Few brands are as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola, to the point that many people simply ask for a “Coke” when they want a cola. With a storied past and a penchant for keeping up with the times, Coca-Cola sets the bar for thriving while evolving.
More Than Just a Soda
Coca-Cola aims to do more than just refresh their customers. They also want to help create a worldwide culture of optimism and happiness, as well as add value through their actions. Of course, the company started out offering their classic cola, but since those early days they have expanded into many other brands.
Such recognizable names as Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Fanta, and Smartwater all live beneath the Coca-Cola umbrella, so when you reach for a soft drink at the store or order one at a restaurant, there’s a good chance you’ll be enjoying a product produced by Coca-Cola.
Bigger Than a Caffeine Buzz
Coca-Cola famously began more than 130 years ago in 1886 when pharmacist John Pemberton created the beverage and marketed it as a cure for most common ailments. Of course, the drink’s curative properties were based almost entirely upon the inclusion of caffeine and cocaine in the original recipes.
Pemberton died just two years after concocting what would eventually become the world’s largest soda brand, and cocaine was eliminated from the recipe in 1903, but Coca-Cola’s popularity endured.
Since those early days, Coca-Cola has piloted portable distribution efforts and set the trend for mass marketing of beverages. Now, the company owns more than a dozen other brands and is the world’s largest beverage manufacturer.
Pepsi Punches Up
There’s no real debate over whether or not Coca-Cola is winning in its industry, but the question is just, “by how much?” While there are a number of other beverage manufacturers on the market, none comes quite so close to Coca-Cola as Pepsi does.
Simply put, the numbers don’t lie, and Coca-Cola claims a fair amount more market share than Pepsi. In the last decade, Coke’s market share has risen to 17.8% whereas Pepsi’s has dropped to 8.4%; this certainly doesn’t mean that Pepsi is out of the game, but they’re just not competing at the same level as Coke.
Pricey Pop Partnerships
As famous as Coca-Cola has become, they still shell out a hefty sum for celebrity endorsements, particularly from pop stars. Selena Gomez is one such famous partner.
Since they are a global brand, it should come as no surprise that Coca-Cola also pours some money into the international market by partnering with Korean pop band BTS.
Sucking Resources Dry
Like any beverage, there is no Coke without water. This poses an issue when residents living near Coca-Cola plants have easier access to the soda than water, and that’s exactly what is happening in some areas. Coca-Cola’s vast water consumption leaves little for public use, and nearby denizens face health consequences because of it.
Despite this, Coke claims to value sustainability and uphold ethical practices. While the questions about Coke’s ethics remain, they don’t appear to have much bearing on the brand’s popularity. Coca-Cola sits at number 6 on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands, with a brand value of more than $59 billion.
Coca-Cola has already lived through several generations, and as they evolve to market toward a younger crowd, it appears they’ll be around for many more.