Wherever you go, there are three icons that everyone knows: Jesus Christ, Pele and Coca-Cola


Branding or naming is an instinctive human habit that exists in all countries and cultures.

When we are born, and in many cases long beforehand, parents wrestle and wrangle over children’s names. In some Eastern cultures it is not only the name itself but also the characters and the number of strokes.

The same care and consideration that is used for choosing a child’s name should be given to a company or product brand. Companies and employees want customers to develop the same feelings for a brand as they would to a well-loved and respected family member.

This care is especially important when entering new markets and targeting consumers of different cultural backgrounds.  

Brand Positioning in Action

Coca Cola’s top sellers in many Asian-Pacific markets aren’t sodas, and they haven’t been for a long time. In 1993 the company launched Sokenbicha which is a blended, bottle tea based upon Kampo, or Chinese medicinal principles. Kampo medicine appeals to those who worry about ‘chemicals’ and ‘additives’. Sokenbicha is unsweetened, has zero calories and is endorsed by a Kampo boutique. After becoming very popular in Japan, Sokenbicha was launched in the US in 2010. Sokenbicha is marketed as the perfect balance between ancient wisdom and modern taste.

In this lesson I review the key elements that make up a strong brand and then introduce a proven model to define your brand’s positioning.