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Asa Candler Articles
The Man Behind Coca-Cola: The Early Years of Asa Candler
It has become such an integral part of American culture that when the Coca-Cola Company tried to change the original formula for its flagship drink in the mid-1980s, the public backlash was overwhelming; the Old Cola Drinkers of America was even established and tried to sue the company. Today, Coke is sold in the stores, restaurants, and vending machines of over 200 countries. The company is one of the largest in America, and also the largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of nonalcoholic drink concentrates in the world, with over $24 billion in revenue and 71,000 employees. The man behind all of that growth is Asa Candler.
Starting the Business: Asa Candler Pops His Way to the Top
In 1877, Candler and one of his former co-workers, Marcellus Hallman, began a partnership and established their own retail drug establishment. At the time, druggists were known for their dubious cure-all potions, which usually had little impact. Over the years, these concoctions became more popular for their sweet taste than their medicinal effects and pharmacies became the place to go to enjoy a casual drink.
Lesson #1: Make Your Marketing Message Memorable
Before Candler took over Coca-Cola operations, Pemberton had been doing business on a small scale. He ran a local company with a local customer base and had little chances of growing it much larger at the rate he was going. His only promotional effort was an oil cloth with the sign “Drink Coca-Cola” that hung on a local drugstore. Candler, however, knew that there were billions more thirsty people out there; he just needed to find a way to reach them. It was through a strategy of aggressive and memorable marketing, initiated by Candler but one which continues to this day, that Coca-Cola became the billion dollar company it is today.
Lesson #2: Stand Out To Safeguard Your Brand
In 1820, British author Charles Caleb Colton wrote, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but is doubtful whether Candler would have agreed. When the rising popularity and success of Coca-Cola became increasingly apparent to outsiders, there was no shortage of entrepreneurs ready to take advantage. Hundreds of copycat beverages were released on the market within weeks. The need to protect his great product and his strong brand were Candler’s motivations for ensuring both were unique enough to stand out.
Lesson #3: Find What Works and Stick With It
Coca-Cola executives in the 1980s would have done well to follow in the example of its founder. In growing his company, Candler understood the importance of not messing with perfection. As an increasing number of copycat beverages found their way onto the market, Candler might have changed the shape of his bottle, or altered his marketing message, but he never once made the crucial error that his later successors would: after creating the perfect drink, he never again changed its secret recipe. Candler knew that in an increasingly competitive industry, it was important to stand out, and to keep customers on their toes, but he did not dare mess with what he saw as excellence. After all, if it was not broke, why fix it?
Lesson #4: Look Hard to See the Mighty Oak in the Acorn
Everybody knows somebody who did not succeed, somebody who got caught in a web of difficult circumstances and could not find their way out in order to fulfill their goals. Pemberton had a good idea and a good head start, but he had never managed to get it off the ground. What was it about Candler that made him different? Why was Candler able to build Coca-Cola into the international success it is today and Pemberton was not?
Lesson #5: You Are Worth More than Your Net Worth
Both before and after Candler became an internationally successful businessman, he had a clear grasp of the fact that he, and every other person along with him, was in possession of a number of intangible assets that went far further in determining his potential for success than did the amount of money he had in his bank account. After all, with less than $2 in his pockets when he first arrived in Atlanta, how else could the astounding success of Candler in starting up the Coca-Cola Company be explained?
Liquid Gold: How Candler Turned a Drink into an Empire
“Every human life is made to fit some place, and there is a place for every life,” Candler once said. “The lives and the places are made for each other that they may serve the purposes of the God who made them.” In creating his billion dollar empire, Candler seemed to have found his fit in life. Today, it is estimated that nearly half a million times every minute of every day, someone consumes a Coca-Cola product. How did a young man with less than $2 to his name go on to create one of the most successful companies in America?
Asa Candler Quotes
Asa Candler Quotes
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By: Evan Carmichael
By: Evan Carmichael
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