The Coca-Cola company started out as an insignificant one man business and overthe last one hundred and ten years it has grown into one of the largestcompanies in the world. The first operator of the company was Dr. JohnPemberton and the current operator is Roberto Goizueta. Without societieshelp, Coca-Cola could not have become over a 50 billion dollar business.
Coca-Cola was invented by Dr. John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist. Heconcocted the formula in a three legged brass kettle in his backyard on May 8,1886. He mixed a combination of lime, cinnamon, coca leaves, and the seeds ofa Brazilian shrub to make the fabulous beverage(Things go better with Coke 14).
Coca-Cola debuted in Atlantas largest pharmacy, Jacobs Pharmacy, as a fivecent non-carbonated beverage. Later on, the carbonated water was added to thesyrup to make the beverage that we know today as Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola was originally used as a nerve and brain tonic and a medical elixir.
Coca-Cola was named by Frank Robinson, one of Pembertons close friends, healso penned the famous Coca-Cola logo in unique script. Dr. John Pembertonsold a portion of the Coca-Cola company to Asa Candler, after Pembertons deaththe remainder was sold to Candler. Pemberton was forced to sell because he wasin a state of poor health and was in debt. He had paid $76.96 for advertising,but he only made $50.00 in profits. Candler acquired the whole company for$2,300(Coca-Cola multiple pages).
Candler achieved a lot during his time as owner of the company. On January31, 1893, the famous Coca-Cola formula was patented. He also opened the firstsyrup manufacturing plant in 1884. His great achievement was large scalebottling of Coca-Cola in 1899. In 1915, The Root Glass Company made thecontour bottle for the Coca-Cola company. Candler aggressively advertisedCoca-Cola in newspapers and on billboards. In the newspapers, he would giveaway coupons for a free Coke at any fountain. Coca-Cola was sold after theProhibition Era to Ernest Woodruff for 25 million dollars. He gave Coca-Colato his son, Robert Woodruff, who would be president for six decades(Facts,Figures, and Features Multiple pages).
Robert Woodruff was an influential man in Atlanta because of his contributionsto area colleges, universities, businesses and organizations. When he made acontribution, he would never leave his name, this is how he became to be knownas “Mr. Anonymous.” Woodruff introduced the six bottle carton in 1923. Healso made Coca-Cola available through vending machine in 1929, that same year,the Coca-Cola bell glass was made available. He started advertising on theradio in the 1930s and on the television in 1950. Currently Coca-Cola isadvertised on over five hundred TV channels around the world. In 1931, heintroduced the Coke Santa as a Christmas promotion and it caught on. Candleralso introduced the twelve ounce Coke can in 1960. The Coca-Cola contourbottle was patented in 1977. The two liter bottle was introduced in 1978, thesame year the company also introduced plastic bottles(Coca-Cola multiple pages).
Woodruff did have one dubious distinction, he raised the syrup prices fordistributors. But he improved efficiency at every step of the manufacturingprocess. Woodruff also increased productivity by improving the salesdepartment, emphasizing quality control, and beginning large-scale advertisingand promotional campaigns. Woodruff made Coke available in every state of theUnion through the soda fountain. For all of these achievements he earned thename, “The Boss”(Facts, Figures, and Features Multiple pages).
In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company made what has been known as one of the biggestmarketing blunder. The Coca-Cola company stumbled onto the new formula inefforts to produce diet Coke. They put forth 4 million dollars of research tocome up with the new formula. The decision to change their formula and pullthe old Coke off the market came about because taste tests showed a distinctpreference for the new formula. The new formula was a sweeter variation withless tang, it was also slightly smoother(Demott 54).
Robert Woodruff’s death was a large contributor to the change because he statedthat he would never change Coca-Cola’s formula. Another factor that influencedthe change was that Coke’s market share fell 2.5 percent in four years. Eachpercentage point lost or gain meant 200 million dollars. A financial analystsaid, “Coke’s market share fell from 24.3 percent in 1980 to 21.8 percent in1984″(Things go better with Coke 14). This was the first flavor change sincethe existence of the Coca-Cola company.
The change was announced April 23, 1985 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at theLincoln Center. Some two hundred TV and newspaper reporters attended this veryglitzy announcement. It included a question and answer session, a history ofCoca-Cola, and many other elements(Oliver 131).
The debut was accompanied by an advertising campaign that revived the Coca-Colatheme song of the early 1970s, “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke”(Say it ain’tso, Coke 24). The Jingle read like this:I’d like to teach the world to singIn perfect harmony.
I’d like to buy the world a CokeAnd keep it company.
The change to the world’s best selling soft drink was heard by 81 percent ofthe United States population within twenty-four hours of the announcement.
Within a week of the change, one thousand calls a day were flooding thecompany’s eight hundred number (1-800-GET-COKE). Most of the callers wereshocked and/or outraged, many said that they were considering switching toPepsi. Within six weeks, the eight hundred number was being jammed by sixthousand calls a day. The company also fielded over forty thousand letters,which were all answered and each person got a coupon for the new Coke. Aretired Air Force officer, explained in a letter to the Coca-Cola company thathe wanted to be cremated and interred in a Coke can, but now that this changehad come about he was reconsidering(Pendergrast Multiple pages). SharlotteDonneally, a thirty-six year old anthropologist said, “I hate the newstuff”(Demott 60). Wendy Koskela, a thirty-five year old vice president of aninsurance company said, “It’s too sweet. It tastes like Pepsi.” She alsostated, “Real Coke had punch. This taste almost like it’s flat”(Demott 60).
