The branding process of Coca-cola | Essay |

Coca-cola is considered to be one of the most successful brands ever. Why? Discuss why coca-cola has become such a powerful brand.

Introduction

Nowadays, it has been a trend for the global economic development to centre on brand culture. In many commercial plans, decision makers often have some thoughts that what the core of its brand culture and how to make its brand stronger. Therefore it has been more and more important for a company to found a strong brand. Coca-cola, the world largest beverage company, is one of the most excellent examples of brand-centered companies and it has been the leading brand in the world for ten years from 2000 to 2009. The amazing thing about coca-cola is how consistent the brand has been over time. This essay will focus on its branding process: how coca-cola implements its brand culture and creates the powerful brand. Finally, I will compare it with its main competitor, PepsiCo.

Branding

Actually, Coca-Cola which has so power brand is benefited from its company brand strategy—-branding process: it continuously enhances the core competitiveness of enterprises so that the “Coca-cola” enters into people’s memories and then creates a well-known global brand and a world-class enterprise. As Blythe claims, ‘branding is the culmination of a range of activities across the whole marketing mix, leading to a brand image which conveys a whole set of messages to the consumer about quality, price, expected performance and status.’

Brand name and logo

Brand name

The success of the coca-cola brand strategy is first to benefit from a very good brand name. After John. S. Pemberton invented it, his partner Frank Robinson called this product “coca-cola”. I believe that brand name is an essential part of branding strategy, and a good brand name is the premise of the brand awareness acceptance, satisfaction and even loyalty by consumers. Meanwhile, brand name to a large extent influences the brand association, as well as product sales have a direct impact. For coca-cola name, it fits in with the following characteristics: first of all, it is easy to read and remember in order to efficiently perform its function of recognition and dissemination. For example it forms the characteristic of rhyme. Next, it encourages the development of nickname. Coca-cola is always called cola by people, so when we talk about cola, the first image reflected in our mind is coca-cola. What’s more, they should communicate something about the product. Obviously, its name contains the special elements ‘coca’ and ‘kola’ in the drink.

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Brand logo

In addition to the brand name, logo is also a strong factor to branding process and it is a direct reflection of company image. So a powerful brand should have a remarkable and vivid logo. Coca-cola’s logo was designed and drawn through the handwritten Spencer cursive scripts by Frank Robinson. It is simple and distinctive to adopt the scheme of red and white color to appeal people’s minds. The coherence of letters which looks like a long white corrugation gives a sense of movement and fully reflects the characteristics of liquid. Total design reflects a symbol of ‘youthful exuberance of America’. From coca-cola’s logo, there are two main benefits to contribute on its powerful brand: firstly, it helps enhance market competition. Secondly, it is an intangible and invaluable asset, because it represents credibility of the company.

4Ps

To succeed in branding it is also important to understand the needs and wants of customers. So success of applications of coca-cola marketing mix: 4Ps, namely price, product, place and promotion, will strongly influence consumers to choose coca-cola.

Product

Another factor of coca-cola brand strategy’s success is its ‘mysterious culture’. Coca-cola is always called “magic water” by some people. Actually, this statement is not exaggerated, because the mystery element accounting to less than 1% – “7X number of goods” is absolutely confidential. However, the sense of mystery which has been continuously enhanced plays a function of spirit hint, to make this slightly sweet, a little strange beverage become downright ‘magic water’ – people enjoy it all the time.

Meanwhile, various kinds of coke are divided into several small market segments – multi-segment targeting strategy. For example, it products diet coke which focus on older people and women; coke zero mainly faces to health conscious men and cherry coke is selected by youths. According to the differences of consumer’s need, coca-cola’s market segments maximize its brand impact and create economics of scale.

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Price

For coca-cola’s price strategy, it mainly adopted ‘penetration pricing’: Coca Cola has made many relatively low pricing decisions as a way to reach the mass market. Its advantage is that discouraging or blocking competition from market entry. On the other hand, as a multinational corporate – the Beverage Giant, it is easy to gear up for mass production to make this pricing strategy successful. First coca-cola uses the lower price to penetrate new cities. After striking the low price store brands, coca-cola achieves a high market share, and then it will choose to reposition itself as a “Premium” brand.

Place

More than 70% of their income comes from outside the United States. So it needs a strong distribution system. There are three main types of distribution: 1. cooperation with the small and medium scale industry. It could not only help coca-cola sell its product through the local businesses, but also creates wide-job opportunities. And then the local government may create a good investment climate, especially in tax policies, as it will affect the beverage industry. Finally, coca-cola company could get a greater market share and brand impact. 2. Cooperation with McDonald’s. As the world’s largest food-service company, McDonald’s has a wide marketing channel. If they cooperate with each other, they could get mutual benefits. 3. Autimatic dispensers. It is convenient to buy a bottle of coke after using this machine, and we could find it wherever we could image. These three types tremendously influence coca-cola’s distribution.

Promotion

The former president, Robert Woodruff of coca-cola has a famous quote: “99.6% of Coca-Cola is a congregation of carbonated, syrup and water. If you do not advertise, then who else will go to drink it?” so brand promotion is an important way of shaping the corporate image. The promotion expenses of coca-cola company are high to shape its brand image. For example it costs more than 600 million dollars in advertising one year.

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It is the premise of success of advertising to determine target audience. Coca-cola mainly fixes on the young, because if it establishes a good image among the young people, it will be a long-term consumer market. And advertising always takes place through a number of media. Coca-cola mainly adopts three types of media to communicate with its consumers: first, advertising on TV & cinema. It is the most direct and efficient way, because its voice, action, pictures could give us a deep impression; second, advertising on press. It is a relatively cheap but wide way, contributing to spread its brand; third, advertising by sponsoring. It is an old tradition of coca-cola to sponsor sport event, especially cooperating with Olympics. Olympics give people a healthy and active impression, and then it is a good chance to broaden its brand by using the Olympics’ global influence and popularity.

Competitor

Any strong brand has competitors, because any brand has its shortcomings, so which its competitors always know well about, so they will get your clients if there is some little chance they could grasp. And coca-cola’s main competitor is Pepsi.

Conclusion

To sum up, this paper has argued that the reasons that coca-cola has such a powerful brand. Coca-cola’s brand strategy is successful, and it gives us manifold inspirations: firstly, the brand name and logo are coca-cola’s culture foundation. Without this foundation, it may not create such a huge brand value by only advertising. Secondly, the brand image needs to be spread by a perfect marketing strategy. Successful applications of 4Ps in coca-cola make people understand its brand, be familiar with it, even accept its brand culture. Finally, we could find this result through the comparison between two competitors: it will be a strong power when we put our total energy into our product innovation. Coca-cola creates a brand miracle. The success of coca-cola brand is the result of mix of brand strategy rather than depending on excessive advertising investment.

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