When I say Cola-Cola, what are the first words that come to your mind? I guess that some of them are: soft drink, happiness, red, and dynamic ribbon.
Soft drink, because it relates to the kind of drink that Coca-Cola is. Happiness because that’s “what they sell” (that’s the brand strategy). Red and dynamic ribbon because they are part of Coca-Cola‘s visual elements.
Although Coca-Cola is indeed a soft drink, the fact is that the term can be used to describe any brand of soft drinks. But, if you imagine a general image with Coca-Cola’s red and a bottle all you think is… Coca-Cola. These kind of characteristics are responsible for differentiating the brand from others.
Coca-Cola’s packaging change
A few months ago, Coca-Cola changed its packaging. Every time a big brand does that, the Internet explodes with criticism. Some people love it, some just don’t. But, why does that happen? It happens because they already have a relationship with those brands, and sometimes changes are not well seen.
The important message here is that every change has a reason. Many people criticized the new look with the argument that they simply disliked it. In their opinion, the new packaging is not as beautiful as the previous one. And they may be right because being or not being beautiful is something highly subjective.
But being beautiful is not what is at stake. Cris Grether, design director of Coca-Cola’s global team, help us to understand that, in her interview about the packaging reformulation. The video is in Portuguese.
She starts the interview saying that the challenge was to offer Coca-Cola’s choices with a one unified visual. The goal was part of the “one brand strategy” that Coca-Cola was implementing.
Cris states that the team tried many solutions for the lettering and other packaging elements, like descriptions, dynamic ribbon, etc. And so they realized that the red is the element that will increase their brand’s identification. But how to put the red in all kinds of Coca-Cola? After all, they used different colors for the classic Coke, the light one, zero sugar, life.
She describes every stage of the packaging reformulation that was used to achieve the unification goal and justifies every choice. When she compares the new and the old package, we can see that everything makes sense. Look and you’ll see the aspects she mentions: legibility is better, the visual is cleaner, it has the iconic and highly recognizable red and, indeed, it helps people identify with Coca-Cola’s brand. A global brand.