December 19, 2012

As the new Coca Cola website shows, companies are stories

Economy

As the new Coca Cola website shows, companies are stories - Alessandro Benetton blog

The Coca Cola website has been transformed into a complete online magazine, a social platform able to overcome the static format of traditional company websites. More than just information related to the brand, products and initiatives, it features an innovative interactive magazine, with news, stories, opinions and multimedia content.

It is certainly one of the latest, ambitious examples of what is generally called “corporate storytelling”. This is nothing strictly new, and in fact there have always been companies that choose to base their communication strategy on storytelling, on providing content that interests their readers and on sharing stimuli. For others it is nothing but a different marketing strategy. To my mind, however, this trend has a much deeper meaning, which concerns, and invests in, the very concept of business and its role.

In other words, why does a company need to offer anything other than its product (which will always remain a fundamental priority)? Why reach out to people and not just consumers? The answer is that a company isn’t just a company. As I have said before, a company is a player that operates in a context, amongst others, and interacts, dialogues, expresses its own opinion, tells its own story and presents its own universe of values.

Benetton Group chose to take this route some years ago now. We did it with Fabrica, our communications research centre, with the Unhate Foundation, the heart of the group’s social commitment, and above all with the communication campaigns intended to stimulate debate around current issues. These are all chapters of a story that has entered the imagination of many, and which allows us to be recognised, day after day, not only as an economic entity, but, more ambitiously, as a social and cultural one.

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