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Coca Cola: The Latino champ of brands

April 21, 2010

Coca Cola Classic vintage sign

Long before the modern age of neuro sciences, psychographics, or complex marketing algorithms to brand and market a product, Coca Cola hit upon a winning formula that works down to this day.

Since the late eighteen hundreds, Coke the product, formed strong emotional associations to fun, warm fuzzy feelings of self and with family.

Meet Jorge a self made millionaire under the age of fifty from Monterrey Mexico.  A mechanical engineer by trade and brilliant manufacturer of food packaging products whose dream growing up was to be a route salesman for Coca Cola.  Jorge’s inner child still yearns for that magical experience of riding in the back of a truck having fun and delivering fun.  What is interesting is he might just one day do it simply to check off one of those things to do in life.
My mother never studied psychology but one thing she was certain of was the stimulus response equation.  Good behavior brought me my refreshing treat.  Every day in mid afternoon she had her mental clock timed to the passing of the Coca Cola truck.  In those days in Piedras Negras Coahuila Mexico, one could purchase Coke in about a two liter glass bottle. She was frugal by not paying the deposit on the bottles so she and I would take our glass pitcher to bring back our black bubbly joy.

These days few things have changed.  I still purchase Coke in a bottle with the original formula my brain is imprinted with.

Do I drink Coke for taste or for nostalgia?

The short answer is yes.  While Mexico had a variety of soft drink brands in the sixties none had the powerful branding of the Colas.

Back then since only the rich owned refrigerators, when one visited family or friends the common ritual was to send for cold bottled soda pop at the nearest puestecito.  Breaking bread wether it was at work or at home was no mere task but a sacred ritual to be savored in more ways than one.  In the background you could count on having the feel good, great tasting cold beverage we all loved.

Coke is so ingrained in the psyche and gustatory centers of Latinos that it’s part of their DNA.  Everywhere you travel in Latin America no other brand is more prominent than the Coca Cola signage. Even in old run down abandoned buildings are the faded signs of an era gone by and the Coke sign that was part of that retailer’s  product mix.

Is there a lesson in this for modern day marketers and CEO’s of large or small companies?

Absolutely! Brand your product or service for the long haul by creating warm fuzzy feelings at every point you can with your customer.  In the current down economy creating a new customer is exponentially more expensive than in boom times. If you take your focus away from surviving to wowing the customer, starting with your internal customers, you will re-engineer a stellar game plan.

Play to have fun and play to win

This is the well planned strategy Coca Cola will be executing with the “Live Positively” theme,  FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour.  The event has something for every member of the family even for the abuelos who will get as much satisfaction to see their niños full of wonder and awe for the many events planned.  Do you want to do a once in a lifetime thing that you can brag about on your social media sites?  Then go take your picture with the FIFA Trophy.  Do you want to know where the cup is as it makes its way to the final stop then click here.

In this day and age of fear, uncertainty, and troubling economic times take a time out to celebrate life, sportsmanship, and the need to instill in our children the spark to play to win and live positively.

Source of photo: Here

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