In May 2015, Coca-Cola introduced a new “One Brand” strategy for its Coke-branded soda in several countries around the world. As reported by Larry Lucas (of Vivaldi Partners Group) for Forbes:

“Coca-Cola launched a bold shift in branding, called the ‘One Brand’ strategy in 11 markets, starting with the U.K. The strategy calls for a unification of marketing under the Coca-Cola master brand for all its product sub-brands, including Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Life, Coca-Cola Zero, and regular Coke.”

“The decision and launch is an important one for Coca-Cola, as it is for any marketer who manages a larger brand or product portfolio. It offers the potential for greater clarity, synergy, and leverage. Advertising the four products together under the Coca-Cola brand communicates the breadth of offerings from full-calorie to low-calorie or zero-sugar versions and helps clarify consumer choices, which is important when only five percent of consumers today know that Coca-Cola offers lower-calorie and sugar-free products. It also creates brand-building synergies by bundling all marketing spend on a single brand, while driving greater penetration and trial of the product sub-brands. Finally, it creates leverage, with major initiatives such as the new multimedia platform Coca-Cola Journey benefiting the overall portfolio.”

But is this approach a good one for other companies to follow? Again, consider Lucas’ observations for Forbes:

“Should other marketers consider a similar move? Many companies are leveraging master brands through line extensions and integrated marketing programs. Vivaldi CEO Erich Joachimsthaler and Prof. David Aaker developed a spectrum that defines a continuum of strategies; at one end is the ‘House of Brands,’ where each brand has its own brand identity, often representing a separate demographic, need, or occasion. Head & Shoulders and Pantene, both owned by Procter & Gamble, are good examples. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the ‘branded house,’ where all products are marketed under a single brand. For example, all BMWs are BMWs regardless of the series.”

 

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