The Coca-Cola company started out as an insignificant one man business and over the last one hundred and ten years it has grown into one of the largest companies in the world. The first operator of the company was Dr. John Pemberton and the current operator is Roberto Goizueta. Without societies help, Coca-Cola could not have become over a 50 billion dollar business. Coca-Cola was invented by Dr. John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist. He concocted the formula in a three legged brass kettle in his backyard on May 8, 1886.
He mixed a combination of lime, innamon, coca leaves, and the seeds of a Brazilian shrub to make the fabulous beverage(Things go better with Coke 14). Coca-Cola debuted in Atlanta’s largest pharmacy, Jacob’s Pharmacy, as a five cent non- carbonated beverage. Later on, the carbonated water was added to the syrup to make the beverage that we know today as Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola was originally used as a nerve and brain tonic and a medical elixir. Coca-Cola was named by Frank Robinson, one of Pemberton’s close friends, he also penned the famous Coca-Cola logo in unique script. Dr.
John Pemberton sold a portion of the Coca-Cola company to Asa Candler, after Pemberton’s death the remainder was sold to Candler. Pemberton was forced to sell because he was in a state of poor health and was in debt. He had paid $76. 96 for advertising, but he only made $50. 00 in profits. Candler acquired the whole company for $2,300(Coca-Cola multiple pages). Candler achieved a lot during his time as owner of the company. On January 31, 1893, the famous Coca-Cola formula was patented. He also opened the first syrup manufacturing plant in 1884. His great achievement was large scale bottling of Coca-Cola in 1899.
In 1915, The Root Glass Company made the contour bottle for the Coca-Cola company. Candler aggressively advertised Coca-Cola in newspapers and on billboards. In the newspapers, he would give away coupons for a free Coke at any fountain. Coca-Cola was sold after the Prohibition Era to Ernest Woodruff for 25 million dollars. He gave Coca-Cola to his son, Robert Woodruff, who would be president for six decades(Facts, Figures, and Features Multiple pages). Robert Woodruff was an influential man in Atlanta because of his contributions to area colleges, niversities, businesses and organizations.
When he made a contribution, he would never leave his name, this is how he became to be known as “Mr. Anonymous. ” Woodruff introduced the six bottle carton in 1923. He also made Coca-Cola available through vending machine in 1929, that same year, the Coca- Cola bell glass was made available. He started advertising on the radio in the 1930s and on the television in 1950. Currently Coca-Cola is advertised on over five hundred TV channels around the world. In 1931, he introduced the Coke Santa as a Christmas promotion and it caught on.
Candler also introduced the twelve ounce Coke can in 1960. The Coca-Cola contour bottle was patented in 1977. The two liter bottle was introduced in 1978, the same year the company also introduced plastic bottles(Coca-Cola multiple pages). Woodruff did have one dubious distinction, he raised the syrup prices for distributors. But he improved efficiency at every step of the manufacturing process. Woodruff also increased productivity by improving the sales department, emphasizing quality control, and beginning large-scale advertising and promotional campaigns.
Woodruff made Coke available in every state of the Union through the soda fountain. For all of these achievements he earned the name, “The Boss”(Facts, Figures, and Features Multiple pages). In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company made what has been known as one of the biggest marketing blunder. The Coca-Cola company stumbled onto the new formula in efforts to produce diet Coke. They put forth 4 million dollars of research to come up with the new formula. The decision to change their formula and pull the old Coke off the market came about because taste tests showed a distinct preference for the new formula.
The new formula was a sweeter variation with less tang, it was also slightly smoother(Demott 54). Robert Woodruff’s death was a large contributor to the change because he stated that he would never change Coca-Cola’s formula. Another factor that influenced the change was that Coke’s market share fell 2. 5 percent in four years. Each percentage point lost or gain meant 200 million dollars. A financial analyst said, “Coke’s market share fell from 24. 3 percent in 1980 to 21. 8 percent in 1984″(Things go better with Coke 14). This was the first flavor change since the existence of the Coca-
Cola company. The change was announced April 23, 1985 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at the Lincoln Center. Some two hundred TV and newspaper reporters attended this very glitzy announcement. It included a question and answer session, a history of Coca-Cola, and many other elements(Oliver 131). The debut was accompanied by an advertising campaign that revived the Coca-Cola theme song of the early 1970s, “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke”(Say it ain’t so, Coke 24). The Jingle read like this: I’d like to teach the world to sing In perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a Coke And keep it company.
The change to the world’s best selling soft drink was heard by 81 percent of the United States population within twenty-four hours of the announcement. Within a week of the change, one thousand calls a day were flooding the company’s eight hundred number (1-800-GET-COKE). Most of the callers were shocked and/or outraged, many said that they were considering switching to Pepsi. Within six weeks, the eight hundred number was being jammed by six thousand calls a day. The company also fielded over forty thousand letters, which were all answered and each person got a coupon for the new Coke.
A retired Air Force officer, explained in a letter to the Coca-Cola company that he wanted to be cremated and interred in a Coke can, but now that this change had come about he was reconsidering(Pendergrast Multiple pages). Sharlotte Donneally, a thirty-six year old anthropologist said, “I hate the new stuff”(Demott 60). Wendy Koskela, a thirty-five year old vice president of an insurance company said, “It’s too sweet. It tastes like Pepsi. ” She also stated, “Real Coke had punch. This taste almost like it’s flat”(Demott 60). Many American consumers of Coca-Cola asked if they would have the final say.