Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola are among the most successful products in the whole history of business. Coca-Cola is said to be the second most well-known phrase in the world. The most well-known is "okay." So if you say "Coca-Cola is okay" you will be understood in more places by more people than any other sentence.
The reward for this fame have been princely. At the end of 1995, the Coca-Cola Company had a market value in excess of $100 billion. It was the fourth most valuable publicly traded company in the United States.
The Pepsi-Cola story is equally remarkable. PepsiCo, the parent company which owns Pepsi-Cola,was worth more than $50 billion at the end of 1995. Pepsi-Cola was bought out of bankruptcy for $12,000. But it has emerged as Coca-Cola's only sustained rival.
How was all this wealth created from a product as simple as a carbonated soft drink? How did Coca-Cola become such a marketing powerhouse? How did Peps-Cola grow from a price of $12,000 to being a key component in a company worth more than four thousand times that amount?
This chapter answers these questions.
-Richard Tedlow, author of New and Improved
Inside the International Marketing of Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola may seem like a simple soft drink company, but its mission expands far beyond providing drinks to the world. Its company goals, “to refresh the world”, “to inspire moments of optimism and happiness”, and “to create value and make a difference” are broad and ambitious, and do not seem like the kind of goals one would associate with a soft drink company (The Coca-Cola Company). These goals are very much reflected in their advertising campaigns, which include slogans like “Coke Adds Life”, “Have a Coke and Smile”, and the most recent “Open Happiness”. All of these campaigns are purposely broad, and express a broad theme, in order to connect with people of all cultures and backgrounds.