Growth of a Brand

Imagine you are asked if you would like a coke to drink. Immediately you know that the person is referring to the carbonated soft drink brand of Coca-Cola. You may even envision the classic shaped bottle with Coca-Cola scrawled in white or even a red can with a white Coca-Cola logo. Why is it these images come to mind? The answer is branding.

The Coca-Cola logo is an example of a widely-r...

The Coca-Cola logo is an example of a widely-recognized trademark representing a global brand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coca-Cola’s Strong Brand Market Recognition and the Road to Building Brand Recognition.

Coca-Cola syrup was created in 1886 by Atlanta, GA pharmacist Dr. John Stith Pemberton. Coca-Cola was first sold at Jacobs’ Pharmacy after being combined with carbonated water to make it a soda fountain drink. Pemberton’s partner, Frank M. Robinson, thought the two C’s would look good in advertising and penned the now famous trademark in his unique script.

Nancy Giddens, Agricultural Extension Marketing Specialist, said that the greatest challenge in developing brand recognition is creating just the right name, slogan and symbol for the product. Robinson overcame this obstacle for Coca-Cola when he created the still famous Coca-Cola trademark logo whose first advertisement ran in The Atlanta Journal, inviting thirsty citizens to try “the new and popular soda fountain drink.”

Asa G. Candler acquired the rights to Coca-Cola in 1891 introduced consumers to the brand by offering coupons, and supplying distributors with clocks, urns, calendars and apothecary scales bearing the Coca-Cola brand. “People saw Coca-Cola everywhere, and the aggressive promotion worked.”


Coca-Cola (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1899 Coca-Cola was acquired by Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead who realized the future of Coca-Cola would be with portable bottles. In 1916 they began manufacturing the famous contour bottle which remains the signature shape of Coca-Cola today. The contour bottle “was chosen for its attractive appearance, original design and the fact that, even in the dark, you could identify the genuine article.”

In the 1970’s under Robert Woodruff, Coca-Cola connected its brand to fun, friends and good times. Coca-Cola was gaining international appeal and in 1971 Coca-Cola embodied this by releasing a commercial with young people from the world over singing “I’d like to buy the world a Coke.”

Benefits and Challenges of Building Leveraging Brands In That Segment.

Giddens defines brand leveraging as the use of the existing brand name to enter a new product category. Leveraging can put the existing brand in jeopardy if the new product is not a success or if it should develop a poor reputation. The Coca-Cola Companyhas been fortunate to in leveraging the Coca-Cola brand over the years.

In the 1940’s, after 70 years of success with one brand Coca-Cola expanded with new flavors. In the 1950’s Coca-Cola introduced Fanta, in 1961 Sprite was introduced, followed by Tab in 1963, and Fresca in 1966. “In 1960, The Coca-Cola Company acquired The Minute Maid Company, adding an entirely new line of business — juices — to the Company.” In the 1980’s Diet Coke was released as the very first extension of the Coca-Cola trademark and within two years it was the number one diet cola in the world.

However, in 1985 Coca-Cola launched the “new Coke” which fared well in test markets but consumers had established an emotional attachment to the original and begged for the return of the original Coke. Coca-Cola listened and the original was returned as Coca-Cola Classic. Coca-Cola Classic sales soared putting it over the competition where it continues to stand today along with its more than 400 brands.

Branding Strategies Used In Marketing Projects.

Business’s can take a page from the branding successes of The Coca-Cola Company, who has enjoyed much success with its simplistic yet recognizable Coca-Cola brand that was hand written by Frank M. Robinson in 1886. The Coca-Cola Company created just the right name, slogan and logo for Coca-Cola, which has made it a household name and a recognizable product worldwide. Therefore, before the introduction of the new product line create a name, slogan, and logo that can be easily recognized and remembered.

What is your brands story?


6 responses to “Growth of a Brand

  1. Very interesting! I’m amazed at how powerful branding is. Coke is a perfect example to prove this. Great facts and well written!

  2. Cynthia,
    Your posts are super informative and visually stimulating…no fair! : ) My brother holds back his intake of “liquid life” (coca-cola,CC) to one or none a day. I have to say I agree though, CC has it all figured out with their red and swishy logo. It’s hard to be ignored with that combination! ko

  3. I think Coca Cola is a classic example of a brand lasting the test of time. I find that brands these days are too eager to update their brands and logos. Even Coca Cola has done it with “Coke” on some of their flavors like Diet Coke but they are smart to keep the old Coca Cola around. My company, GES, was once Greyhound Exhibitor Service and eventually parted with Greyhound so they were just GES for a long time. A couple years ago they merged with their sister company and decided to rebrand everything and now the GES stands for Global Experience Specialists and changed their logo. I understand wantingg to be able to express new competancies and wanting to share that the brand has changed with the merge, but sometimes long term recognizability is more important. I guess time will tell.

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  6. Pingback: “Value Has a Value Only If Its Value Is Valued” – Brian G. Dyson « Impressions

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