Successful branding: Why Coca Cola is top brand in the world

Coca ColaCoca Cola has been the leading brand in the world for eight years running and probably would remain so for many years because the company continues to reinvent its brand.

And Google, which is only ten years old has made it to the number 10 position in the world.

The secret behind the Coca Cola brand success is not the result of mere chance or excessive spending on advertising, it is as a result of careful and systematic strategy and Ghanaian businesses can learn from that.

Interbrand has this advice for businesses in its 2008 report on brand rankings: “Regardless of your view of the world, in good times and bad, your brand is your company’s most valuable asset. Understanding how your brand creates value for you is key to maintaining market leadership or establishing it in the first place.”

Indeed, in Ghana, bland mediocrity has succeeded for so long to the extent that businesses have grown to take consumers for granted. This honeymoon, however, is not likely to last for long as information and knowledge become widespread.

As a matter of fact the 2008 general elections in Ghana is a typical example as well as a signal that the average Ghanaian is becoming sophisticated and informed in taking crucial decisions when it matters most.

What is branding?

The various definitions and theories of brand and the practice of branding are as diverse as the companies that they serve, according to Interbrand, the company that conducts the ranking of global brands.

There are many different definitions of a brand, but what appears to be accepted as the most effective description, is that a brand is a name or symbol that is commonly known to identify a company or its products and separates them from the competition.

Some other definitions of branding, say your brand is your identity; it’s every single puzzle piece, fitted into the big picture of your company. From your name and logo to your business philosophy and corporate mission; from your advertising campaign message to your design elements; from your products and services; all that is owned, produced, stated, sold and marketed by your company falls under the broad heading of your brand.

For example, a well-known brand is generally regarded as one that people will recognise often even if they do not know about the company or its products or services. These are usually the business name or the name of a product.

And apart from the company’s name, the logo or symbol is also a strong piece of branding in its own right.

Challenges that branding could address

With the far-reaching and unknown effects of globalization coupled with the yet to be fully comprehended side effects of the current global economic meltdown, businesses that want to survive and outlive the financial crisis and stand the competition in the future would have to sit up and look at their branding strategy once again.

Under the circumstances, it’s the businesses with the strongest brands, strong enough to influence consumer choices that would survive when there is so little money to spend.

A brand is only as strong, as it is capable of influencing consumers to choose it.Google

Of course in Ghana, there are some brands in some business categories that have a strong appeal to consumers. For instance in the food category, Ideal Milk stands out and in the personal care category, Pepsodent is easily identified.

When it comes to fashion, GTP stands out as a brand of choice. In the media, especially when it comes to newspapers, it is the Daily Graphic, but a lot more remains to be done.

These brands are so easily recognizable even by people who do not know anything about or only know very little about the companies themselves.

Making a brand stand out to win

To succeed in branding you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. You do this by integrating your brand strategies through your company at every point of public contact.

Rita Clifton, the CEO of Interbrand says the companies that have succeeded in making their brands stand up to and win the competition do the following: they generate sustainable brand value, they are consistent about how their brands show up in all the adverts to their customers, and these companies are also conscious of how much of the brand they want to show.

Speaking on a show on BBC, she said, “these companies are clear about what they stand for and they show leadership. Not about who runs the company, but about innovation, restlessness and setting agenda.”

Ms. Clifton added “and they look at the security of future earnings.”

The strength of a brand would also depend on how much the consumers trust the company. Trust is therefore necessary for a brand to succeed.

Good human resource practices as part of a brand

Most businesses in Ghana have no properly defined human resource strategies. If they do, it is probably merely on paper, it does not appear to be effectively implemented. Because the staff turn-over rate of so many businesses in Ghana is so high.

On the average some of the businesses with less than fifty employees, lose as many as three or four every two months.

But staff welfare and retention rate should be factored in the branding strategy.

A desirable good corporate practice that takes into account the welfare of employees, has good and best practice hiring policies based on hiring the best. The best ought to be the person with the requisite training, qualification and in most cases the knowledge and experience for the required job.

The business also ought to have standardized staff performance appraisal systems, based upon which employees are adequately rewarded on merit.

It must as a matter of fact, have a programme of regular training to upgrade the skills of employees, as part of the branding strategy.

In most instances, even competent employees are sidelined when it comes to “lucrative” training programmes. Often, senior management staff who do not need those specific programmes attend the training, especially when it involves overseas training, even though, they would in no circumstances need those skills set in the performance of their duties. Invariably this does not motivate competent junior employees to give off their best, and it subsequently, could have a negative effect on the brand.

While there are businesses in Ghana, both established and new that could reinvent their brands and re-establish or establish themselves, it is yet to be seen if they would use the right combinations of strategy including integrity and respect for consumers to reposition themselves in the market as Ghana’s economy braces up for projected difficult times ahead.

In an interview with Leanna Archer, the 13-year-old American CEO, which was published on, she said, “I have learned that I must continue to have structure and discipline.  I have to continue to work hard at what I do and I have to continue to listen to my customers. Running a business is not about what you like it’s about what makes the customers happy.”

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

Email: [email protected]

No Comments
  1. Caitlyn says

    i didnt even read it!!!!!!!!! It better be good.
    COCA COLA FAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Olivia-Caitlyn:)

  2. sabn dhakal says

    i am proud coca cola is top brand.because i like coca cola and its all favorite drink is diet coke.
    i want to know what made coca cola the top brand,i want to know because i am crazy to know and want to tell other and want to make good project on coca cola.
    i hope you will provide me all information about your company.
    thank you

  3. mahdi razavi says

    I’m an iranian student of business
    It makes me happy if we can have a reaion
    your article was very good
    thanks have a good time

  4. Ram Sharan Karki says

    coca cola is top brand in the world. I think there are two causes,
    first. i fulfil thirst need with sweet water.
    second, it cleans toilet smoothly

  5. Samuel A.McCarthy says

    Thanks coca cola, i do much appreciate this piece of lovely and attractive to read.i was going for a meeting but as i start reading i couldn`t stop still i met the last words.i think it does not tells much about you now but rather educative to all businesses in the world and we the upcoming youth.i have picked alot from this message.

  6. Mary Poppins says

    What i want to know is WHY is it so successful?

  7. sonja ontong says

    i jst like to add to all the truthfull comments that coca cola is infact a really good company and with every assignment i get, im aspire to use coca cola company because they are indeed the best company ever…wish you a very great future

  8. toure Esaie says

    evry bodie is talking about you ,even me also, there maybe something good behind your leadership.cocacola how do you make to attract the whole world today?

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