I really don’t think it’s that surprising but apparently when I attended The Coca-Cola Company’s 125th Anniversary Media event last month and tweeted about it I ruffled a few feathers. Ok, only one that I know of, but I thought it presented a great opportunity for me to share some of what I experienced at Coca-Cola and why I went.
First let me share that I don’t drink Coca-Cola – or any other soda. I’ve been very successful at removing it from my diet because I personally don’t like to drink my calories and I’m staying away from artificial sweeteners. Guilty – every once in awhile you might find me sipping a Coke Zero, love it, but it’s rare. BUT, just because I’m making strides to eat cleaner and take care of my health doesn’t mean I’m not human. I believe in moderation and enjoying life. For me that means still indulging in the occasional beer, ahem, dark chocolate, red wine and
a big ass bowl of chips and salsa. Gasp! For others that might mean enjoying a glass of soda or a big ol’ cheeseburger. Just because you’re into fitness doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Yeah, that’s impossible and I’m certainly not going to judge anyone for it. No one should.
I’ve been invited by the lovely folks at Coca-Cola to three events and each time I’ve walked away enlightened, inspired and informed. First was the Live Positively Social Media Conference “Conversations with Coca-Cola” a personally motivating and eye-opening experience. Next they invited me to New York to be their guest at the Women in the World Summit. Again, this event truly left me inspired, empowered and wanting to make a change in our world. Most recently I attended their anniversary event with nearly 100 journalists from around the globe. We learned history about the company, its leaders, and about their plans for the future.
Coca-Cola is headquartered in my backyard. I live in the Atlanta Metro area and what the #1 brand in the world does immediately impacts my community economically, politically and socially. When I was offered the opportunity to learn more about what they do and how they work I was interested. I was also interested in what products they have that might appeal more to me – something without high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners – and I asked them during their Health and Well-Being Presentation with Rhona Applebaum, Chief Science & Regulatory Officer; John Reid, VP Corporate Responsibility; and Ed Hayes, VP Science. I learned that they have more than 3500 beverages and have a Venturing and Emerging Brands Business Unit. In addition to their waters they also have Sokenbicha which I tasted and like; and they recently joined forces with ZICO a coconut water company.
I’m looking forward to trying ZICO as coconut water is supposed to be AWESOME for running – like a natural sports recovery drink.
This post would go on forever if I listed all of the things I learned during my visit so instead I’ll share three things that impressed me about Coca-Cola and I’ll send you toward their Live Positively site so you can see for yourself.
They’re BRANDING Geniuses. They’re marketing is simply stellar and any business – small or large – could definitely learn from their branding expertise.
Me and Denene of My Brown Baby in the Coca-Cola Board Conference Room trying to channel some marketing mojo
They’re DIVERSE and Empower Women and Minorities. Being both I can’t help but notice that. Meeting so many of their top level executives and learning about their Women’s Leadership Council sponsored by CEO Muhtar Kent was simply exciting.
They GIVE Back to the Community. They not only give back but have programs and plans to help make this world a better place to live. As the #1 brand in the world I feel it’s their responsibility and I’m glad to see they agree.
Winks & Smiles,
Disclosure: I was invited to attend The Coca-Cola Company’s 125th Anniversary Media Program; however I was not paid for this post. As always my thoughts and opinions are all my own.