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Coca-Cola’s One Brand Marketing Approach

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands across the globe. The Coca-Cola company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and manufactures the sale of syrup and concentrate in order to make their carbonated beverage that has become a cultural institution in the United States. They originated in 1886 by a Pharmacist named John S. Pemberton which started the drink as a tonic basing it off of cocaine and the coca leaf. They used the caffeine-rich extracts from the kola nut, but soon removed cocaine from the formula in 1903. Pemberton started selling his syrup to local shops who had soda fountains, yet the advertising for Coca-Cola is what made the brand very successful. In 1890, 9,000 gallons of syrup was sold and in 1900, 370, 877 gallons of syrup was sold while establishing plants in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Philadelphia. In 1899, an independent bottle company signed an agreement with the Coca-Cola company to start selling their syrup in bottles and aided in the distribution of Coca-Cola. In 1919, the company was sold for $25 million to a group of investors which was led by Ernest Woodruff, an Atlanta businessman. Different types of sodas and drinks began to be advertised from the Coca-Cola company such as Fanta, Minute Maid, and lemon-lime Sprite. Then a low-calorie sugar-free option known as Diet Coke was released after their cold bottle launch in the People’s Republic of China. Since then, the Coca-Cola company has expanded to over 200 countries with more than 2,800 products.

Coca-Cola’s global business to business strategy is dependent on their advertising efforts. In the 1990’s, markets began to open up to Coca-Cola to allow them to start selling in countries such as East Germany and India. Their first bottle made out of completely new recycled materials was a hit to many countries because this major innovation expanded their network into even more countries. In Asia, new flavors and drinks were introduced such as Qoo children’s fruit drink, Powerade, and Dasani bottled water. Zero Coca-Cola was introduced as well which had zero calories, but tasted exactly like Coca-Cola. Their marketing efforts to expand into other countries was done by their “one brand” global marketing approach.

Some of their iconic strategies include: simplicity, personalization, socialization, and experience. The simplicity of Coca-Cola’s basic ideals have allowed them to communicate their strong and effective message of pleasure regardless of the abundant amount of products Coca-Cola has actually produced. Their slogans “Happy” and “Enjoy” have created a simplistic marketing strategy that many consumers across the globe can translate. Coca-Cola knows they need to treat every customer with a personalized, local approach such as that in Australia where they introduced the Share a Coke campaign which eventually reached fifty countries. Every Coca-Cola advertisement is customized to the local culture and language. The Share a Coke campaign also utilizes social networks in order to encourage individuals to share their experiences with Coca-Cola. When this campaign launched in the United States, there were over 125,000 posts on social media in just one month according to the Wall Street Journal. As for experience, Coca-Cola’s emphasis is more focused on brand than it is product. Coca-Cola just doesn’t sell a bottle of Coke, they sell happiness in a bottle as a way to sell to customers based on their experience and association with the brand. Human connections, simple innovative products, and branded experiences are all a part of Coca-Cola’s global business to business marketing strategy.

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