Many American consumers of Coca-Cola asked if they would have the final say.
When Pepsi heard that the Coca-Cola company was changing its secret formulathey said that it was a decision that Pepsi tastes better. Roger Enrico, thepresident and CEO of Pepsi-Cola wrote a letter to every major newspaper in theU.S. to declare the victory, the letter read like this(Oliver 128):It gives me great pleasure to offer each of you my heartiest congratulations.
After eighty-seven years of going at it eyeball to eyeball, the other guy justblinked. Coca-Cola is withdrawing their product from the marketplace, and isreformulating brand Coke to be more like Pepsi…There is no question thelong-term market success of Pepsi has forced this move…Maybe they finallyrealized what most of us have known for years, Pepsi tastes better than Coke.
Well, people in trouble tend to do desperate things…and we’ll have to keepour eye on them. But for now, I say, victory is sweet, and we have earned acelebration. We’re going to declare a holiday on Friday. Enjoy!Best Regards,Roger EnricoPresident, CEOPepsi-Cola USACoca-Cola officials said, “The new formula will boost Coke’s share by 1percent. That is worth200 million dollars a year.” Coca-Cola management had to decide: Do nothingor “buy the world a new Coke”(Things go better with Coke 14). They decided todevelop the new formula. Roberto Goizueta, the president of the Coca-ColaCompany stated, “The old Coke formula, with its secret flavoring ingredient,called Merchandise 7X, will stay locked in the Trust Company of Georgia bankvault in Atlanta, never to be used again”(Demott et. al 55). This is what manyCoke officials said, “This is the most significant soft drink development inthe company’s history”(Demott et. al 54).
The change back to the old Coke was known as the Second Coming. RobertoGoizueta said, “Today, we have two messages to deliver to the Americanconsumer, first, to those of you who are drinking Coca-Cola with its great newtaste, our thanks…But there is a second group of consumers to whom we want tospeak to today and our message to this group is simple: We have heardyou”(Oliver 178). On July 10, 1985, eighty-seven days after the new Coke wasintroduced, the old Coke was brought back in addition to the new one. This wasgreatly due to dropping market share and consumer protest. The market sharefell from a high of 15 percent to a low of 1.4 percent(Miller 38).
Roberto Goizueta and Donald Keough took full blame for this failed productlaunch. Don Keough, Coca-Cola president, said in response to the comeback,”The truth is we are not dumb and we are not that smart”(New bottle 18).
Roberto Goizueta’s response when the change about, “We have heard you”(Moore8). This was said to be a classic marketing retreat. Coca-Cola executivesadmitted that they had goofed by taking the old Coke off the market. Oneold Coke loyalist said, “The company had spoiled the taste of its ninetynine year old soft drink and betrayed a national trust”(Moore 8). IkeHerbert, a Coke marketer said, “You would have thought we had invented acure for cancer”(Pendergrast 366). The Coca-Cola company’s eight hundrednumber received eighteen thousand calls of gratitude. One caller said theyfelt like a lost friend had returned home. Be the comeback of old Coke drovestock prices to the highest level in twelve years. This was said to be theonly way to regain the lead on the cola wars(Classic comeback of an old champ12).
In 1979, fifteen hundred employees moved to the new corporate headquarters inAtlanta located on North Avenue. The new corporate headquarters came to beknown as “The Tower.” During the time when the research for the new formulawas taking place, it was known as “The Bunker”(Oliver 53). The knowningredients in present day Coca-Cola are water. caffeine, phosphoric acid,vanilla, various oils and essences and extracts of the coca leaf and the kolanut. The one in four hundred part of cocaine was removed from Coca-Cola in1903(Demott 54). Five years after the infamous Coke fiasco, the Coca-Colacompany tried to bring back the reformulated Coke. The effort to phase in CokeII into the soda market was quite unsuccessful(Miller 38).
During the Woodruff era, Mr. Woodruff made a promise to the armed forces of theUnited States to supply Coca-Cola to every serviceperson. He said that costsand location did not matter, he supplied 5 billion bottles to the service. Inthe mid-1970’s, more than half Coca-Cola sold was outside of the U.S.
Coca-Cola products outsell closest competitor by more than two to one. One inevery two colas and one in every three soft drinks is a Coca-Colaproduct(Facts, Figures, and Features 16). The best known trademark in theworld is sold in about one hundred and forty countries to 5.8 billion people ineighty different languages. This is why Coca-Cola is the largest soft drinkcompany in the world. Coca-Cola is worth more than 58 billion dollars on thestock market(Coca-Cola, The Coca-Cola Company 232).
For more than 65 years, Coca-Cola has been a sponsor of the Olympics. The 1996Summer Olympics will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, the home of Coca-Cola. Onegreat earmark that the Coca-Cola company has is helping the people of Atlanta.
They accomplish this through scholarships, hotlines, donations andcontributions, etc. Another large accomplishment that the Coca-Cola has, isbeing the first company to make and use recycled plastic bottles. One way tosee all of the achievements of the Coca-Cola company is to visit the World ofCoke in Atlanta. It houses a collection of memorabilia, samples of theproducts, exhibits, and many other exciting items(Facts, Figures, and FeaturesMultiple pages).
All of what has been said is the basis of what Coca-Cola was built on. Withoutsocieties help, Coca-Cola could not have become over a 50 billion dollar