I’ll bet you remember the coca-cola tune on those commercials in the 90s: “always coca-cola”. You probably learned about it in marketing 101 in undergrad too. Coca-cola is a huge brand. And there’s a few things it can teach you about building “You, inc”. You didn’t learn this in your marketing class.

Any idea how long coca-cola has been around? Long time. It was actually created in 1886 by a pharmacist seeking a cure for a headache. He put his concoction up for sale for a nickel a glass and a few years later sold his ingredients to an entrepreneur.

Hopefully he kept a stake in the company with some stock, because that was just the beginning for Coke. The new owner sold it to pharmacists around the country and the brand took off from there. Today the company has over 300 brands under it.

Heck, even if you’re a Pepsi person (meh, it’s alright) that’s pretty awesome. But what does it have to do with your personal brand? There’s a few things that made Coca-cola a success that you can learn from.

First of all, be authentic. This is so crucial today because for every one authentic person out there there are 10 that are total fakes. People can tell someone who’s not for real, so be yourself and always be honest. Coca-cola has always been true to its brand and delivered what customers expect- a quality product they can depend on.

In your business this means if you make a mistake own up to it. Especially if you have employees- as someone famous said a leader takes a little more of the blame and a little less  of the credit due them. You’ll be gold in your team’s eyes if you show you care about them, and really do care about them.

Second, build relationships with key individuals that are in a field, industry, company etc. where you would like to be. Joint ventures happen all the time in many industries just from people meeting other people at industry events.

You never know who holds the key to your next career move. Find a mentor and offer them lunch and ask them about their life, goals, passion. Keep it about them and they will certainly call the next day and ask about you, if you asked some good questions. