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Coca-Cola: Birth of a myth

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Over the years, Coca-Cola has become more than just a business, and has been elevated to the level of a myth. The main product of this brand has become a symbol that is recognized and loved as part of its identity by a major chunk of the population. When a consumer enters a store to buy a Coca-Cola, it is not just an ordinary soda he/she chooses. Customers do not only buy a liquid but but an icon defined by many criteria such as the famous bottle, the name, and the logo that anyone can identify at a single glance.

The company has evolved on a universal level (except in North Korea and Cuba for political reasons), flourishing around the world in various forms, but always wearing the famous red logo, the most famous logo in the world. Some people even say that the company is now almost timeless as future generations will maintain a predilection for Coca-Cola.

This company has now become a true empire which profoundly affects the habits of the average consumer in America (where the myth originated), as well as the rest of the world. Although the company is primarily known for its flagship product (Coca-Cola and all its derivatives), it has diversified its merchandise and today, it produces a variety of drinks from mineral water and champagne to beer and fruit juices. Some of these names are familiar to us, namely Dr Pepper, Fanta, Minute Maid, Nestea (in partnership with Nestle), Oasis, Powerade, Schweppes and Sprite. Coca-Cola is now recognized as the 3rd largest producer of mineral water.

Some questions have been raised about the red giant. From where does the incredible success of the brand that is destined to become so famous originate? How did Coca Cola manage to emerge as a symbol and dominate all its competitors in this highly competitive international market?

While some companies keep their financial figures secret and inaccessible to find and analyze, the Coca-Cola Company, displays its data in a public way.

Each year, the company made available to the general public an "Annual Review" setting out the figures recorded during the year. What motivates the beverage giant to make a public display of its data? The answer is simple: the numbers the company releases act as advertising in itself once they are published on such a scale.

Looking at the economic data published in the 2006, we can see that all the figures, no matter which category they pertain to, have registered an increase from that of the earlier years. Examining the table outlining the most important figures (Appendix 2), we notice that the "net operating income" (net income) increased by no less than 4% in just one year, that is to say, that it rose from $23.104 million to $ 24.088 million."Total market value of common stock" (stock market value of Coca-Cola) is now 111.857 million dollars.

Looking at the volume produced by the company on a global level (Annex 3), we see that after the company almost reached its limits in the North American market (the increase is zero in 2005 to 2006), Coca-Cola has adopted a business strategy to target parts of the world which until then had not been deeply affected by the Coca-Cola phenomenon.

Tags: Coca-Cola phenomenon, Birth of the Coca-Cola myth, brands in the Coca Cola portfolio

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