Coca-Cola is currently rolling out an innovative and environmentally responsible initiative called Coca-Cola 2nd Lives, starting in Vietnam and then expanding across Asia. At the heart of this effort is the intent to give their disposable bottles a second life that is meaningful, adds value to the lives of customers, and also avoids those bottles becoming yet another addition to landfills.
As you see from the video, the idea is to sell kits that allow people to use the bottle in a variety of ways once they have finished drinking the product. Not only is this an incredible opportunity for creativity in terms of all the different ways someone could use a Coke bottle once it’s empty, but it also breathes new life into the core proposition of the brand, Open Happiness. Whether it’s using the bottles to create make-shift squirt guns, crayons, or toys, each repurposing of the bottles is yet another way to increase happiness in peoples’ lives.
This is not just a smart strategy by creative marketers- it’s a very big idea. More and more throughout the world, waste is being seen not so much as a function of consumption that needs to be dumped in landfills, but rather as assets that can be diverted back into the supply chain to add value to peoples’ lives and avoid greater damage to our planet. If all manufacturers took this approach in which they looked at the supply chain and life cycle of their product from the very inception of design and planned for ways to either minimize waste or repurpose that waste in meaningful ways, we could quickly stem the growing tide of waste that is compromising the well-being of the environment and by extension, our lives.
In order to take a similar approach for your brand, there are three key steps to follow:
Design with the end in mind: That means design the product with alternative uses in mind so that they are factored into the manufacture, distribution, and user experience of the product.
Align repurposing with purpose: In order to ensure true bottom-line value for such an effort, apply your creativity to find ways that repurpose your products and align with the core mission of your brand. That way, you will not only be minimizing waste and protecting the planet, but also building your brand equity at the same time.
Add value to the experience of life: Each day, more brands are waking up to the reality that they can’t just provide products and services but need to create experiences that position their company as meaningful to customers’ lives. By allowing customers to experience a Coke bottle in a variety of ways shows that there are many different expressions of happiness and displays how Coca-Cola brought fresh dimension to their core proposition of ‘Opening Happiness’ in others’ lives.
Do you know of any other good examples of brands repurposing their products in alignment with their purpose? If so, we would love to hear them.
Reading Time: 1 minutesSimon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.