Coca-Cola is a Symbol of American Imperialism

In addition to being the world’s leading global beverage company, Coca-Cola is the symbol of American imperialism and the pioneering brand in developing mass advertising that attracts the entire society. Their mission reads: “To refresh the world in body, mind, and spirit. Inspire moments of optimism through our brands and actions, to create value and leave our footprint in each of the places we operate.” Satiety. This is the word to describe Coca-Cola’s statistical data. In 1960 forty thousand Coca-Colas were consumed per minute in the United States. Coca-Cola was created by accident in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States in a pharmacy. John Pemberton, the creator of the Coca-Cola, sought to invent a tonic to soothe nerves and headache but instead, he created a syrup that was mixed with tonic water in the soda fountains of the Jacobs Pharmacy. Pemberton made numerous strange experiments, essays, and tests in his pharmacy, where he tried mixing several ingredients.

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 Then, on May 8, 1886, he discovered a novel formula: Cola nut extract, coca leaves, sugar and a small amount of caffeine along with vegetal extracts whose composition he refused to reveal. Since then, Coca-Cola has been in the beverage business for over one hundred and thirty years. The Coca-Cola brand is considered one of the most valuable company’s in the world, according to the consultant Interbrand, and is also the most famous on the planet, with a recognition of 94% of the world’s population: it is the second most recognized term in the world after the expression ‘ Okay “! However, the birth of Pepsi in 1893 was the biggest problem of competition for Coca-Cola. Although the beginnings for PEPSI were not the best, after two consecutive bankruptcies, the company was acquired by an ex-distributor of Coca-Cola, who managed to plant face to his previous company. The rivalry between Coca-Cola and Pepsi has always been legendary. 

Although the war between the two marks did not reach its peak up to 1975, with a marketing strategy; when Pepsi launched the so-called ‘Pepsi Challenge’ and won Coca-Cola in a blind test of flavors; both companies have been struggling for more than a century. Pepsi started an aggressive attitude, increasing product quantities and reducing prices compared to Coca-Cola, increasing its sales. However, the power of Coca-Cola continued to prevail in the U.S. Pepsi finally got to live up to Coca-Cola changing its position thanks to unifying its flavor and an aggressive advertising strategy. Pepsi’s marketing strategy was mainly based on differentiating Pepsi- Cola from Coca-Cola trying to approach the kid’s segment by identifying the Coca-Cola brand with the traditional drink of the parents. 

This approach had tremendous success. Coca-Cola and Pepsi now offer similar products, at the same price, and almost always attack the same market segment, its coverage is virtually identical around the world. Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola war go beyond the development of their respective products. Sometimes it transcends personal and is also reflected in the marketing strategies of both brands. One of the last campaigns of Pepsi attacks, in fact, the polar bears and Santa Claus of Coca-Cola, the most famous icons of its eternal rival. That is why Coca-Cola’s marketing is so important, starting with its lines of business. Coca-Cola’s lines of business, which divide its operations to double the size of the company over the next decade. Regarding the current marketing structure, Coca-Cola is divided into two parts: Coca-Cola Americas, including North America and Latin America, and Coca-Cola International, which includes other global markets. Muhtar Kent, CEO, and chairman of Coca-Cola says that all its lines of business are part of the company’s big success. 

Coca-Cola’s journey throughout history. Year Event 1886 Coca-Cola’s formula creation by John S. Pemberton. His partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, then helped to name the beverage ‘Coca-Cola.’ 1887 Pemberton decides to register his secret syrup recipe with the U.S. Patent Office, making it an official trade secret. 1893 The script from the Coca-Cola logo is registered with the U.S. Patent Office. 1897 The first export of the product was produced outside the country. 1899 The first agreement was signed to bottle Coca-Cola throughout the United States. 1919 Ernest Woodruff purchases the Coca-Cola company from Asa, passing the company’s presidency to his son, Robert, four years later 1928 Coca-Cola travels with the U.S Olympic Team to the Amsterdam Olympics (at the request of Woodruff) where it is introduced on a global scale. 1941 Woodruff sends Coca-Cola to members of the armed forces in World War 1, further spreading the Coke brand across the globe The 1950s Fanta drinks are starting to be introduced to Coca-Cola list of products. The 1960s Sprite, TAB, and Fresca beverages are introduced to Coke’s product lineup. 1971 The ‘I would Like to Buy the World a Coke’ television advertising campaign airs and gains public favor for Coca-Cola and its products internationally.

