Coca-Cola, arguably the biggest name in the soft drinks industry, has hit something of a problem with the investigation into its water product Dasani. Coca-Cola has established itself as one of the world’s strongest brands, and one I myself greatly admire. But, are we now to view the strapline “the real thing” as ironic?
It is little wonder these revelations sent shock waves reverberating around the globe. How can a company as experienced in marketing as Coca-Cola get something this basic so wrong?
But will it affect sales of Coke? Will it damage the integrity of its brand? The truth is, probably not. Although there is now very little chance of Dasani becoming a serious competitor in the UK bottled water market, the Coca-Cola brand itself is so strong that people are unlikely to question the integrity of Coke.
Strong product branding can never be underestimated, and it is positively highlighted in this case. To a less brand-aware company, the Dasani scandal could be devastating – destroying any positive image of the company.
Coca-Cola will not see the back of this crisis for sometime, the Food Standards Agency is investigating and no doubt it will be haunted by the incident. Yet, the Coca-Cola brand will probably remain unscathed: it is built on strong foundations and the product is sound. It will take more than this to shake it.
Michael Peters OBE