Coca-Cola and Personal vs. Corporate Brands: A Note of History

Coca-Cola Cover of Time, May 15, 1950 (wwz.time.com)

Coca-Cola Cover of Time, May 15, 1950 (time.com)

I was in Atlanta last week for work (and a little fun), and happened to stay in a hotel across the street from the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola museum. With a little extra time one day, I managed to fit in visits to both.

I’m a reader at museums, so as I was picking my way through the historical information in the various exhibits at the World of Coca-Cola, I came across a cover of Time magazine from the 1950s. There was a note next to the cover, with a little fact stating that the Coca-Cola glass bottle was the “first commercial product” to appear on the cover of the magazineTime had wanted Robert Woodruff, the charismatic leader of the company for more than 60 years, to appear on the cover, but according to the note at the museum, he declined, saying the company and its product came first.

This fact of history caught my attention because of the way the tensions between corporate and personal brands are being played out online. While the issues are thorny, sometimes (often?) history can be illuminating.

(For more on the subject of personal branding, here are a few blog posts from others I’ve saved on delicious.)

Note: This has been cross-posted on my personal blog.

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Posted on: November 5, 2009
Posted by: Laurel

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