”Products are produced in a factory, but brands are produced in the mind of the consumer.”
– Walter Landor
I will be looking at different brand elements of Coca-Cola that helped build brand equity over time. I’ll start off with one of the most important (but not essential, I’ll come back to that later) brand elements of Coca-Cola: the logo.
The founder of Coca-Cola wanted to create a unique logo and experimented writing the company’s name in elaborate Spencerian script, a form of penmanship characteristic of the time.
1887-1890s – Inserting the ‘Trademark’
These two important little words were added to the tail of the first ‘C’.
1890-1891 – Extra swirls
For just one year, the logo changed its appearance quite dramatically with this extra swirly script. Afterwards, the logo returned to its previous font.
1941-1960s – Tail tweaked
In this version, the words ‘Trademark Registered’ moved out of the tail of the ‘C’ and were noted as ‘Reg. US Pat Off’ below the Coca‑Cola name.
1958-1960s – A fishy shape
This period saw the introduction of the Arciform or ‘fishtail’ logo.
1969 – That famous white wave
The Arden Square logo was unveiled to the world. In this red box, the familiar Coca‑Cola script was underlined with the iconic white ‘wave’ known as the ‘Dynamic Ribbon Device’, which is still used to this day. Find out more about the meaning behind this famous white twist here.
2003 – Keeping it real
With the introduction of the ‘Coca‑Cola… Real’ campaign, the logo’s ‘white wave’ was enhanced with a shock of yellow and some floating bubbles.
2007 – A classic design
A simple, yet bold, design with a single white ribbon.
As I said earlier, the logo of Coca-Cola isn’t really essential for the company at this point. In the latest phase of the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, the brand offers a personalised bottle of Coca-Cola, Coke Zero or Diet Coke. The logo ‘Coca-Cola’ has been replaced by random names on their bottles. The Coca-Cola consumers don’t need a logo to recognize the product. Not every brand would be able to make this campaign a sucess. This brings me to the next brand element: Packaging.
Coca‑Cola’s history has got a lot of bottle – more than 115 years’ worth, in fact. The world’s favourite soft drink started life as a soda fountain beverage, selling for five cents a glass, but it was only when a strong bottling system developed that Coca‑Cola became the world-famous brand it is today. The contour bottle design was inspired by the curves and grooves of a cocoa bean.
Coca-Cola and celebs
Some of the big name celebrities who have continued the positive brand image that we associate with Coca-Cola are Bill Cosby, Michelle Kwan, and Jennifer Lopez. Michelle Kwan and Jennifer Lopez are great endorsements because they both have avoided scandal and have kept an association with their occupation; Kwan with being an Olympic ice skater, and Lopez being a singer and actress. When we think of Bill Cosby, we think of a friendly family man. This is just the image that Coca-Cola has traditionally tried to associate with their products. In the commercial below, Bill Cosby tells all of the reasons why he likes Coke. He ads humor to the commercial by using words such as “delicioso” as well as his enthusiastic tone.