Just about two years ago I posted an article detailing a short trip to Atlanta, Georgia and my surprise at how big Hot ‘Lanta – the City in the Forest had become.
Recently, I returned for another brief visit and took in some more of the local attractions.
Echo was attending the yearly trade-show exhibition for her company and I took the opportunity to tour around the city with young Mr. Pi. Day one we went to the Coca-Cola Museum. The tour was informative as it shared the history and evolution of this iconic American brand.
1886 – Dr. John Pemberton created the elixir that today bears the Coke brand. It sold for .05 cents and stayed that price for almost a century. The original recipe has been changed slightly and the company has expanded their basic product line to meet market demand for new and different cola variations, but what really struck me is the ability of a company to sell itself – its brand image as a tangible commodity. It truly is a Madison Avenue marvel! Think about it. The original product is a beverage, but the international marketing of that beverage has become an end unto itself. People buy Coke to drink. They identify with the brand and thus, buy shirts and hats and pants and sunglasses and key-chains and wall art and almost anything you can imagine with the Coke logo as a way of making a statement that this is their product. Essentially the customer is paying for the pleasure of advertising the product. Conversely, there are similar brand loyalists for Pepsi products and then, there is the age old battle of Coke -v- Pepsi.
There are books and studies about the psychology of building brand loyalty and the power of image. You can follow this link to read more about brand loyalty. America is so well known around the world for that cool, hip, young and fun image of vibrancy and Coca-Cola is in some ways a part of that, like Chevy cars and Disney productions.
So, this little visit to the Coca-Cola Museum was a walk down memory lane in the world of Coke, with wall hangings showing their ad-pitch spanning more than a century and across hundreds of nations around the globe. The museum itself is another example of promoting the brand. Visitors pay roughly $30 to take the tour, watch a film, sample various Coke products and well, buy more brand swag.