Branding is an important marketing tool for creating an impression and revealing the company’s philosophy, values, mission, and vision of the future. A corporate brand is significant for consumers; at the same time, it also allows creating an internal corporate culture. It is possible to note that during the last few decades that saw the appearance of new technologies and Internet tools for marketing, branding has increased and changed largely (Percy, 2018).
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Still, Coca-Cola, a brand with a long history, belongs to the most recognizable ones of today (Gehani, 2016). The purpose of this paper is to assess the recent increase in branding, analyze how Coca-Cola developed its brand equity, and estimate the impact of branding on the company’s integrated marketing communications (IMC).
The vast expansion of branding that has occurred during the last several decades is closely connected with Internet innovations. The appearance of social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, and others has made it possible to attract new customers through using computer-enabled technologies. That is why new companies received a chance to compete successfully with organizations that owned a long story of success. Previously, the brand’s value was ensured by the organization’s stability and its stakeholders, while at the turn of century, market success has become dependent on the positive experience of users and on design.
According to Gehami (2016), “customers quickly switched from iconic long-established brands to newly emerging user-centric brands” (p. 13). Therefore, nowadays, an increase in branding might be assessed as significantly large; it has occurred due to new technologies.
In spite of the fact that Coca-Cola was founded long before the abovementioned changes, the company has been ahead of its time in the methods used to develop the brand equity. The user-centric strategy and attention to people’s needs has always been employed by the organization to gain clients’ loyalty and ensure the company’s success (Gehami, 2016). It is possible to note that “Coca-Cola has sustained its brand leadership for more than a century with its Spencerian scripted logo and distinctive waist-band bottle shape” (Gehami, 2016, p. 12). Despite the fact that many people like the drink itself, it is the right marketing policies that helped Coca-Cola to achieve such impressive results.
Examples of company’s empathy towards consumers’ delight might be found at every stage of its development. For instance, Asa Candler, who has registered The Coca-Cola Company worked hard not only on the recipe of the drink but also on its marketing. He organized free distribution of Coca-Cola in pharmacies for his regular customers, exchanging the drink for their addresses and surnames (Gehami, 2016). Besides, Candler sent coupons for one free portion of Coca-Cola to the indicated addresses and established the regular trade with the product (Gehami, 2016). This ensured the beginning of the brand’s success at the market of the USA which then grew into international recognition. Later, Candler’s successors also did their best to maintain the connection with clients.
Speaking about the influence of branding on Coca-Cola’s IMC, it is positive. Researchers note that IMC include online marketing, advertising, public relation activities, and other tools used for promoting products (Ogden & Ogden, 2014). Coca-Cola’s branding has made advertising more effective by raising people’s awareness about the soft drink. Besides, it has helped to increase customers’ trust for the company and demand for the product. In fact, thanks to branding, Coca-Cola might be regarded as one of the symbols of the USA (Gehami, 2016). Hence, branding has contributed to the company’s success and has had a positive impact on the organization’s IMC.
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To sum up, it is important to press the point that developing brand equity and branding have recently seen crucial changes. The main point was shifted from a company’s stakeholders to the clients’ experience. At the moment of its foundation, The Coca-Cola Company was ahead of its time because the organization put the customer’s needs at the first place and established a connection with them. It helped Coca-Cola to stay one of the leading participants of the USA and international market.
Gehani, R. (2016). Corporate brand value shifting from identity to innovation capability: From Coca-Cola to Apple. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 11(3), 11−20.
Ogden, J. R., & Ogden, D. T. (2014). Integrated marketing communications: Advertising, public relations, and more. Bridgepoint Education.
Percy, L. (2018). Strategic integrated marketing communications (3rd ed.). Routledge.