Brand Management

3 Marketing Lessons from Coca Cola: 130 Year Old Brand Identity

Have you ever wondered what people drank before Coca-Cola was invented? Well, we did and it took us way back to where people in the 19th century used to hang out, and that will be Soda Fountains and Ice Cream Saloons, sounds very classy and niche, right?

The soda fountains, used to serve Carbonated lemonade juice and Carbonated water, and did you know that the famous American soda drink Dr Pepper was invented right before Coca-Cola did? Yes, it was invented in 1885, whereas Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by a pharmacist named John Pemberton.

Fun Fact; Carbonated drinks, which are later on known as “Soda Drinks” were invented by Pharmacist when they found out that the carbon dioxide was the reason that mineral water in the natural springs bubbled. And as the health benefits of mineral water are vast they decided to add it to medicine to cure many aliments. It evolved later, by adding herbs and flavors like cherry and lime to make it a tasty medicine.

How such a famous brand kept its popularity throughout 130 years?! Can you imagine how many generations has drank, loved and that Coca-Cola gained their loyalty.

1- Consistent Brand Identity:

The first advertisement Coca-cola has ever did was branding coca-cola drink as “a delicious and refreshing drink”, they have been sharing happiness from the very start.

Coca-Cola targeted women in the 1950s with slogans like 'refresh yourself while shopping' and 'take some home for the family
Coca-Cola targeted women in the 1950s with slogans like ‘refresh yourself while shopping’ and ‘take some home for the family

Their voice didn’t weaver or change throughout the years. Their slogan was “Here’s a Coke…The Pause that Refreshes.”, and using happy wording like “A little refreshment lightens the burden of a busy day.” “ Its a delightful momentary diversion- restful and bracing”

Coca-Cola advertising was launched in Australia in 1943 and among one of the first marketing posters was artist Haddon Sundblom's 'Yes Girl' pinup, which remains a hallmark in design today
Coca-Cola advertising was launched in Australia in 1943 and among one of the first marketing posters was artist Haddon Sundblom’s ‘Yes Girl’ pinup, which remains a hallmark in design today

Along with, their advertisement always featured people who are smiling.

2- Iconic, Timeless Logo:

Dr. Pemberton’s partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, is credited with naming the beverage “Coca‑Cola” as well as designing the trademarked, distinct script.

Choosing the Spencerian Script was probably because it was the golden time of it. It was very popular back then, it was developed by Platt R. Spencer, which was said to be influenced by nature, as the smooth pebbles in a stream. It is explained that it projects formality yet personal, lyrically beautiful, and inviting.

The red color in logos, interprets to Power, excitement, energy and passion. It also stimulates the appetite and increases the heart rate.

Recommended➤ What your logo color/s tells about your brand?

Coca Cola Bottle Evolution
Coca Cola Bottle Evolution

When you add the psychology behind the choice of the color and their message of happiness, when almost all your marketing strategy aligns together to serve the end-goal, you have got yourself a successful brand strategy.

As well, several studies showcased that the color red can trigger impulse buys and the white swirly lettering simulates passion.

Coca-Cola famous curved bottle was a popular marketing tool in 1955 with the brand keen to show it was recognisable without its logo
Coca-Cola famous curved bottle recognizable without its logo

Refreshing fact; Coca-Cola’s logo is recognized by 94% of the world’s population?

3- Innovative Advertisement Tactic

The first marketing tactic executed back in 1887 was coupons offering free sample of Coca-Cola, right after, was newspaper ads and distribution of promotional branded items like clocks, agendas and more.

In the 1970, they started connecting the brand with happiness, good times and friends.

The 1960s and 1970s drew on simple advertising with slogans like "things go better with coke"
The 1960s and 1970s drew on simple advertising with slogans like “things go better with coke”

Interesting fact; in the first year, sales averaged a nine servings per day, and now; it is estimated at 1.9 billion globally.

Lets fast-forward to 2009 with coca-cola’s “Open Happiness” global campaign, and “Open the Games. Open the happiness” was featured in the 2010 Olympics games.

Their latest campaign globally again is “Taste the Feeling” featuring happy people enjoying the simple joys of life with their significant other and friends. It all comes down to the enjoying the moment.

Then when you look at their innovative marketing products, like “Friendly Twist” the special bottles they used at a college orientation day, where they students can’t open their bottle except when they turn it with another bottle cap, or the “happiness machine” where the vending machine at a certain place, produces more than one coke for the other people to get their coke for free and their “Share a Coke” campaign, and lastly innovating their bottles to serve as a selfie stick.

Furthermore, they celebrated Christmas, and were present in all the festive occasions. Which help them resonate with their customers more, and create loyal, happy customers.

Weird Fact: Coca-Cola helped shape a modern, jolly Santa Clause. Before Coca-Cola’s illustration of Santa that we know. Thomas Nast a caricaturist for Harper’s Weekly drew Santa as a creepy-looking elf.

Here is Coca-Cola latest Christmas advert:

Bobby Brittain, marketing director at Coca-Cola Great Britain said; “Innovation – not just in terms of product and packaging, but also things like the ways we derive insights from consumers – that’s a critical enabler of the brand’s overall standing.”

Marketing lessons from Coca-Cola:

It is obvious that Coca-Cola is not only aware and knows their brand’s identity but they are embodiment of their brand and message to stay consistent through all this years.

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