Brand Culture theory: Coca Cola in social media

Brands need to renew themselves every time, because people and generation change. But at the same time they have to keep their original values in order to keep their original customers.

The culture theory is about all values and the culture that the company transmits thought time and its history. Coca Cola makes sure to stay the same with all its historical baggage and its values but adapted its strategy with the evolution of the world and minds.

Coca Cola proved the brand respects this philosophy when in 2003, Coca-Cola’s former Douglas Daft said: “The world had changed, and we had not. The world was demanding greater flexibility, responsiveness and local sensitivity, while we were further consolidating decision making and standardizing our practices. The next big evolutionary step of ‘going global’ now has to be ‘going local’ ” (Ball, 2003).

To learn more about Coca-Cola strategy:

Coca Cola always makes sure to remember to its consumers that the brand exists for a long time and have a real history. That is one of the reasons why the company never changed completely its designs, it always makes sure to keep element that remembers the original bottle and marketing advertising. To reinforce its culture brand strength, some special editions of bottle or advertising are launch with the imitation of the hold bottle or advertising.

On this picture it is easy to see that since 1915, the bottle’s design did not change that much:

coca 1

Here we can see that Coca-Cola stayed in the same kind of brand image and always had for idea that everything is better with Coca-Cola and that it makes everyone happier.

Santa Claus is a very important character in the brand image of the company because even if it exists for thousands of years, it is Coca Cola that launch it on its advertisings in 1920. With this character, Coca Cola was sure to talk to everyone and to refer to its history. Moreover Santa Claus represented the Coca Cola’s values and representative which are: happiness, family, friend, good moment and respect. And with social media this image of nice Santa Claus has been reinforced.

To learn more about Santa Claus history with Coca-Cola:


Since ten years, social media appeared. In order to do not be outdistancing by competitors, brands have to be present. All those social media are use in order to keep in touch with customers and create a new type of relationship with them.

By using many different social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter Coca Cola makes sure to be close to all their customers with all social media no matter the one they use. To measure the power of the brand here’s a number: 80 165 333 (on Thursday 13th of March). That means that all those people follow the page and can see Coca-Cola on their screen every day. It has a big impact on the action decision.

Social media are used to attract customers, to send them a message and reinforce the marketing impact of the advertising. It is also the fastest way to give information.

Sources:

http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/coke-lore-santa-claus

ftp://ftp.repec.org/opt/ReDIF/RePEc/blg/journl/538dumitrescu%26vinerean.pdf

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10 Responses to Brand Culture theory: Coca Cola in social media

  1. mmirck says:

    It is funny to see that some young companies are already not young enough to survive the changes in the world. A lot of products just become too old. Products (and brands) are constantly renewing and being adjusted. Although, like you say, Coca Cola hasn’t been changed a lot. I think that’s the power of the brand, that it may be the best-known brand all over the world, but has the power to stay (quite) the same all over the years. Even with the same character, Santa Claus, it still works for them. People just like Coca Cola and they will always like it.

  2. camilleleu says:

    Hey Emmanuelle ! Your post is very interesting. Indeed, you show that some companies do not have to change to continue to know the success through the years. When Coca Cola had to change its recipe because a component in the colorant analysed as dangerous and carcinogenic, consumers were concerned to note taste or colour changes of their beloved drink too. It is true that Coca Cola without its colour, its image and its authentic taste is not really Coca Cola. I agree that for some brands, the key to success is in fact to stay authentic and loyal to its original values, following the evolution of the society too.