 1982 Diet Coke is introduced to the marketplace, becoming the top low-calorie drink in the world by 1984. 1993 Coca-Cola Polar Bears make their initial advertisement debut. 1997 Coca-Cola is serving 1 billion servings of its products each day around the world. 2009 Coca-Cola launches the ‘Live Positively’ campaign as a ‘commitment to making a positive difference around the world’ through sustainable practices. Source: ‘Timeline Block For WordPress Gutenberg – Ultrablocks.’ Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2018 . The good ethical decisions of the company Sustainability is not something new in Coca-Cola. The company’s efforts encompass a wide range of topics including water, women, community welfare, and sustainable packaging. These efforts began more than 100 years ago and had since become an integral part of the company. Although there are countless projects and sustainability initiatives started by Coca-Cola, there are some key moments that have helped shape the company’s efforts. 1. In nineteen seventeen Coca-Cola Company began its partnership with the Red Cross. During the First World War, the Coca-Cola system organized annual campaigns of this NGO that continued for more than ten years. This partnership remains today and has been essential to the company’s involvement in supporting natural disasters over the years. 2. 

In nineteen sixty-six, ‘The Nutrition Project’ was launched, which consisted in find a solution to the ‘protein gap’ which were facing the world’s developing countries. 3. In two thousand and one, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, which has worked to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in that continent, was established. Since its creation, it has launched numerous projects and initiatives throughout the continent. 4. In two thousand thirteen, the first Ekocenter was established, a modular community market that is run by local women entrepreneurs and offers potable water, wireless communications, electricity and other functions to boost entrepreneurship opportunities and development of the community. In 2016 the Ekocenter number 100 was inaugurated. Coca-Cola’s sustainability efforts and objectives continue to develop as the years go by and its impact can be found all over the world. In the last five years, new initiatives have been launched, and many objectives have been achieved. The poor ethical decisions of the company Coca-Cola has always been presented as one of the icons of American power in the world. 

However, not all is clear behind closed doors. This multinational is one of the worst companies when it comes to the environment. In India, pesticides in some drinks are a common cause of double health standards. Coca-Cola Products manufactured in this country can never be sold in the markets of the European Union or the United States. Since 2005, the shipments of this brand, manufactured in India, have been systematically rejected for considering that they are not sanitary safe. Coca-Cola must free its raw materials from pollutants before introducing them to the market. It is shocking that these multinationals advocate by global trade rules and corporate investments, but when they are questioned their wrong to proceed, they immediately invoke local or national laws. 

Also, Coca-Cola does not pay for the water it uses in India, using millions of liters daily. Coca-Cola also has problems in Mexico, where the wealthiest aquifer in the San Cristóbal de las Casas area, in the state of Chiapas, is very irrationally exploited. Throughout the year 2000, analyses of the waters used for their industrial processes are made, it turns out that these contain more than double the lead allowed by the authorities. Some of Coca-Cola’s practices are also scandalous. Its products contain transgenics. It moves in tax havens (Bahrain, Cayman Islands) to avoid paying taxes. It opposed the Kyoto Treaty and acted with lobbyists at FAO and the World Health Organization so that it does not create problems for them. More than 170 universities, many of which are from North America, put obstacles to the sale of Coca-Cola products, because of these bad environmental practices. Universities such as The University of Atlanta, Toronto, California, Berlin, and Ireland have expelled Coca-Cola from their campuses. Marketing strategies Coca-Cola went from being a pharmaceutical elixir to combating gastric problems in One thousand eight hundred eighty-six to becoming an omnipresent sweetened beverage by the end of the 1920s. 

Moreover, today, consumers in more than 200 countries drink 1.9 billion rations of this beverage each day, according to company data. Bad reputation, lousy management, and wrong investments can make a company fall to red numbers in just days. However, Coca-Cola has managed to cope with every problem and make a marketing strategy its best ally. Coca-Cola has five marketing strategies, and all of them seemed to be a success in the past and even nowadays. 

  • Marketing Mix 1: Advertising; Informs about the characteristics of the product and persuade the prospective buyer. There are different elements that Coca-Cola uses to attract attention. For example, most of their campaigns include the red color that in addition to remembering the product captures people’s attention. 
  • Marketing Mix 2: Awakening interest; Coca-Cola focuses many efforts on capturing the interest of young people by offering or interested in their tastes and hobbies such as music, organizing concerts. 
  • Marketing Mix 3: Find a Wish; Coca-Cola plays a lot with this aspect. For example, compare the product with a kiss, equate it to the desires of Christmas happiness and peace.
  •  Marketing Mix 4: Personal sales; It is a much more individual sale that aims to inform, persuade and convince; And that implies a closer relationship vendor-client. 
  • Marketing Mix 5: Sales promotion; 

It refers to marketing policy that includes some business activities that aim to increase short-term sales.  A few examples are to make a gift with the purchase of the Coca-Cola product. Operation and Distribution strategies The distribution channel of Coca-Cola products is directly from the plant, using the company’s trucks and vans which allows moving the product throughout the city to different shops, self-service stores, small warehouses or supermarkets, and then make it come to us as consumers. The function of the distribution channels is that Coca-Cola products can reach the consumer as smoothly as possible. 

