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Design To Grow

How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility and How You Can Too

By Davis Butler & Linda Tischler
10-minute read
Audio available
Design To Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility and How You Can Too by Davis Butler & Linda Tischler

Design to Grow (2015) reveals how iconic brand Coca-Cola went from a small local soda company to one of the biggest and most innovative companies in the world. With these blinks, you’ll be able to ensure your company is both agile and scalable, no matter how big your endeavor is.

  • CEOs and leaders from businesses large and small
  • People interested in creating a recognizable scalable brand
  • Those of us who love Coca-Cola!

David Butler works at Coca-Cola where he is Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He was named in Forbes magazine's “Executive Dream Team” in 2014.

Linda Tischler was a founding editor of Fast Company’s design website, where she still works. She has also written for Metropolitan Home and The Huffington Post.

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Design To Grow

How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility and How You Can Too

By Davis Butler & Linda Tischler
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
Design To Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility and How You Can Too by Davis Butler & Linda Tischler
Synopsis

Design to Grow (2015) reveals how iconic brand Coca-Cola went from a small local soda company to one of the biggest and most innovative companies in the world. With these blinks, you’ll be able to ensure your company is both agile and scalable, no matter how big your endeavor is.

Key idea 1 of 6

Good design is the key to company growth.

In our minds, the word “design” isn’t that far from the word “art.” Even though we’re used to seeing design as a form of artistic pursuit, this is often far from the case. While beauty in art is subjective, we can all agree on the differences between good design and bad design.

When a painter creates a picture, we compare it to the kind of art we’re partial to, or declare it particularly creative, and judge it good or bad accordingly. Design is totally different. Take a look around you: Every object you see, from your coffee cup to the phone you’re reading this on, has been designed for a purpose.

The ubiquity of design has sharpened our keen and universal sense of what good design is. For example, a website that allows you to buy something in a few clicks is well designed, right? By the same token, sites that force you to fill out form after form are poorly designed. In short: good design fulfills the function we need it to, and fulfills it effectively.

This applies to your company too. While there are many ways to approach design in a business context, it helps to first consider it in terms of the visible and the invisible. Visible stuff refers to the elements of design your customers see, such as your products or customer service. Invisible stuff includes your processes and partnerships – things the customer cannot see.

Good company design combines the visible and the invisible, and no company reflects this better than Coca-Cola.

When the iconic brand needed to redesign their Minaqua bottled water in Japan, they combined invisible and visible features. First they did their research, and found that Japanese people tend to be passionate about recycling and live in relatively small houses. The company processes and the product itself were then designed to match these findings.

Coca-Cola developed a small, lightweight plastic bottle that could easily be twisted to maximize storage space and make it easy to recycle. Visually stylish with great invisible design, this rebranding significantly increased product sales. Coca-Cola shows us that we should never underestimate the importance of design.

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