Everyone knows Coca-Cola very well and enjoys this syrupy, browny and sparkly liquid even on a daily basis in some cases. It is just that not a lot of people know its origins, how it claimed the fame and how powerful the company really is.
Coca-Cola is the American culture, a family tradition, a global representation of love and sweetness.
Protests in the streets for the people’s beloved brand which had taken place few decades ago would not have happened if Coca-Cola wasn’t embedded so deeply in the societies of every single continent on earth.
As mentioned, Coca-Cola is probably the most famous drink in the entire world, not counting water. And the story of this giant company like many just like it, is amazing.
It all started back in the late 1800s when a hustling pharmacist John Pemberton who was trying new recipes for herbal and other kind of medicine. His claims were often outrageous when trying to sell his medicine and he wasn’t really the best pharmacist out there. Often times these drugs he was selling were completely fake and worthless fugazi.
After long periods of unsuccessful business, Pemberton decided to try making and selling a drug that would supposedly cure any health condition for people of that time. And he had recently came across a plant called Coca that grows mostly in South America.
For some reason, that Coca was known to dramatically increase human’s energy levels and make them feel euphoric. The thing is, the substance that Coca plant produces, today is called Cocaine. Yes, that is completely true, Coca-cola was created using nothing else but Cocaine.
In terms of another ingredients included in the first ever Coca-cola recipe was Cola, of course, which is a sophisticated nut that has some decent amount of caffeine in in. Wine was another ingredient, without it, first tasters of this magical liquid probably wouldn’t have even bothered trying it.
People in the streets were somewhat liking the drink. Although there was one small problem. John Pemberton, not long after the Coca-cola “release” got forbidden from selling products that contain alcohol because of temperance which was advised to be practiced.
Without any other option left, John Pemberton had to create a drink free of alcohol. So he decided to put the Coca substance and the Cola nut together, but doing that made the drink extremely bitter. So what he did was put tons of sugar into the mix.
At least for the hustler, this new drink he had created, tasted really good. So Pemperton went to his friend, more of a business partner from the past and they both partnered up to start promoting and selling Coca-Cola. The name which they had chosen could not have been more innovative.
The freshly cooked business partners were struggling. The first year of selling was terrible, there was no demand for this weird new drink at the time and people were quite skeptical about it.
So, John Pemberton and his friend decided to introduce Coca-Cola to the local pharmacies and let them serve the drink using these “soda fountains“. Over time as people were visiting their pharmacies and getting introduced with this new and interesting drink, demand for Coca-Cola surged and went through the roof.
This drink, filled with such substances like cocaine an caffeine really overpowered and energized people, making them ask for more of it. So, naturally, the following year these hustling business partners were able to sell more than 2400 gallons of Coca-Cola.
That was an achievement like nothing else for John Pemberton and his loyal friend. Soon after the Coca-Cola was starting to have its success, the inventor and founder of the company died from a serious, notorious disease.
Not to mention, a large piece of the Coca-Cola company was later bought by a bit more resourceful drug maker and pharmacist Asa Candler. This bright young man had wholly acquired the company after Pemberton’s death and was seeing and even brighter future for the company than he was bright himself.
He soon decided to launch a thoughtfully put-together marketing campaign which would give away Coca-Cola coupons. Using these coupons, people could come to the stores and try Coke for free.
During this period of aggressive marketing tactics, every single state in the US at the time was familiar and had already tried Coke.
The coupon marketing strategy worked like magic for the Coca-Cola company because it had never been tried by anyone else ever before. And Asa Candler, now the owner of Coca-Cola was very comfortable confident making all this.
Not long after, Candler got quite concerned about the cocaine inside the drink and how it could affect the perception of the public and especially, sales. He could not take away the original name as it was already increasing in popularity in every state in the US but he was eager to make the drink safer by reducing the amount of Coca.
The amount of cocaine was drastically reduced but it had taken time until 1929 for it to be eliminated completely. Then another problem arose: other companies started stealing the concept and ripping off the brand.
There have been dozens of unsuccessful brands and their products which had tried to leverage influence of Coca-Cola and take it as their own. So the solution for the company was only one: creating something so unique in their brand so nobody would ever be confusing the original drink with any other brand.
That unique thing for Coca-Cola was its iconic glass bottle which is still widely used and recognized today. As the war started, many US soldiers had to get the best resources for their energy and nutrition.
Want to guess what was the most popular nutritional resource during the World War? Of course, it’s Coca-Cola which had even been endorsed by the US president Woodrow Wilson at the time. That had been one of the greatest moves of public relations in the modern history. Both World War 1 and 2 were complete profit machines for the company.
After the great wars Coca-Cola had started looking for places to expand. This looking and seeking resulted in lots of acquisitions. As of now, Coca-Cola has about five hundred companies under its wing, twenty of them are making more than one billion dollars per year.
Throughout the years the company had launched such ventures as Sprite and their diet versions as well. However, Pepsi, another giant had started to emerge in the early 1970s, getting deals from the Soviet Russia and conquering the pedestal of the Cola-wars.
There used to be a campaign or more of a challenge on all the media platforms called “Pepsi vs Coca-Cola” and it actually resulted in more people liking Pepsi-Cola than Coca-Cola. So the original drink was shoved under the stairs by Pepsi in the 70s.
In the beginning of the 80s, with a new CEO, the Coca-Cola was absolutely ready for innovation and large amounts of work. Employees had been working hard to develop a new and more delicious version of Coca-Cola.
The company had also launched a brand called Diet Coke which soon became the No. 3 in the US.
The Coca-Cola Company had improved the previous, a one hundred year-old recipe so drastically that it decided to change its brand to just Coke. The public did not like that, to say the least. This is where the aforementioned protests of the 1980s step in.
People had grown up with Coca-Cola, it was like their best sweet and sparkly friend. So they did not want to see their beloved drink to be called COKE. The new brand became one of the worst marketing campaigns of the century.
Seeing people’s reaction the company had to go back to its original brand.
Today Coca-Cola is the world’s most valuable non-technology brand, although recently, this giant company had started using more and more technical tools for its manufacturing, production, logistics and marketing.
Not being a technology brand does not let a company avoid getting more advanced, one needs to keep in mind that the competitors are always in the bushes, waiting for you to make a flaw in your actions. However, The Coca-Cola Company, compared to Pepsico, for example, makes the world drink twice the amount of its main beverage.
Now in terms of the company stock and value. The stock had reached its peak in 2012 and then declined for a short while because of the massive public awareness about the health risks associated with this drink.
Although the health risks are not the largest issue for Coca-Cola at the time as it has more than 500 brands that are making it substantial amounts of money every year. The springly drink maker is also well-known to spend massive amounts on advertising every platform or sector available.
The advertisement spending habits of Coca-Cola are more intensive than those of Microsoft, Apple and other largest companies on earth. The current market capitalization of the company is more than 200 billion dollars (as of September 2020).
The stock’s average daily trading volume is also quite high, it’s around 15 million shares traded each day. It is also known to pay one of the highest dividend yields, which is around 3.4 %. So this makes it not only a blue-chip stock but a great dividend stock as well.
One gets massive growth by buying the Coca-Cola company stock and in addition to that, he receives hefty dividends from the company. You know who is very happy about this and is the one who gets a large piece of his profits from this stock?
You’have guessed it right, it’s Warren Buffet who is in love with Coca-Cola. He had been constantly endorsing the brand throughout the years.
The lucky (or smart) are the ones, Buffet included, who were buying the stock in the late 20th century, got returns of more than 15,000% in the beginning of this century.