The man behind Coca Cola’s success

Asa Candler Built Coca-Cola. The master marketer, grew Coca-Cola into a global giant by lavishing free samples on pharmacists and consumers, securing the earliest celebrity endorsements, and, yes, zealously guarding that secret formula.

The power of advertising is ubiquitous today, but Asa Candler was among the earliest entrepreneurs to aggressively use it.  Candler wasn’t an inventor; he didn’t come up with a great company name or even a distinctive logo. Rather his greatest achievement was as a marketer. When he purchased control of Coca-Cola, it was a fledging five-cent soda fountain drink that only sold about nine glasses a day in its first year on the market.

In addition to the coupons, Candler also decided to spread the word of Coca-Cola by plastering logos on calendars, posters, notebooks and bookmarks to reach customers on a large stage. It was one step in making Coca-Cola a national brand, rather than just a regional brand.

Under Candler’s watch, Coca-Cola’s advertising budget grew from $100,000 in 1901 to $1 million in 1911. Candler even contracted actress and singer Hilda Clark to be the face of Coca-Cola, initiating one of the first-ever celebrity endorsements. Coca-Cola was the first commercial sponsor of the Olympic games, at the 1928 games in Amsterdam, and has been an Olympics sponsor ever since.


Work hard for your dreams — there is no shortcut

During the first five years of Microsoft, he was not only in charge of running the business, but he also oversaw product development, taking it upon himself to rewrite code if need be.

As a younger man, he also frequently pulled all-nighters. One time, an employee came into work and found a man sleeping on the desk. She was going to call the police, but then realized the man was Bill Gates.

Judy Faulkner: Not interested in living lavishly

Judy Faulkner is a founder of Epic Systems. She is worth $2.5 billion

She is a press-shy software programmer built Epic–a private health care company that sells medical-records software–from the ground up, launching in 1979 with about $70,000 in capital.
Her company’s success has made her a multi billionaire, but the 72-year-old has never been one to splurge. According to reports, Faulkner has had only two cars in the past 15 years and has lived with her husband in the same Madison, Wisconsin, suburb for nearly three decades.
In a May 2015 letter announcing her Giving Pledge membership and a promise to donate half of her fortune to charity, Faulkner wrote, “I never had any personal desire to be a wealthy billionaire living lavishly,” and said that, instead, she’ll use her money to help others gain access to “food, warmth, shelter, healthcare, education.”

Secret Formula

After Dr. John S. Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886, the formula was kept a close secret, only shared with a small group and not written down.

As a publicity, marketing, and intellectual property protection strategy  the company presents the formula as a closely held trade secret known only to a few employees.

The exact formula of Coca-Cola’s natural flavorings (but not its other ingredients, which are listed on the side of the bottle or can) is a trade secret.

A popular myth states that only two executives have access to the formula, with each executive having only half the formula.

The secret formula is in a vault in a permanent interactive exhibit at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.

Bill Gates: Qualities of a great leader

“I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you work to address the world’s deepest inequities, on how well you treat people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.” This is the kind of caring and empathy that causes people to stand behind a leader. He is the type of person who isn’t working toward his own goal of personal gain; he is working to help others grow. This is a key quality that successful leaders often embody.