Marketing lessons we can learn from Coca-Cola’s marketing

94% of the world’s population recognises the Coca-Cola logo. With a brand as powerful as this, it’s no surprise that there are more than 1.9 billion servings of The Coca-Cola Company’s drinks enjoyed every single day. If there’s one brand that we can learn a few marketing lessons from, it’s The Coca-Cola Company. 

Being an umbrella of over 200 beverage brands, there is no denying the power of Coca-Cola’s marketing abilities. So what lessons can we learn from the brand?

1. User-generated content is important

The Coca-Cola Company has always been great at knowing how to generate user-generated content. They have done this most recently with the launch of their new AI tool ‘Create Real Magic’ which allows users to generate unique artwork with creative assets from Coca-Cola’s archives for a chance to be featured in a brand creative. In doing this, Coca-Cola encourages customers to share content with others encouraging word-of-mouth marketing and reinstating the brand as front and centre of the consumer’s mind.

2. Consistency is everything

If you need a lesson in consistency, just take a look at Coca-Cola’s branding. From the start, Coca-Cola has strived to be simple in its branding efforts. The legendary Coca-Cola Contour Bottle was created in 1915 and has had little changes since its creation. The brief for the new bottle was “to ensure that the bottle was recognisable even in the dark, or if it was broken”. This bottle has been trademarked since 1977 showing its power.

3. Don’t shy away from emotion

The Coca-Cola Company has a history of encouraging customer experience. From ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaigns to ‘Holidays are Coming’, the firm knows how to lean on customers’ emotions to position itself as the go-to drinks brand. As the brand has been around for so long, it’s important for the company to understand the emotional connections some stakeholders have with the brand and to feed into these connections where necessary. Building an emotional connection with your customer is likely to propel your brand forward as customers who have an emotional attachment are more likely to develop into high-value loyal customers.

4. Innovation is always needed

Being one of the oldest beverage companies around, The Coca-Cola Company have had to innovate to keep up with demand and encourage a buzz around its products. After making a huge mistake with ‘New Coke’ and damaging brand popularity back in 1985, the company learnt a huge lesson in managing brand reputation. As a result, Coca-Cola has been strategic with innovation efforts seen most recently with the rebrand of Lilt. It was announced that Lilt would be discontinued in February 2023, but The Coca Cola Company were quick to defend this decision reassuring fans that the ‘Lilt recipe’ was being rebranded into Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit due to Lilt suffering from poor brand health.

5. Make your customers feel seen with personalisation

The ‘Share a Coke’ Campaign launched in the UK in 2013 – 2014 and was a hit with many people, driving sales and boosting user-generated content for the drinks brand. This campaign saw the Coca-Cola logo replaced with the nation’s popular names and encouraged customers to find their name on a Coca-Cola bottle, thus driving sales. This campaign was iconic for the brand and was launched overall in 70 countries and won multiple awards for the campaign. This campaign is the perfect example of using personalisation to encourage customers to get involved with your brand.

Looking at a case study like The Coca-Cola Company may be intimidating initially however there are many lessons to be learned from this iconic brand.

Check out the Girls in Marketing Podcast to listen to marketing experts who work with brands as iconic as The Coca-Cola Company.