As an example, let's look at Coca-Cola. An easily recognizable brand with international influence, Coca-Cola is an industry leader in sales, marketing, and acquisitions. They are a beverage company through and through. Despite the gargantuan size of their corporation, they have never navigated away from their core competencies. According to a January 2014 Mintel Report on Occasions for Consuming Non-Alcoholic Beverages, 26% of survey respondents indicated that they consume a carbonated soda daily. The MRI+ MediaMark Reporter tells us that there are 26.7 million Americans that are heavy drinkers of diet sodas (drinking 6 or more glasses in the last 7 days). We also know that people tend to avoid caffeinated or carbonated beverages before bed, and think it's important to start your day off with a healthy beverage (Mintel report). So this is what the consumption context of a heavy consumer of Diet Coke might look like:
So what is Coca-Cola to do? Well, being one of the largest corporations on earth and having the purchasing power to do so, Coca-Cola began an acquisitions quest to increase the consumption contexts of Coke products. They bought Minute Maid which appealed to both non-soda drinkers, morning juice drinkers, and health conscious individuals looking to replace soda with a healthier option. Coke also bought PowerAid and Dasani, reaching the water drinking crowds and the athletes by providing them with an alternative to soda to stay hydrated and energized during exercise. They bought Full Throttle to capture the energy drink market, Hi-C to capture the kids market, and Georgia Coffee to get the morning coffee drinkers. All in, Coca-Cola owns over 200 different brands of products that range from tea, to soda, to soft drinks, to water; a beverage company that has completely captured their market and covered all consumption contexts. If we drew a second chart of a heavy consumer of Coca-Cola products, rather than just Diet Coke drinkers, our chart would rarely have a time where a person is consuming zero beverages.
Now - a mega-corporation like Coca-Cola has many different abilities than a library, or even other beverage companies. For example, some companies may go for a brand extension model (think Red Bull) rather than an acquisitions model. However, there are lessons to be learned from Coke and how they have done business. In the next two posts I'll talk about Lateral Marketing and Consumption Contexts in Libraries, and how we can expand our services without deviating from our core competencies and maximize consumption by our patrons.