Few if any brands hold the power of Coca-Cola.
And like all great brands, it evolves over time and if done well retains its roots and soul as a brand.
The late Andy Warhol said, “What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke. Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.”
Coca-Cola: Becoming Part of the Cultural Brandscape
In 1885, the Coca Cola brand was first shown to the world as a slab serif design.
In mid-1887, Frank Robinson, Coca-Cola’s bookkeeper, drew the first variations of the script version.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the first incarnations of the current script design started to crystallize.
But few companies have the history and longevity to experience and manage the brand evolution over such a long history, and rebranding is a key part of that history and evolution.
Because nothing remains stagnant nor remains the same. Because we’re dealing with changes and shifts in culture, people, trends, fashion, and value all the time.
Coca-Cola: A Brand Vocabulary like no other
Brand vocabulary refers to the various parts of the brand that are part of the dialog of a brand.
In the case of Coca-Cola, this includes:
- Coke’s white on red lettering
- Its use of red covering its products and dispensers
- Coke’s “wave”
- It’s iconic bottle shape
- It’s simplicity and uncluttered look and feel
- Its script and more.
And because it is so well managed, it communicates in any country in the world and speaks to all who view it simply with its big swatch of red with the white wave—and you know it’s Coke.
If your brand is getting “lost in translation”—there is something you can do to handle it.
Brand Control to Major Tom in 11 Seconds
Brand control all comes down to a few key factors:
- Properly managing your brand
- Never losing sight of its meaning
- Eliminating the fat and
- Staying true to your place in the world.
Only then does your brand start to stay true to its relevance in the world.
It’s not being rigid and unswerving.
It’s knowing that brands are like living things: they need to be nourished properly and stay true to their core purpose.
In celebration of Brand Control and pop culture (thank you David Bowie for the inspiration), I created this 11-second video celebrating the glory of the Coca-Cola brand and how it’s remained relevant to pop culture for over 130 years.
Coca-Cola Sign Photo Credit: phloxii / Shutterstock.com