Coca-Cola Hits Refresh

A brand with more than 100 years in the market stays relevant with new and exciting licensing programs.
Patricia DeLuca

July 16, 2019

Coca-Cola Hits Refresh

The average company would do anything to have The Coca-Cola Company's brand longevity. Since 1886, the brand has been at the forefront of pop culture, and a part of most households for generations. The company's main product, cola, has conquered the world and spanned generations.

While The Coca-Cola Company could have rested on its laurels, it has expanded into licensing to further heighten awareness and expand its flagship brand into countless categories beyond its core.

Some may even say that The Coca-Cola Company was at the forefront of licensing. In his book,

The Power of Licensing: Harnessing Brand Equity

, author Michael Stone, co-founder and chairman, Beanstalk, traced the beginnings of modern licensing campaigns back to Coca-Cola's red and white logo emblazoned on signs dating back to the 1800s.

The Coca-Cola Company has stayed in the zeitgeist with its catch-phrases and jingles, but its licensing program is relatively new by comparison. The Coca-Cola licensing program first started

in the 1980s in the gifting range, but slowly started getting into other categories year after year.

"Coca-Cola had a huge business in collectibles and very little in fashion," says Kate Dwyer, group director, worldwide licensing, The Coca-Cola Company. "We're 65 percent in fashion now. That is the essence of our program. It is a lot of team retailers all around the world, so we have significant fashion placement now."

Recently, collaborations include Coca-Cola x Forever 21 for an exclusive apparel collection across North America, and designer Tommy Hilfiger launched the Tommy Jeans Coca-Cola capsule collection. The Tommy apparel collection for men and women is a reissue of a collaboration first launched in 1986, now aligning contemporary silhouettes with a co-branded logo, and features sweatshirts and t-shirts in an array of colors...

Read the full story in the latest issue of 

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