campus. The Series aims to provide university students across the country with extra-curricular learning through inspirational and informative talks delivered by experts in various fields. The session was a collaborative effort with BNU, and the topic under discussion was ‘Millennials in the Coca-Cola World’ with Fahad Qadir as the guest speaker who’s the Director of Public Affairs & Communications at The Coca-Cola Company for Pakistan and Afghanistan Region.

The session kicked off with an auditorium full of millennials, curious to hear what the World’s Best Beverage Brand had to share with them in terms of brand marketing, innovation, leadership and workplace attitude.

Taking his journey back to 10 years with The Coca-Cola Company, Fahad explained how the Company’s marketing strategy has evolved over the years; with globally acclaimed ‘Share A Coke’ campaign, ‘music platforms like Coke Studio, to the latest ‘One Brand Strategy’ which encapsulates four brands of the Company as one. He also highlighted the 4 ways of marketing to millennials that the Company has recently adopted:

  1. Packaging; the environment-friendly ‘Ice bottle’ for the beach goers who can enjoy a chilled Coke under the sun 
  2. Community Partnerships; Coca-Cola’s 2020 vision that encapsulates women empowerment under the 5by20 program, water stewardship and provision of quality education 
  3. Product & Equipment; Coca-Cola wants to offer more choice to its consumers to make informed choices, therefore, the product portfolio includes more than 500 brands which range from regular to diet and zero sugar drinks. On the equipment front, the next-generation Coca-Cola Freestyle dispenser was introduced for consumer co-creation and customization with the ability to pour more than 100 still and sparkling beverages
  4. Cultural Leadership; The best example is Coke Studio Pakistan, where a basic music platform was adapted to highlight the cultural manifestation of Pakistan globally

Fahad, being a millennial himself, emphasized on the following traits which could help individuals succeed through the exceedingly progressive generation of millennials:

  • By 2025 millennials will form 75% of the global workforce. They are constantly looking for jobs with a purpose that contributes to the well-being of the communities
  • The attention span of millennials might be comparatively short as compared to ‘baby boomers’ generation, but that is just because they are career oriented and want to progress constantly, navigating themselves towards better opportunities
  • However, success isn’t a day’s game. It takes consistency, persistence and above of all patience. Although in a workplace, the generation of millennials cares more about the ‘me’ but it’s important to acknowledge your team and work collectively towards a larger goal
  • Your workplace attitude is the only trait that can set you aside from the clutter and the sooner you can internalize a flexible attitude, the quicker you’ll climb the staircase to success
  • If you think that being smart and educated will always help you succeed then you might be wrong. Education and intellect will support you around conventional work environment but being rational and organized will always help you sustain and grow as a professional

For better understanding, Fahad showcased Coca-Cola advertisements targeting millennials and their continuous search for marketing ideas that are simply larger than life. The Coca-Cola Small Machines advertisement was an instant hit among the audience for its innovative and humane approach. You can view the advertisement here:

The session concluded with a quick and informal question & answer session round, and Coca-Cola goody-bags were distributed among the students.

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