Coca-Cola research leads to the Viagra Inn

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Image: Tielmann

Here’s the latest from Adrian who is carrying out research into Coca-Cola’s distribution networks in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Previous stories are here.

OK, I confess, after just a week or so in ‘Dar’, I’m looking
forward to being taken out on a visit to the ‘Viagra Inn’. Now, don’t go
jumping to conclusions. The Viagra Inn is actually a small retail outlet
serviced by one of our Coca-Cola distributors, and I’m not expecting see any
little blue pills on the shelves. And yes, of course, I asked about the name.
It’s part of my job to identify great examples of local enterprise and get a
feel for what works. I think what I’m seeing here is a very canny understanding
of the marketing ‘hook’, and yet another example of the great sense of humour
and creativity you see in Tanzania. Many of our distributors are real wits,
they’re full of ideas and find lots to laugh about, despite the apparent
difficulty of their lives. People here are consistently friendly and welcoming
where-ever we go.

So, of course, I’m keen to analyse this powerful marketing
message they’ve chosen, to raise their sales, fix their modest business in
everyone’s mind (well, it certainly worked for me!) But, no, I’m told (was that
a little coyly?):  it’s actually the
combination of the two owner’s names. I’m not sure if I’m being taken for
another ride here, but it certainly attracts attention and for me is yet
another reminder that not everything I see is exactly what it seems at first!

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