Coca-Cola: Best non-alcoholic drinks brand

With a best product score of 92.18, Coca-Cola not only wins the Best Brands Award in the Non-Alcoholic Drinks category but is also crowned #1 best product brand across all categories. The brand enjoys the highest Share of Market compared to the other top 10 brands and while it scores low on First Choice compared to the other top 10 brands, it has the highest First Choice buyers score within its category.

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From being pioneers in launching the first ever light soft drink in 1984 and going deeper in the health-conscious trend with the first “zero sugar” drink introduced 13 years ago, to taking a stand with their recent recycling measures, the beverages giant continues to evolve and raise the bar in its industry. Anouk Van Hauteghem, Marketing Director at The Coca-Cola Company Belgium & Luxemburg, tells us more about how the brand managed to perfectly adapt to 2019’s trends.

How does Coca-Cola manage
its position as an icon in this
highly competitive market?
 
This year, Coca-Cola is celebrating its 93rd anniversary in the Belgian market, and that makes us indeed an icon and an established value.  

As a brand, we are part of society and, throughout the years, we have always strived to play a relevant role in that society and in the lives of our consumers. We are more than just a good drink. With a brand like Coca-Cola, we have to carry a message, have a purpose. It’s our responsibility to take a stand and show leadership in certain debates.

Worldwide, for example, we were among the first brands to actively embrace racial equality and diversity in our communication. We also play that role locally, not only on social issues but also on other important issues such as the sustainability of our packaging. Belgium and Luxembourg, as pioneers this summer, sent out a message about recycling: “Don’t buy Coca-Cola if you’re not helping us recycle”. It was a bold campaign that was much debated, but it was the right thing to do. Will it solve the problem of plastic waste? No, it’s not even enough if you ask me. But it’s a start and we’re moving on. We have the ambition to do better and better. By the way, it’s more than just communication; behind the scenes we’re working on clear objectives to become a more sustainable company.

Honestly, these campaigns don’t always make us popular with everyone, but that’s okay. We don’t shy away from bringing difficult messages, when we believe strongly in them ourselves. And that communication goes beyond our beverages: we also want to use the power of our brands to drive necessary social change.

In the Best Brands study, Spa and Chaudfontaine follow
Coca-Cola closely. Are mineral waters some of your
challengers?

Chaudfontaine is also a brand of The Coca-Cola Company so we are first of all very proud that our local pearl is doing so well.

As a company, it is our vision to become a Total Beverage Company, which means that we want to offer a drink for every consumer, at every age and for every need. It’s a path we’re currently building and it’s our vision for innovation. Think of our expansion into iced tea with Fuze Tea but also coffee with Chaqwa or bio drinks with Honest.

Coca-Cola has always been singled out for its high sugar
content, yet you were among the first to propose low-fat
alternatives. How do you feel about that?

Coca-Cola is a master brand with 2 varieties : the delicious & unique taste with, or without sugar. This is how we want to offer our consumers a choice with regard to her or his sugar consumption. Today, 1 in 2 Cokes sold are already sugar free.

As a company, we’ve set ourselves the ambition in 2015 to reduce the average amount of sugar per product sold by 10% by 2020, and we are on track to achieve this target by the end of 2020.

What does it mean to you to be a Best Brand?

First of all, to be nominated for Best Brand is an honor! By way of illustration : the news that we’re present again this year has spread like wildfire internally and we’re truly proud as a team. In concrete terms, it means that Belgian consumers are embracing us, which is the highest honour we can think of.

The Best Brands study combines emotional and rational criteria. What are the most important criteria for your brand?

As a market leader, the relevance of our brand to our consumers is number one.

What do you plan to do to maintain your position as a Best Brand?

Simple: continue to work as sustainably as possible on three pillars :

  1. Putting our consumers first;
  2. Positioning ourselves (also in terms of sustainability);
  3. Being locally present.

About Best Brands

Serviceplan and GfK are driven by their passion to develop and coach fascinating brands. Brands that are economically successful and that evoke emotions in the minds of consumers – the ones that we like to call ‘the best brands’.

By studying the emotional and social relationships consumers develop with your brand and the competition, your brand can augment existing client KPI’s, better understand consumer behavior, increase customer acquisition/retention and model future success.

Do you want to know everything about this year’s results and why these winners are viewed as Best Brands by the consumers? Contact us at info@bestbrands.be to organize a workshop later this year, at your offices or ours, and learn how to Build Best Brands.

BEST BRANDS WORKSHOP

DO YOU WANT TO STAY OR BECOME A

BEST BRAND?

  • Increase your client KPI's,
  • Gain a better understanding of consumer behaviour
  • Benefit from an increase in customer acquisition and retention
GeT your workshop

Workshop 1

GET TO KNOW YOUR LEVEL 
OF BEST BRANDS 

Workshop 2

BEING A BEST BRAND IN YOUR 
VERTICAL SECTOR AND 
STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
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