Beverage giant Coca-Cola recently announced a new packaging design that will look to unify the look of their core trademark brands: Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Life and Coca-Cola Light (Diet Coke). The launch will cover 13 countries – including the United States, Spain and 11 markets in the European region. The purpose? According to the Coca-Cola website:
“This approach aims to simplify and visually connect the “Coca-Cola family” while supporting the company’s commitment to offer choice, with more clarity and more investment behind all Coca-Cola Trademark brands.”
The “One Brand” campaign was developed in-house by Coca Cola over an 18 month period. The re-design emphasizes the nostalgic red disc partnered with a splash of color to note the different brand. James Sommerville, Coca-Cola’s Vice President of Global Design, said that “…during our design process, we saw the Red Disc as the one design element that could unite the trademark visually. Coca-Cola, any Coca-Cola is refreshing, uplifting and delicious…and the presence of the Red Disc on our new packaging communicates that message.”
A bold change in brand direction was perhaps necessary as soda consumption in the United States continues to decline as more and more health risks are brought to light. According to BevDigest, Diet Coke volume fell 5.6% in 2015. With the drop, it is safe to assume Coca-Cola decided that the iconic silver can had a shelf life and needed to be revamped – enter re-branding. Essentially, Coca-Cola ditched the “sub-brand” and decided to label Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coke Life as variants. This makes Diet Coke seem less like a separate entity and more of a sugar-conscious alternative to the original Cola – keeping the brand all under one trusted umbrella.
The new packaging design did unify the brands, but at what cost to the consumer? Consumer attention span is ever shortening and time is at a premium. Will the redesign begin to blur the line between the original and the diet? Time will tell.