The Coca-Cola brand is, probably, one of the most famous brands in the world. The popularity of the drink under this brand was not always as it is today. It increased with the development of business and the use of new advertising and marketing approaches. It is difficult to name some other brand that would become so strong due to advertising and marketing inventions.
It all started with a home-made recipe of syrup, the main ingredients of which were coca leaves and kola nut tree. The recipe was invented by a retired trooper JC Pemberton, the owner of a small pharmaceutical company, who was interested in chemical experiments in his early years. The name of the new product and its logo (curly letters) were invented by the company accountant – Frank Robinson. The syrup was patented as a drug from nervous disorders and went on sale through the city pharmacy “Jacobs” in 1886.
It should be noted that at that time cocaine was not prohibited and was added to many drinks instead of alcohol (this was particularly affected by the prohibition, introduced in 1886 in Atlanta).
After the introduction of Prohibition, the sales of Coca-Cola started to grow, especially people liked the invention of the Seller from the pharmacy (he started to mix the syrup of Coca-Cola with soda instead of water). However, health and financial situation of Pemberton were bad, and he decided to sell his business to his partners. They bought the formula for2,000$ to help him out. Pemberton retired and died after 2 years in poverty.
After 5 years from the death of the inventor of syrup recipe, the Coca-Cola story changed dramatically. These changes were associated with Asa G. Candler – a poor Irish immigrant who arrived in Atlanta with a sum less than 2$, but managed to make a little capital. Asa Candler bought the recipe of a miracle drink from thePemberton’s widow for $ 2,300, and in 1893 founded with his brother and two other companions,a company called “The Coca-Cola Company”.
Along with Frank Robinson (Pemberton’s accountant), Candler set to improve the recipe to increase its expiry date and to improve the taste (under the influence of the public, there were changes in the recipe: they started to use coca leaves after the extraction of cocaine). By the way, Candler was one of the first, who realized the power of the brand and began to take advantage of its popularity. He successfully sold various attributes (souvenirs, clocks and calendars) with the logo of Coca-Cola. He often supplied pharmacies with a free trial batch of syrup in exchange for the address of their regular customers (those customers were sent the coupons for the purchase of a drink). The first ever advertising campaign of Coca-Cola was also organized by Candler. It was held under the slogan “Drink Coca-Cola. Tasty and refreshing”).
The new non-alcoholic soft drink was becoming more popular. Many of those, who first tried the “Coca-Cola” in a store or a restaurant, even took it home. Soon, almost everyone felt obliged to try a trendy drink that everyone drank so enthusiastically.
The production of souvenirs, touting the“Coca-Cola” trademark, has brought unprecedented success to the company. Easily recognizable brand entered the everyday life and began its triumphal progress around the world. The “Coca-Cola” logo could be found on the covers of fashion magazines, on huge posters along the roads. “Coca-Cola” advertising has always used bright and visible images that every American liked. The drink was advertised by most famous actors and athletes. High quality and beautiful advertising brought unprecedented success to “Coca-Cola”.
In 1894, the first production plant for syrup was opened outside Atlanta. It happened in Dallas, Texas. These plants were in Chicago and Los Angeles (California). In 1895, Mr. Candler, not without pleasure, could report in his annual report to shareholders that from now on Coca-Cola is present in every state across the United States. Along with a rapidly growing demand for “Coca-Cola”, the company’s headquarters also grew. In 1898, a new three-story office building was built in Atlanta. Asa Candler naively thought that it would be sufficient for the needs of the Company at all times, but it has closed within a decade.
Asa Candler sold his company in 1919 for 25 million $ to a banker Ernest Woodruff. After 4 years it was headed by Robert Woodruff, who led the company for 60 years. His name is associated with the creation of a corporation engaged in promotion of Coca-Cola around the globe. The advertising of that time invariably contained the images of Coca-Cola bottles.
In 1958, the company has released Fanta and in 1961 – Sprite. Since 1960, Coca-Cola was sold in cans and since 1977 – in plastic bottles. Since 1979, Robert Goizueta was the head of the company. Diet Coke appeared under his direction in 1982 (Bodden, 2008).
Today, Coca-Cola is the most famous brand in the world, 98 % of the planet population know and recognize it. This brand is sold in almost 200 countries, and sales have reached a billion units per day.
At the moment, there are about 200 types of beverages, produced by Coca-Cola. Three of them own 80% of global sales – Coca-Cola, Fanta, and Sprite. There are about 70 varieties of Fanta with different flavors (orange, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, kiwi, melon, watermelon and so on). There are 8 species of Coca-Cola; this shows the company’s intention to satisfy the tastes of all its consumers.
If we would distribute all the bottles, worked out by Coca-Cola, to all inhabitants of the planet, each of us would get up to 767 bottles.
Every second the world drinks about 8000 glasses of Coca-Cola.
Yes, the Cola we drink today is much different from the Coke of the last century, but, respecting the past years, we love it more than ever.