We all know that when it comes to integrated marketing, Coke is pretty much the king. From television to print ads, online content and more, Coke knows how to integrate it’s marketing channels.
But Coke’s taken it one step further — creating a shrine to the Coke brand.
A visit to the World of Coke in Atlanta, GA is a must-do for any marketing aficionado. From the first moment you want in the modern-style building, it’s clear this is a place where you’ll get to experience some of the history and insight of one of the world’s greatest marketing brands.
What makes a visit to the World of Coke so special is that it presents a history of global advertising of a single brand. Students of marketing can draw inspiration from the design and themes found in more than 100 years of advertising creatives.
Coke has even learned a thing or two from Disney by having a costumed character available for meet and greets (and being a Disney guy, I have to say the articulation of this character is superb)!
One of the questions that’s often asked is “what is Coke’s greatest asset?” I’ll give you my answer a little later, but for now, let’s step inside The Vault, an experience where guests have the opportunity to try their hand at guessing the secret formula and learning more about how the drink came to be, thanks to Dr. Pemberton, and how a simple soft drink turned into one of the world’s most recognizable and identifiable brands.
At the end of this experience, guests can actually see the actual vault where the only written copy of the Coke secret formula is kept. Coke does a great job of inserting a lot of mystery and intrigue with this reveal. All you’re really seeing is a high tech safe, but it sure feels exciting!
There are many, many more brands made by Coke than just those found here in the United States. At the World of Coke, you can sample different Coke drinks from all around the world – some of them are pretty good and some, well, not so much. A watermelon-flavored drink? How about one made from ginseng? And then there’s the Beverly from Italy. I won’t spoil the surprise for you, heh, heh.
Of course, no visit to the World of Coke would be complete without your own souvenir bottle of Coke? Best of all, it’s free, but one to a guest, please!
And what would a visit to any sort of area attraction be without… yep — a gift shop. Here you can find all sorts of Coke-branded products from shirts and balls to those iconic Coke glasses and retro ads.
So there you have it — a quick tour through just part of the World of Coke in Atlanta. Oh? What the answer to the question, “what’s Coke’s most valuable asset?” You might think it was that secret formula in the vault, but you’d probably be wrong.
What’s their most valuable asset? You’ve seen it this whole time. Here it is:
That’s right. It’s their brand. You see, you could give a Coke person any other cola in a Coke branded cup and they’ll prefer it over the same drink in a non-Coke branded cup. I recently saw a presentation on a brain study done at Virginia Tech that did this exact experiment. If I find the published research, I’ll try to post it sometime.
So there you have it. Time for me to go grab a drink, and, you guessed it, I’m reaching for a Coke.
Chuck Lionberger, APR