GIG Retail Interview with Jake Kirkham from Coca-Cola

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When did you join Coca-Cola?

I joined in December 2014 and came into the business from a broad retail background, having previously held roles at Sainsbury’s. Co-op, Morrisons and Nisa.

What do you do at Coca-Cola?

I’m the shopper Marketing Manager on Asda. I primarily work with the impulse category team to develop shopper marketing initiatives that work for both Asda and CCE.

What is your favourite thing about working for Coca-Cola?

The brands. We have one of the best portfolios in the world which includes Monster, Relentless, Capri-Sun, Schweppes, Fanta, Glaceau and not forgetting; Coca-cola.

It’s great to work on such a diverse range of products. There’s never a dull moment!

Do you have a favourite flavour beverage that the Coca-Cola brand offers? If so, which flavour?

I love Coke Zero. It’s a fantastic addition to the range. It’s got the great coke taste, but without the sugar or calories.

What is the best/most effective type of media you have used in store?

It has to be the mega displays we build at the front of store. The Christmas truck for example which went live in over 200 Asda’s in mid-November, gets a tremendous amount of interest from stores AND shoppers. Linked to the TV advert, for many people, it signals the start of the festive season.

If you could do anything in store to promote your product, what would you do? (As big and crazy as you like!)

I would love to redesign the whole soft drinks category, to inject some colour and excitement into the department. It would be great to test something like that with shoppers.

What predictions do you have regarding changes in media over the next 10 years?

It has to be the rise and rise of digital. With smartphone and iDevice usage continuing to grow, there will be new ways to communicate to shoppers and at the right time too. This will enable much better targeting and analytics.

Are there any future plans for Coca-Cola?

Lots! As we enter 2016, there will be plenty of NPD coming up the line – so watch this space! But the biggest opportunity for retail next year is arguably the UEFA Euros which takes place in France from 10th June to 10th July. As a major sponsor, we will be sure to be supporting in-store.

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