SHANGHAI: The Coca-Cola stable of brands in China is driven by consistency and staying true to the brand’s core values, according to a senior executive at the company.

In an exclusive interview with Warc, Coca-Cola’s Content and Creative Excellence Director in China, Richard Cotton, revealed that consistency is key to success for the company in the world’s biggest consumer market, where a complicated retail landscape and a highly competitive category offers challenges to the brand.

He explained that building brand awareness starts with getting the basics right, including price, distribution and brand message.

“It comes back to fundamentals – the very fundamentals of availability, of getting the price point right... I think where we've had a lot of success on Coke, for example, is rather than throwing lots of different ideas at people all the time is to start to build a lot more consistency in our approach,” Cotton said.

Cotton cited Coca-Cola’s Share A Coke campaign, which was adapted from Australia, as a successful example of consistency.

The campaign had a variety of different themes over five years – including nicknames, movie quotes and song lyrics – with the consistent themes of bringing people together, a core value of the brand. (Read the case study here: Coca-Cola: Coke Summer Movie Quote.)

“The temptation is always to come up with something new, something shiny, and something different, but actually having that consistency does definitely have a benefit and millions of campaigns from different brands over time that have shown that,” Cotton maintained.

“The trick is how do you balance consistency with ‘new’ news, with novelty, with something that is going to be slightly more interesting? Getting that balance right is something that we strive to do.”

Data sourced from WARC