How To Copy Coca-Cola’s Brand Identity Strategy
Now is the time to stop worrying. I'm going to...
Now is the time to stop worrying. I'm going to reveal a list of tips and tricks to give your company’s product or service that extra boost to gain customer loyalty. It’s all down to brand identity you see. A strong and consistent brand identity can position you as a market leader – Just take a look at Coca-Cola. The soft drinks company always features in the top 10 of the world’s best global brands. A soft drink! How is this possible? Society doesn’t need a soft drink, yet somehow Coca-Cola has managed to create such a firm identity, that their brand has been embedded into our culture. I mean can you image a world without Coca-Cola? It may sound like a silly question, but just this very notion proves how much the Coca-Coal brand has become a part of our lives.
So, do you want to know what the secret to their success is? No problem.
This article will examine some features of Coca-Cola’s brand identity strategy and explain why it’s successful, so you can adopt their tactics and apply it you’re your own business. Yep, it’s embarrassingly simple. From packaging and signage design to web and social applications, we’ll analyse how brand identity can differentiate you from your competitors by taking examples from the number one fizzy beverage.
Let’s take a look at the most popular Coca-Cola cans – Coca-Cola original, Diet Coke and Coke Zero. We’re sure you know, but in case you don’t, Diet Coke and Coke Zero are practically the same product. They both contain the same amount of calories and show no traces of sugar or fat. The only very tiny difference is that Diet Coke contains 0.01g of salt, where as Coke Zero contains a trace. The ingredients are almost identical, so why the need for such diverse packaging design?
If we take into account the advertising behind these two products, (with Diet Coke ads featuring hunky men and Coke Zero TV ads comparable to an action film) it may seem obvious that Coca-Cola are targeting different consumers, but could copying this tactic really prove to be beneficial to SME’s?
Creating a product with 2 different types of packaging design to convey different key messages will meet different consumer needs. This will enable you to connect with a wider audience, which can therefore give your product or service a better chance at gaining massive popularity. This is why creating packaging designs that cater to different consumers is really effective.
If we look at the design of the original Coca-Cola can, we can see that the packaging can’t be overlooked on the shelf in the supermarket. Coca-Cola are competing with hundreds of other soft drinks out there, so how do they stand out?
Their iconic packaging design is bold, bright and unique, which makes it hard to miss. The can stands out like a sore thumb when placed amongst other soft drinks. Coca-Cola prevails because their packaging design is so strong and vibrant and it gives their product the edge.
Not so long ago, Coca-Cola launched a website that was aimed at creating ‘The Happiest Coke Bottle’. The website is a digital playground and lets users express their creativity by allowing them to generate artwork (whether it be uploading an image or drawing a picture) onto a digital bottle.
On Coca-Cola’s official website, their company’s mission is stated as:
- To refresh the world – in mind, body and spirit
- To inspire moments of optimism – through our brands and actions
- To create value and make a difference everywhere we engage
They also declare their values on their main website, which include principals such as leadership, passion, innovation and collaboration.
If we were to define Coca-Cola ourselves, wouldn’t you agree that there is a sense of ‘togetherness’ and being united? There seems to be a focus on family, culture, music and happiness. It’s sufficient to say that some of these values and mission messages are firmly conveyed through this fun and interactive website.
So how can you copy Coca-Cola? Well firstly it’s absolutely crucial for you to clearly define your businesses’ core values and mission statements, then you should transmit these messages through various platforms. Copy Coca-Cola by starting with your website – make sure your web design expresses your mission statement and core values in order to build trust and connect with your target consumers.
Coca-Cola have presented a number of social applications on their Facebook fan page, but we’re going to take a look at the ‘Move To The Beat’ app as an example. Coke are one of the worldwide Olympic partners for London 2012 and they’re making sure this is heavily broadcasted through different platforms. Their ‘Move To The Beat’ social application invites fans to watch videos, remix music and listen to various content so fans can celebrate the Olympic Torch Relay.
This social application makes Coca-Cola’s brand appear engaging and entertaining. The introduction of Facebook’s timeline has enabled brands to come up with new ways of creating content. To gain more interaction and engagement with your Facebook fans you need to commit more time to thinking about what you’ll post on your timeline and how to make this visually appealing so it will stand out in your fan’s newsfeed. A social application is a great way to entertain consumers, which will encourage them to engage with your brand.
Also, when Coca-Cola reached 25 millions likes on Facebook they decided to create a social app with a videothat showed Dusty and Michael, (Coke’s Facebook page curators) thanking their fans by making a huge Coca-Cola cake. They also asked their fans to celebrate with them by asking them to upload their favourite Coke memories on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. Was it successful though? Well, they now have 45 million likes on Facebook, so that would be a huge yes.
This also shows that social applications give your business the chance to show your human side. The social application makes Coke look less corporate and more personal. Consumers are interested in stories and the video allows Coke to tell a story. It works because people buy from people; your business needs to show its human side in social media in order to truly connect with your consumers. According to statistics, 70% of people wouldn’t care if a brand disappeared. So why would anyone follow or ‘like’ a brand on social media? Consumers only follow or ‘like’ brands that are valuable or enrich their lives in some way. It’s also worth noting that it’s ok to be funny and a little bit silly in social media, consumers like following brands that make them laugh; this won’t detract your professional image.
Coca-Cola constantly seeks the opinions, ideas and thoughts of their fans through their social applications. Remember it’s called social media, so make sure you’re being social.
Coca-Cola are great at delivering ‘brand experiences’. In Brazil they created a Coca-Cola Sensations stand, which displayed attractive and striking signage design and a corner that featured video games, which consumers could play with.
Coca-Cola have used emotional design to make their stand look refreshing and exciting, which reflects their mission statement. Coca-Cola isn’t just simply known, the brand is known for the right things – refreshment and inspiration, which they have clearly conveyed through their signage design.
Also, consumer’s want to test your product or service before they buy anything off you and exhibition and trade shows enable business to do this, but if you really want to connect with your target audience, get them to have fun with your product too. This is what is so great about Coca-Cola’s game corner in their exhibition stand. Gamification is on the rise so make it part of your marketing mix now. Your business needs to reflect your consumers needs whenever they access your brand. The aim is to get your target consumers to love and connect with your brand by offering immersive experiences that are amazing and consistent every time.
So what does this all mean?
As we can see Coca-Cola constantly convey their company values and execute their mission statements through various mediums. Part of the reason The Coca-Cola Company is so successful is because their brand identity invades the mind of their consumers by being bold and unique. The look and feel of the brand adopts an energetic and lively tone to reflect the business’s core values.
A strong brand identity will differentiate you from your competitors. It’s down to branding that convinces a consumer to choose one organisation over the other. Businesses need to nurture their brands, and be less preoccupied with leads; there’s only so long that any business can focus purely on this.
By exploiting various platforms to convey your brand’s values you will strengthen the perceptions of your business. Visual aspects are part of what keeps a brand powerful and influential, while consistency across multiple channels can lead to a strong reputation. So what are you waiting for? It’s undeniably evident that investing in your brand’s identity will lead to tangible benefits.