What’s the first brand you can think of as being our national symbol? Okay, (big surprise) you’ve teased the title, and now you’re wondering why I even ask. Let’s get right down to it. Coke has been in all of our lives since eternity began (think the early 1900s) and for as long as our grandparents can remember. The thing about Coca-Cola that is so special resides in the brand’s staying power.


Think about that kind of power. Coke may seem cheery, but it’s one serious brand. It’s praised by Warren Buffet for its stock value, and it’s the type of brand that carries symbolic power. What makes Coca-Cola so incredibly addicting as a brand? No, not that glorious artificial glory that makes us crave Diet Cokes on the daily, but the legacy that has made it the household name in Americana style. As a brand, it has managed to transcend traditional supply/demand graphs while completely eclipsing every other carbonated beverage. Of all time. That something has us thinking.


Product Placement

How many times during a week do you think our nation’s consumers come across a Coca-Cola ad? The question really to ask is, how many times a day are we confronted by the iconic brand? Coke rules a bubbly monopoly due to its relentless pursuit in the world of marketing & advertising. Don’t believe us? Go ahead and walk down any street (not just Time Square!), and you’re sure to scour some evidence.


The notion that we as consumers are not even phased any longer by these advertisements speaks volumes to the brand’s success. It has become so embedded in our cultural memory that we barely notice its dominance over our daily lives.


Branding That Keeps Up With The Times

Okay, enough of the serious talk. What about the decades of fun and nostalgia this brand has offered our sparkling eyes? Marketing attributes success to quality and uniqueness of the brand message, not just by how many times we’re infiltrated by a commercial or a billboard. Whether it’s a polar bear icy image or a sweet, summertime porch, Coke reminds us of those  moments in our lives where we felt content in craving and in life.


Then there’s the 2014 summer campaign. Why does CEO Muhtar Kent believe a Coke with my name on it will actually convince me to sip more fizz? Kent’s on to something big. The Coca-Cola Blog describes the summer phenonomen with the following:


“The campaign, which concludes Aug. 30, features 250 of the most popular names among teens and Millennials on 20-oz. bottles.”


Branding wise, Coke takes it a step further. By creating a virtual campaign that can be addressed over social media, Kent promises his stockholders that the brand will continue to adapt along with the times. This level of personalization may feed into our American culture of narcissism, but it’s a testament to corporate acceptance of what its public desires. Hey, they didn’t get Buffett’s approval for nothing.


What do you think of Coke’s ability to adapt its marketing to the cultural trends of the times? Do you think it will continue to be as mega-successful as it is now? I’d love to hear what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro