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Your Brand vs Coca Cola

Coca-Cola’s brand vision is said to be the universal icon for happiness. The Share-a-Coke campaign inspired a feeling of camaraderie by encouraging people to share a Coke with a friend whose name was printed on the can. The campaign has led to a trend of sharing selfies with namesake cans on social media, resulting in a reported 998 million impressions on Twitter. 

Even our modern-day image of a chubby, rosy-cheeked, jolly Santa Claus wearing red and white is said to have been made popular by the Coca-Cola Christmas ad series that started in the 1930s. 

Coca-Cola has taken a commodity product and, through their advertising and branding, created an association with happiness, excitement, pride, and nostalgia for generations.   

How does your brand vs Coca Cola work in your business? You don’t have to be on the global scale of Coca-Cola to make this work for you. Ask yourself what feeling you want associated with your business and how you can create that feeling in your immediate community. 

Here are a few ideas to start thinking about your brand vs Coca Cola:

  1. Be real - You can build a good feeling about your company within your community by just being genuine, honest, and real. Your advertising can be clear on why you exist and send a warm invitation to your audience, letting them know you are there when they need you. 
  2. Support your community - As a small business, becoming an integral part of the community can be a huge benefit to building your brand in a positive way. You could organize or sponsor local community events, raise funds for a specific charity, or volunteer your time to serve food at a local shelter. Business owners are asked for donations on a regular basis and usually cannot afford to say yes to everyone who asks, but you could set a monthly budget for cash or product donations or simply choose one or two causes to support and be consistent with them. It is okay to be strategic and slightly self-serving in your choices here, but your best benefit will come from a true desire to give back.
  3. Build a feeling of belonging - when you know your customers (or your ideal customers), you can figure out what makes them most comfortable and feel as though they belong. This can come in many forms, like the way you design your store, the quality of the staff you hire, and how you personalize your communications with them. It can also be as simple as engaging with them on social media.
  4. Solve a problem - Solving problems is key to running a successful business, not only because it attracts customers, but because it makes people feel good about you and your brand. Figure out what main problem you solve and lead with that when you’re communicating with your customers.

When I’m teaching workshops, I like to ask people about the Coca Cola logo.  The logo itself means nothing - but because of the work Coca Cola has done over all of these generations, when you see this red and white logo (even in another language), you know what it represents; happiness, nostalgia, pride and joy.

This week, ask yourself what you are doing to associate a good feeling when people see YOUR logo.  And list 3 things you can do this upcoming year to make it stronger. If you want my insight, tag me on Instagram @booststrategiccoaching and I’ll give you some feedback!

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