In Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World, Tristan Donovan provides a compelling account of the soda industry from its very early days to recent controversies regarding health concerns. Following a brief survey of the historical origins and human use of naturally occurring mineral waters, the book quickly shifts toward an account of the industry as it took shape in the late nineteenth century. Read this article for a review of the book.
Branded products often suffer impairments during times of economic stress as consumers search for cheaper alternatives. However, the combination of attractive products and intelligent marketing can sustain brands even in a poor economic climate. Interbrand’s report covering the best global brands of 2010 suggests that the most entrenched brands have retained their position reasonably well while up-and-coming brands managed to make significant advances.
The Financial Times published a special report today (also available as a pdf file) that attempts to quantify brand value for the top 100 global brands. The top global brand remains Google followed by IBM, Apple, and Microsoft. Coca Cola, McDonalds, and Marlboro are familiar consumer products brands that appear in the top 10 list. The survey was developed by BrandZ and is based on quantitative consumer research and financial analysis. Read this article for more details.
Muhtar Kent was named CEO of Coca Cola in 2008 and was recently named Chairman of the Board of Directors. I have not had an opportunity to listen to Mr. Kent speak about the company in the past and found his comments on Coca Cola’s future prospects and general economic conditions quite interesting. Read this article for more information and a video of Mr. Kent.