Learn from Coca-Cola and leverage your success as a Consultant and/or Company


Let’s talk about name recognition: Why is the Coca-Cola brand so universally identifiable?

Well Coke is consistently being advertised and promoted. It is constantly reinforced in your active mind span. For a consultant the secret will be to get into circulation and make your name be heard. Not only do you have to get into circulation – You have to stay in circulation, or as Christopher Leach has said: ” Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success”

Thus you have to start networking, circulate flyers, write articles, making the talks, advertising and creating publicity to expand your circulation.

Think of what you are selling and how you can improve its circulation. The word”circulation” comes from the Latin root: to form a circle. In terms of your marketing efforts view your efforts in terms of the circles you have or are forming:

Circles of friends, circles of acquaintances, circles of contacts, circles of leads, circles of influential people.

Then work those circles. Make sure they all know what you can offer. Are you on Linkedin? Do you use Twitter? Do you have a profile on Facebook and other social networks?

Coca-Cola South Africa today ran an advertisement thanking South Africa for once again voting…

  • Coca-Cola”‘ as South Africa’s Favourite Brand (for the 4th year in a row!)
  • Coca-Cola”‘ as SA’s Top Cold Drink
  • Coca-Cola”‘ as South Africa’s Second Coolest Brand
  • Coca-Cola”‘ as the country’s Second Favourite Advertiser
  • Coca-Cola South Africa as the Company That Does The Most To Uplift The Community.*
  • and Coca-Cola South Africa as the Third Most Reputable Company in the country.

# The first five ratings are from the 2008 Sunday Times/Markinor Brand and Branding survey, whilst the last rating is from the Reputation Institute Global RepTrak(tm) Pulse 2008 survey.

The Reputation Institute’s research model is built on 7 dimensions of reputation: Products/Services, Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership, and Performance. What interested me was that when two drivers — Governance and Citizenship — are combined, they account for more than 30% of a company’s reputation. This proves that leadership at the top and corporate responsibility are critical to reputation today.

If an organization increases its lead or goes down it is because of the way they are perceived. I recall that in one study it showed that those companies who spend more on PR, tend to achieve higher scores on reputation barometer surveys.

That is not unusual. Out of sight, out of mind. Again we can learn from Coca- Cola. They share their successes and leverage them, so as to leave no doubt in your mind.

They are Number One on the psychological ladder of  marketing when it comes to cold drink, and they make sure that they stay there.

One other thing – no company’s reputation is sacrosanct. The better you are, the bigger the chances that you will be under attack. Wikipedia feature a section called Criticism about Coke – it makes for interesting reading about where risks may come from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Coca-Cola

Lesson – Leverage your successes and mitigate your risks!

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