  3. yngchern says:

    I love Coca Cola’s branding. I think the company is clever and knows how to pull on their customers’ heart strings. They have successfully kept current and have involved themselves in key sport events, concerts, and now they’ve mastered social media. I’m interested in how the image of santa claus has changed since the emergence of social media. Have they attempted to change his image in order to fit their company’s fresh, new social media presence? Also, how has Santa Claus and their social media marketing/ branding tactics changed since the company announced they would no longer be marketing their product towards children under 12. Even the announcement of their new responsible marketing strategy is clever marketing. It shows their ability to adapt, and effectively respond to a world of change.

    http://www.coca-colacompany.com/coming-together/at-coca-cola-we-market-responsibly-and-dont-advertise-directly-to-children-under-12

  4. chgenin says:

    Hi Emmanuelle !
    Coca Cola appears to be one of the best in terms of relationship with their customers. They are actually a very old brand but they are still here and very well integrated in customers minds. It is so fascinating how they can get your emotional sense. They succeed to create a really close relationship with their older customers while getting new customer. They can not be stopped. Which brand can pretend to not have changed since their first day ? Not a lot I think. Coca Cola continues to be more innovative, more challenging and I am sure that this is not really appreciated by everyone…

  5. celiarenaud says:

    The brand Coca Cola is probably the most famous brand in all over the world. But even if its popularity, Coca Cola has to create advertisings, to use social media to be closed with its consumers.
    I really appreciate the culture theory which is about values and the culture that the company transmits with the years. And it’s true that Coca Cola makes sure to stay the same with its values but adapted its strategy with the evolution of the world and minds.
    Coca Cola is very present for example during big events but they use also the social media to stay in the mind of the consumers. The competition is hard between Coca Cola and Pepsi, so Coca Cola has to adapt its strategy with the modifications of the world.
    Coca does’t changed a lot, they keep their values and their history but they improve their marketing strategy by using social media.

  6. julesponsolle says:

    Thanks Emmanuelle for this post, really interesting how you relate it with the brand culture theory!
    Coca cola… and to think that the Santa Claus’ color was green… and now red and white “because of” Coca-cola. do you remember this advert where Santa Claus was drinking a bottle of Coca-Cola? How can you forget the brand after that? The image of coca-cola is stuck with the one of the Santa claus. This brand for all of us means, some birthdays where you could drink Coca-cola because normally it was forbidden at home, it was the relation that the brand gets with Christmas (because of the advert with Santa claus). Even if the brand is known all around the world, they need to be closed with their customers. The fact they didn’t really change the packaging of their products, permits customers to recognize the brand and to relate it with some memories.
    Moreover, studies have shown that Pepsi has a better taste than Coca-cola but the Coca-cola brand is so integrated in our mind, that it is impossible to change our habits. If one ask you: “Choose a fizzy drink?” You will choose Coca-cola. According to me, Coca-Cola is the perfect example of the branding control.

  7. hannakoivukoski says:

    Coca-Cola really has a very, very strong brand. Personally, I don’t even drink that much Coca-Cola, but I still do have two vintage Coca-Cola tin plate paintings at my walls. They are just so cool! 😉
    About Santa Claus’ connection to Coca-Cola, that makes some Finns (including me) a bit angry, because that’s just not what Santa Claus (in Finnish Joulupukki) is originally about. He is from Lapland, Finland, not from America!

  8. rikupetseppala says:

    Coca-Cola is a big and old brand a bit like Disney. One big difference between those brands is the thing that they sell. Whereas Disney’s products, the movies, change all the time. Coca-Cola’s product has stayed pretty much the same during the company’s history and you mentioned so has the packaging. You mentioned the culture theory which was an interesting point of view but I think nostalgia has a big role in Coca-Cola’s case too. Because the packaging and the soda has stayed the same during the history people have a lot of memories about Coca-Cola and it is also something safe where to return. It might be also something what parents like to give and share with their children because they did the same with their own parents.

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  10. pvcris says:

    Nice post! It’s true what you say. Coca-Cola always reminds us the long history behind the brand in order to reach the emotional part from its consumers. I think it’s really difficult to manage having a consistent and, at the same time, up-to-date image without losing the roots of the brand. Of course Coca Cola give us a perfect example of that, how a brand can always be, even through many years, what cosumers expect from it and become even more emblematic.

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