22 Jan 2016 Coca-Cola subtly changes its brand focus

For the past seven years Coca-Cola has used ‘Open Happiness’ as its brand slogan. With this they tried to create a link between happiness and drinking Coke. This resulted in many interesting ads, ranging from full fledged crazy worlds in your vending machine to barbecues. Now recently the company announced that they will focus on a new slogan: ‘Taste the Feeling’.

The company is in all its communication clearly focused on the Innocent archetype and will stay there with the new slogan. At the same time they are refocusing from a generic focus towards a product specific focus. ‘Taste the Feeling’ is clearly about the drinks, which helps in the communication of the brand personality.

For some this doesn’t seem like a big change, but it is. In Adweek they asked some of the biggest branding experts what they thought.

“From outside the industry, you look at a shift from ‘Open Happiness’ to ‘Taste the Feeling,’ and it doesn’t seem like a huge shift really—but it really is,” said Adam Padilla, CEO of consultancy Brandfire. “It’s a philosophical shift [for Coca-Cola], and it ushers in a new era where de Quinto seems to be prepping Coca-Cola to make some bold moves.”

“Open Happiness” was successful in making consumers “feel something,” Padilla said. “But it got away from the actual product in the can, in the bottle. When you start to float too far away from your product offering, it gets too philosophical. … ‘Open Happiness’ could be said about a lot of things, when you open anything. But when you talk about ‘Taste the Feeling,’ you have very strong connectivity with a feeling with Coke, and you also have the literal aspect of tasting it—the taste of happiness.”

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