Perfect Sense and Coca-Cola: A Transformational Partnership

I am a thoroughly happy client. I didn’t have to deal with any challenges; the leadership team did a phenomenal job. I never felt like I was the client and Brightspot was the vendor. We were partners, and that is really unique.

In 2012, Coca-Cola transformed its static, limited corporate web site into a dynamic, vibrant hub of conversations, overflowing with a full range of content important to a worldwide audience. The new digital magazine, Coca-Cola Journey, launched on time and on budget and garnered over 17 million visits its first year. International growth to 8 countries followed shortly; each country launched its own unique site comprising both local and global content, all built on the Brightspot platform. In its first year, Journey nabbed the top spot in the Best Website category of PR Daily’s 2013 Digital PR Awards.

Perfect Sense’s Brightspot platform enabled Coca-Cola to deliver a refreshingly new user experience to its customers, which included video and social media as major components. At the same time, Coca-Cola’s digital team transformed into an editorial newsroom of daily publishers of a magazine-quality experience. Explains Lisa Beaudoin, Perfect Sense co-founder and leader of the Coca-Cola engagement, “Perfect Sense started out as just the technology provider, but we quickly became a multi-faceted business partner for Coca-Cola, also playing a key role in product and content development as well as business strategy and international project management.” This full-service partnership helped Coca-Cola spark a change in the way it does business around the world.

Coca-Cola's Challenge

In early 2012, the Coca-Cola Company recognized the need to radically reinvent its corporate site. Simply a brief stop for investors, the press, and job seekers, the site was poorly designed, suffered from underinvestment, and employed no content strategy; it appealed to a narrow audience and provided minimal value to enhancing the brands.

But what does it mean for Coca-Cola to revolutionize its online relationship with its customers and how could Coca-Cola do that? Moreover, how could this be done globally, given the widely discrepant means and capabilities of the international markets?

Perfect Sense and Coca-Cola Partnership

Coca Cola Old Site

One of Brightspot’s greatest assets is its ability to be so simple and straightforward to the user, given its significant technical complexity. It was built by editors for editors. We have trained editors around the world who are amazed at and delighted by how simple it is to use, given all that it allows them to do.

After answering a Coca-Cola RFP, The Wonderfactory and Perfect Sense beat out two other major digital companies to win the project. Said Beaudoin, “We joined Coca-Cola’s talented team from the outset. We spent time with them, listening to their challenges and understanding their specific business requirements, which helped us together to envision a digital magazine that would be a destination for all things Coca-Cola. The goals for the new site included creating a system-wide digital publishing platform to tell Coca-Cola’s stories, making their digital communications a comparative advantage, and engaging technically-savvy and globally aware influencers and their networks.”

Originally designed by The Wonderfactory and subsequently refreshed by the Seattle-based agency 206, the new Coca-Cola Journey is visually engaging and content rich, and it shares assets across all international markets. Social media is an important component of the site, enabling robust engagement with consumers, encouraging user-generated content, and facilitating social sharing.Journey was built on Perfect Sense’s Brightspot Content Management System (CMS) to allow rapid development as new countries went live and extensive flexibility to add all types of new content around the globe. Editors in each country can choose whether to create new content for their country or translate and use existing content; then they can share their efforts with their coworkers around the world. Brightspot enables Coca-Cola’s editors to quickly and easily create new pages and sections as well as modify existing content without technical knowledge or support.

Coca Cola Language Versions

Using Brightspot, editors can build out composite content with video, images, and social media, and they can include moderated user-generated content anywhere on their site. Additional helpful tools for editors include the ability to overlay dynamic text on images right from within the CMS, without the need for a designer. Brightspot also enables responsive design across the entire Journey site, so that editors can publish content and know, regardless of device, that it will be delivered elegantly.

Perfect Sense devised a cost-effective solution to meet Coca-Cola's requirements.

Coca-Cola Requirement: Coca-Cola required a dynamic content-rich corporate site
Brightspot Solution: Brightspot helped deliver a content strategy that focused on creation and aggregation of content to inspire vibrant conversations

Coca-Cola Requirement: Substantial site design flexibility to quickly launch microsites
Brightspot Solution: Editorial package template enables new sections and components to be added/deleted easily

Coca-Cola Requirement: International site adaptation capability at minimal cost
Brightspot Solution: Modular design allows international markets to customize all site elements easily and cost-effectively

Coca-Cola Requirement: Increase visitors and engagement
Brightspot Solution: Based on real-time data and metrics, Brightspot developed audience growth strategy

Coca-Cola Requirement: Sharing content across markets
Brightspot Solution: The Brightspot platform included a global content repository that allowed countries to easily share and customize all types of content

Coca-Cola Requirement: Highest level security
Brightspot Solution: Brightspot platform passed four security scans by two independent firms

In addition to providing all the back-end development, Perfect Sense quickly became a full-fledged business partner for Coca-Cola on many fronts. Perfect Sense played a major role in product strategy and development from the outset. With limited internal content, Coca-Cola engaged Perfect Sense to conceptualize and lead an extensive, ongoing content strategy and development plan to create new, timely, and engaging content. Perfect Sense continues to perform thorough weekly analysis on all articles, videos, and photos; a metric ranks content based on social engagement to aid decisions regarding which content to promote. Ongoing feature releases and site enhancements continually augment Journey’s offerings.


In its first year, Journey smashed all expectations. With double-digit traffic growth month after month, Coca-Cola Journey successfully redefined the company’s relationship with its consumers around the globe and opened the door for extensive future opportunities for engagement.

Download the Coca-Cola Company Case Study.

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