The following report is a study on branding and strategy. The good being examined is Coca Cola and the campaign is the ‘Share the good’ campaign (YouTube, 2013). The report contains background on the brand and target market, and analysis of the effectiveness of the brand strategy.
In the words of brand design legend Walter Landor “Products are produced in a factory, but brands are produced in the mind of the consumer.” (Martinez, 2012). Branding of a good or service is just as important as the product itself; the use of various positioning strategies and brand elements is needed to build a strong brand. Coca cola is one of the most recognisable soft drink companies in the world; this is due to its successful branding as much as it is the product. The brand, target market, positioning strategy and identity of Coca Cola are discussed below.
The Coca Cola Company is a beverage company marketing over 500 non-alcoholic beverage brands, with the core brand being Coca Cola. According to the American Marketing Association (AMA) brand is defined as a ‘name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers’ (American Marketing Association, 2014).
Coca Cola is considered to be one of the highest selling and most favoured soft drinks in the world, as well as being the best-known brand in the world. Coca Cola is ranked the third most valuable brand in the world according to Forbes (Forbes, 2013). Coca Cola’s distinctive logo is recognisable all over the world on adverts, cans and bottles; the logo is a key representative of the brand.
Due to product appeal and popularity, Coca cola’s demographic target is extensive and broad; targeting more towards young adults and older; it is also worth noting that Coca Cola has pledged globally that it will not target advertisements towards children under 12 (Bachman, 2014).
Coca Cola does not have a specific gender or income skew. Coca Cola is sold in most countries around the world, and has other various products in the Coca Cola line such as Coke Zero and Diet Coke to increase its reach, as there is no specific lifestyle targeted for the whole brand. Coca cola is targeted towards more social, entertainment-loving natured people as it supports the positioning strategy of Coca Cola.
Effectiveness of the brand strategy
A brand position is ‘the standing of a brand in comparison with its competitors in the minds of customers, prospects and other stakeholders (McClean, 2014). Coca Cola has used an image positioning strategy creating differentiation on the basis of association created by Coca Cola over time.
Coca Cola has created an association with drinking Coca Cola and a sense of joy, unity and, relatedness; this can be seen in many of Coca Cola’s advertising and marketing campaigns such as the “open happiness” and “share a coke” campaigns, as well as, its involvement in occasions that connect people such as sports like the FIFA world cup. The association between Coca Cola and joy, unity and relatedness has a very broad reach, as the concepts of joy, relatedness and unity are able to be applied to a wider target audience, perhaps even universally; this suits Coca Cola as it has a broad target market to reach.
Coca Cola has also positioned itself as being of higher quality and value than its competitors through distinguishing itself as the one of the original colas and emphasising that the company is 128 years old (Coca Cola Company, 2014). This creates a perception that they are the cola ‘experts’; this view of the brand can reduce perceived risks in a consumers mind during the purchasing process.
In contrast, Pepsi Cola, a direct competitor of Coca Cola has differentiated itself by targeting a different audience. Pepsi Cola is targeted more towards a younger demographic of teens around 14 and younger. It also uses an image strategy, using