Coca Cola: Differentiating

The Coca-Cola bottle, called the “contour bottle” within the company, was created by bottle designer Earl R. Dean. In 1915, The Coca-Cola Company launched a competition among its bottle suppliers to create a new bottle for their beverage that would distinguish it from other beverage bottles, “a bottle which a person could recognize even if they felt it in the dark, and so shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell at a glance what it was.”

Today, the contour Coca-Cola bottle is one of the most recognized packages on the planet…”even in the dark!”.

Don’t market a product, market an experience.

The third component of Coke’s success is marketing. Ultimately, Coke’s success depends on one crucial fact and that is that people want a Coca-Cola. Now the reason these micro-entrepreneurs can sell or make a profit is they have to sell every single bottle in their pushcart or their wheelbarrow. So, they rely on Coca-Cola in terms of its marketing, and what’s the secret to their marketing? Well, it’s aspirational. It is associated that product with a kind of life that people want to live. So even though it’s a global company, they take a very local approach. Coke’s global campaign slogan is “Open Happiness.” But they localize it. And they don’t just guess what makes people happy; they go to places like Latin America and they realize that happiness there is associated with family life. And in South Africa, they associate happiness with seriti or community respect.

Coca Cola: Think out of box

Marketing involves getting the right product to the right place, at the right time, at the right price and with the most suitable promotional activity. Coca-Cola has always been able to create the most appropriate marketing mix.

Since its beginnings, Coca-Cola has built its business using a universal strategy based on three timeless principles:

acceptability – through effective marketing, ensuring Coca-Cola brands are an integral part of consumers’s daily lives, making Coca-Cola the preferred beverage everywhere

affordability – Coca-Cola guarantees it offers the best price in terms of value for money

availability – making sure that Coca-Cola brands are available anywhere people want refreshment, a pervasive penetration of the marketplace.

Coca-Cola has created an extensive and well-organised global distribution network guaranteeing its products being everywhere.

Its approach is founded on the belief that Coca-Cola must try to quench the thirst of everyone in the world – all 5.6 billion of them!

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.


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.