Categories: Business

What Businesses Can Learn From Coca-Cola

Having a well known product goes hand in hand with having a well known brand. Whether it is the brand or the product that gains popularity first is variable, but what is not variable is the irrefutable fact that effective branding can boost business. Coca-Cola is a great example of this. In 2011 Interbrand awarded Coca-Cola with the title “world’s most valuable brand” after being valued at 39 billion pounds.

The Coca-Cola Case

Coca-Cola was first made in 1886, under the name Coca-Kola, it was produced from two main ingredients – caffeine and cocaine. The name was from the fact that cocaine and caffeine are derived from coca leaf and kola nut respectively. So how did this simple carbonated drink become so highly elevated? In 1888 Coca-Kola was being sold by three separate companies, one of which was the now globally successful John Pemberton’s Coca-Cola Company. Now you already know why this company succeeded and the others did not – effective branding. John Pemberton swapped “Kola” for “Cola” (for marketing aesthetics) and initially used a logo that is very similar to the one used today, a logo which although undeniably attractive is simple. Names used by other companies at the time were things such as “Yum Yum” and “Koke”, both failing to catch on.

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The Lesson

The lesson here is simple to learn but difficult to master. Clearly effective branding can be used to blow competitors out of the water, but forming a brand that is right for your business is difficult. Different businesses require different branding, a company selling playground equipment will probably not benefit from a classy logo, but a clothing brand may well do. The name of your brand is equally important, most successful brands have simple and catchy names. It’s important to note that the class of your cliental may not be a reflection on your potential profits, for example in 2011 the clothing brand Gap had a higher annual revenue than Prada. Obviously the success of John Perberton’s coke was not due to the logo and name alone, the effective use of posters, banners and billboards showing the logo boosted recognition and established the brand. These days’ companies will need to use modern technology such as television and the internet – specifically Twitter, Facebook. Manipulating the public’s view of your brand is also important (consider the crash in Nestle’s sales after their milk scandal), use of sponsorship and the support of charities can also help to build a brand that is known as trustworthy and responsible.

This article was written by Jacob Catt on behalf of bigvaluebanners – providers of banners, posters and graphic design. Perfect for either: reinventing your brand or boosting its recognition.

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