While in Atlanta for the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS), I took the time to tour the Coca-Cola factory with my family. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour including the 4-D movie, watching the factory assembly line filling the Coca-Cola bottles, and the tasting of Coca-Cola products from around the world.
What fascinated me the most, was the branding of Coca-Cola.
John Pemberton created the formula for Coca-Cola in 1886. Two years later, he sold the formula and his company to Asa Chandler. Asa was a marketing genius. He is responsible for making Coca-Cola popular. He employed a number of techniques to drive public awareness of the product.
To increase public awareness of Coca-Cola, Asa Chandler introduced free sampling coupons. These coupons gave individuals a small taste of Coke and served to create new customers. Sampling coupons were innovative for that era. By 1920, one out of every nine people in the United States had sampled Coca-Cola as a result of these coupons.
Today, Coca-Cola is the most recognized brand in the world. Three things helped bring Coca-Cola to world-wide popularity:
- Unique taste.
- Uniform quality.
- Universal accessibility.
I believe that publishers and self-published authors can learn a few branding and marketing lessons from Coca-Cola. These lessons can be transferred to marketing books and include:
- Free samples do increase customers.
- Quality matters, but it must be coupled with ready access to the product for success.
- Innovative marketing requires new or out-of-the-box ideas.
If you are ever in Atlanta, I encourage you to take the Coca-Cola tour. Not only is it fun, but it provides rich lessons in branding and marketing for eager learners!