Brand Management
Coca-Cola’s Shift to ‘One Brand’ Strategy: Can It Change Consumers’ Perception?

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jun, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Brand Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJBRM31906
Author Name : Syeda Maseeha Qumer and Debapratim Purkayastha
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Marketing Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 19



The case discusses global beverage giant The Coca-Cola Company’s (TCC) new ‘One Brand’ global marketing strategy that, for the first time ever, united Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, and Coca-Cola Life under the iconic Coca-Cola master brand as part of one global creative campaign, “Taste the Feeling.” The overhaul was the result of the sales volumes of Coke continuing to drop because of consumers cutting back on carbonated drinks due to health concerns. The revamped marketing strategy aimed to accelerate the sales of low calorie drinks and eliminate the brand confusion within the Coke portfolio that had in part been caused by the brand’s earlier attempts to adapt to healthier lifestyles. Under the new strategy, TCC replaced its long running brand-focused “Open Happiness” campaign with a new campaign “Taste the Feeling” wherein the product, rather than the brand, took center stage. Going forward, the newly appointed ‘Chief Growth Officer’ (CGO) of TCC, Francisco Crespo, faced a multitude of challenges including slumping carbonated beverages sales, intense competition, dramatic shifts in consumer habits, and imposition of sugar tax on soft drinks by several regulators globally. Can the ‘One Brand’ strategy boost sales while strengthening the overall Coke brand? Can it shift consumer metrics in the right direction and change consumer perceptions of the brand?


In a major overhaul of its communication strategy, Atlanta-based beverage giant The Coca-Cola Company (TCC ) launched a new ‘One Brand’ marketing strategy in January 2016 to unite for the first time all Coke variants such as Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, and Coca-Cola Life, under the Coca-Cola master brand in one global creative campaign ‘Taste the Feeling’. The shake up came at a time when Carbonated Soft Drink (CSD) makers globally were being challenged by increasing awareness of health concerns and taxation on sugar-sweetened drinks—factors that deterred consumers from purchasing soda. According to industry observers, the idea behind the move was to help control overconsumption of sugar by removing brand barriers to low- and zero-calorie Coke variants, eradicate brand confusion within the Coke portfolio, encourage consumers to stay within the brand, and boost sales. “This strategy of generating sub-brands, rather than variants, has created distortions in the main brand. The different brands have sometimes contradicted the personality of Coca-Cola. Creating brands for different people with different personalities undermines completely the fundamental Coca-Cola brand promise,”4 said Marcus de Quinto (Marcus), former CMO of Coca-Cola, as he announced the new strategy at a media event in Paris in 2016.