The Invention of Coca-Cola
In 1886, Coca-Cola was invented by a pharmacist named John Pemberton, otherwise known as "Doc." He fought in the Civil War, and at the end of the war he decided he wanted to invent something that would bring him commercial success.
Usually, everything he made failed in pharmacies. He invented many drugs, but none of them ever made any money. So, after a move to Atlanta, Pemberton decided to try his hand in the beverage market.
In his time, the soda fountain was rising in popularity as a social gathering spot. Temperance was keeping patrons out of bars, so making a soda-fountain drink just made sense.
And this was when Coca-Cola was born.
However, Pemberton had no idea how to advertise. This is where Frank Robinson came in. He registered Coca-Cola's formula with the patent office, and he designed the logo. He also wrote the slogan, "The Pause That Refreshes."
Coke did not do so well in its first year. And to make matters worse, Doc Pemberton died in August 1888, meaning he would never see the commercial success he had been seeking.
Asa Griggs Candler
After Pemberton's death, a man named Asa Griggs Candler rescued the business. In 1891, he became the sole owner of Coca-Cola.
It was when Candler took over that one of the most innovative marketing techniques was invented. He hired traveling salesmen to pass out coupons for a free Coke. His goal was for people to try the drink, like it, and buy it later on,
In addition to the coupons, Candler also decided to spread the word of Coca-Cola by plastering logos on calendars, posters, notebooks and bookmarks to reach customers on a large stage. It was one step in making Coca-Cola a national brand, rather than just a regional brand.
A controversial move on the part of Candler was to sell Coca-Cola syrup as a patent medicine, claiming it would get rid of fatigue and headaches.
In 1898, however, Congress passed a tax in the wake of the Spanish-American war. The tax was on all medicines, so Coca-Cola wanted to be sold only as a beverage. After a court battle, Coca-Cola was no longer sold as a drug.