What Made Coca-Cola Last so Long

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Profesor îndrumător / Prezentat Profesorului: Dorel Paraschiv
Sesiunea de Comunicari Stiintifice ASE


  1. 1. History
  2. 2. Bottling Coca-Cola
  3. 3. The World of Coca-Cola
  4. 4. Advertising
  5. 5. The price system
  6. 6. Mission, value and vision
  7. 7. SWOT analysis
  8. 8. Key success factors
  9. 9. Conclusion
  10. 10. Annex
  11. 11. Bibliography

Extras din referat

What made Coca-Cola last so long?


The purpose of this paper is to present the evolution, the organization and some factors that helped Coca-Cola Company stand where it is today. We consider that Coca-Cola has become part of many people’s life and it worth giving a closer look to the key success factors of this giant multinational. “Coca-Cola is said to be the second most well-known phrase in the world; the most well-known is "OK." So if you say, "Coca-Cola is OK" you will be understood in more places by more people than any other sentence.” said Richard Tedlow-specialist in the history of business (1990) . With more than 50 billion beverage servings of all types consumed worldwide every day and a history of more than one hundred years, Coca-Cola is certainly one of the most successful companies in the world. But what made Coca-Cola last so long? This is the main question that the present paper aims to answer at.


Coca-Cola, success, international, strategy, beverage, brand, market

1. History

It was 1886, and in New York Harbor, workers were constructing the Statue of Liberty. Eight hundred miles away, another great American symbol was about to be unveiled. Like many people who change history, John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, was inspired by simple curiosity. One afternoon, he stirred up a fragrant, caramel-colored liquid and, when it was done, he carried it a few doors down to Jacobs' Pharmacy. Here, the mixture was combined with carbonated water and sampled by customers who all agreed -- this new drink was something special. So Jacobs' Pharmacy put it on sale for five cents a glass.

Pemberton's bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, named the mixture Coca-Cola®, and wrote it out in his distinct script. To this day, Coca-Cola is written the same way. In the first year, Pemberton sold just 9 glasses of Coca-Cola a day.

A century later, The Coca-Cola Company has produced more than 10 billion gallons of syrup. Unfortunately, for Pemberton, he died in 1888 without realizing the success of the beverage he had created. Over the course of three years, 1888-1891, Atlanta businessman Asa Griggs Candler secured rights to the business for a total of about $2,300. Candler would become the Company's first president, and the first to bring real vision to the business and the brand.

Asa G. Candler, a natural born salesman, transformed Coca-Cola from an invention into a business. He knew there were thirsty people out there, and Candler found brilliant and innovative ways to introduce them to this exciting new refreshment. He gave away coupons for complimentary first tastes of Coca-Cola, and outfitted distributing pharmacists with clocks, urns, calendars and apothecary scales bearing the Coca-Cola brand. People saw Coca-Cola everywhere, and the aggressive promotion worked. By 1895, Candler had built syrup plants in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Inevitably, the soda's popularity led to a demand for it to be enjoyed in new ways. In 1894, a Mississippi businessman named Joseph Biedenharn became the first to put Coca-Cola in bottles. He sent 12 of them to Candler, who responded without enthusiasm. Despite being a brilliant and innovative businessman, he didn't realize then that the future of Coca-Cola would be with portable, bottled beverages customers could take anywhere. He still didn't realize it five years later, when, in 1899, two Chattanooga lawyers, Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead, secured exclusive rights from Candler to bottle and sell the beverage -- for the sum of only one dollar.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but The Coca-Cola Company was none too pleased about the proliferation of copycat beverages taking advantage of its success. This was a great product, and a great brand. Both needed to be protected. Advertising focused on the authenticity of Coca-Cola, urging consumers to "Demand the genuine" and "Accept no substitute."

The Company also decided to create a distinctive bottle shape to assure people they were actually getting a real Coca-Cola. The Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, won a contest to design a bottle that could be recognized in the dark. In 1916, they began manufacturing the famous contour bottle. The contour bottle, which remains the signature shape of Coca-Cola today, was chosen for its attractive appearance, original design and the fact that, even in the dark, you could identify the genuine article.

As the country roared into the new century, The Coca-Cola Company grew rapidly, moving into Canada, Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, France, and other countries and U.S. territories. In 1900, there were two bottlers of Coca-Cola; by 1920, there would be about 1,000.

Perhaps no person had more impact on The Coca-Cola Company than Robert Woodruff. In 1923, four years after his father Ernest purchased the Company from Asa Candler, Woodruff became the Company president. While Candler had introduced the U.S. to Coca-Cola, Woodruff would spend more than 60 years as Company leader introducing the beverage to the world beyond.

Woodruff was a marketing genius who saw opportunities for expansion everywhere. He led the expansion of Coca-Cola overseas and in 1928 introduced Coca-Cola to the Olympic Games for the first time when Coca-Cola traveled with the U.S. team to the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Woodruff pushed development and distribution of the six-pack, the open top cooler, and many other innovations that made it easier for people to drink Coca-Cola at home or away. This new thinking made Coca-Cola not just a huge success, but a big part of people's lives.

In 1941, America entered World War II. Thousands of men and women were sent overseas. The country, and Coca-Cola, rallied behind them. Woodruff ordered that "every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents, wherever he is, and whatever it costs the Company." In 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenhower sent an urgent cablegram to Coca-Cola, requesting shipment of materials for 10 bottling plants. During the war, many people enjoyed their first taste of the beverage, and when peace finally came, the foundations were laid for Coca-Cola to do business overseas.

Woodruff’s vision that Coca-Cola be placed within "arm's reach of desire," was coming true -- from the mid-1940s until 1960, the number of countries with bottling operations nearly doubled. Post-war America was alive with optimism and prosperity. Coca-Cola was part of a fun, carefree American lifestyle, and the imagery of its advertising -- happy couples at the drive-in, carefree moms driving big yellow convertibles -- reflected the spirit of the times.

After 70 years of success with one brand, Coca-Cola®, the Company decided to expand with new flavors: Fanta®, originally developed in the 1940s and introduced in the 1950s; Sprite® followed in 1961, with TAB® in 1963 and Fresca® in 1966. In 1960, The Coca-Cola Company acquired The Minute Maid Company, adding an entirely new line of business -- juices -- to the Company.

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