The distribution strategy of Coca-Cola is to use intermediaries; the company does not sell its products directly to its consumers. Coca-Cola is a successful company worldwide because it has one of the distribution channels and access to its most successful product from all over the world. This is because it allows the product to be known and consumed to the most remote sites. It has a center of excellence in distribution and logistics, which focuses on ensuring the best level of service to the prospective customer in the short, medium and long-term through the constant optimization of the distribution and logistics network, focused mainly on the performance of four areas: 

  1. supply chain planning,
  2.  transport engineering and equipment design, 
  3. optimization of warehouses, 
  4. secondary distribution. 

The distribution structure of Coca-Cola is an example of an indirect distribution channel, but with peculiarities. In the headquarters located in Atlanta, Georgia; Coca-Cola develops the management of the company, marketing, strategy, product development, and branding. However, it is almost in every country where independent companies are in charge of bottling and distribution. Coca-Cola is a local company, but their distribution is done in a disaggregated way. The company has about 250 independent bottling companies in the world. These large bottling machines, in turn, distribute to new wholesalers at the national level, who do the same at the regional and local level, to reach the points of sale. How did the recession hit the Coca-Cola Co.? The stagnation of consumption also has its winning marks. In times of crisis companies that react faster to changes in the consumer habits can achieve strong growth in their sales and acquire market relevance and participation that would be hardly reached in a context of more significant growth of the economy.

 Since its outbreak in 2008, the global financial crisis has severely affected the overall economy and continues to do so. Moreover, for the Coca-Cola Company, it is not different. Although the economic crisis particularly struck financial institutions, other industrial companies were not unscathed from contagion, and they also recorded multi-billion losses. The Coca-Cola company, the world’s largest soft drink manufacturer, recorded a 3% decline in its net profit in 2008 due to extraordinary charges, while its operating income increased by 11%. However, Coca-Cola took the crisis as an opportunity to grow, and although its sales in the United States declined, in the rest of the world its profits grew daily. This was represented in their actions that during that year were kept relatively well. In North America, sales volume fell by 3%, while in international markets it increased by 6% in the quarter and the whole of the year. Coca-Cola overcame the crisis by applying different strategies, such as 

  1. Restoring the old tradition of recycling old bottles, which saved costs by reusing the glass bottles. This approach was even more necessary especially in the background of the global financial crisis, 
  2. Expanding strong campaign in a financial crisis, was one of the critical strategies that ensured the stable market position and growth performance of Coca-Cola Company during the crisis, 
  3. Coca-Cola saved money by laying off jobs to help their company. It was good for the company but bad for the employees Corporate Profile Name Coca-Cola Co. 

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Number of shares of common stock: 4,256,513,898 Industry: Consumer Goods Sector: Beverages Country: United States Coca-Cola Co., 2017 Consolidated Income Statement USD $ in millions 12 months ended Dec 31, 2017 Net operating revenues 35,410 Cost of goods sold -13,256 Gross profit 22,154 Selling, general and administrative expenses -12,496 Other operating charges -2,157 Operating income 7,501 Interest income 677 Interest expense -841 Equity income, net 1,071 Other income (loss), net -1,666 Income from continuing operations before income taxes 6,742 Income taxes from continuing operations -5,560 Net income from continuing operations 1,182 Income from discontinued operations, net of taxes 101 Consolidated net income 1,283 Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests -35 Net income attributable to shareowners of The Coca-Cola Company 1,248 Source: Copyright © 2018 Stock Analysis on Net What else is left to say: Coca-Cola In Atlanta (Georgia) in 1886, a pharmacist named John S. Pemberton developed the a formula of a syrup (initially for a headache and nausea). The beverage began to be marketed to 5 cents of dollars mixed with carbonated water (in the soda fountain of the pharmacy Jacobs). His accountant, Frank Robinson, was the one who devised the brand and designed the logo.

 Interestingly this product was not created as a drink, but it started being a medicine. Since Its inception in 1886, in Atlanta, in a small pharmacy, Coca-Cola has become the most recognized and successful brand, constituted as the largest company of non-alcoholic beverages in the planet. This drink began to be made when none of us were born yet. It is before the car, the radio, the television and the other thousands of condiments of our modern life. Today, more than 120 years after its accidental creation, Coca-Cola has around 500 certified brands under its company, which are distributed throughout the five continents, becoming the most famous trademark in the world. It is known for the virtually all of the world’s population and is the most widely distributed product (sells 1.8 billion of drinks a day), over 232 countries (many more countries than currently United Nations). Coca-Cola is the world’s most recognized brand, present in practically every corner of the world and with a stable sales growth capacity almost inexhaustible. Coca-Cola advertising machine is one of the best-oiled in the world. The main competitors are renowned companies such as Pepsi Co, Dr. Pepper (7up) and Monster Beverages, Nestlé, Kraft, Unilever. Although, only Pepsico is comparable by volume of beverages. No doubt Coca-Cola is the combination of a great product and excellent communication. Its unknown formula is one of the most valuable trade secrets in the world, currently located in a bank in Atlanta USA. According to Urban myths, only two senior executives of the company can have access to the mysterious formula. 

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Coca-Cola Is a Symbol of American Imperialism. (2022, May 27). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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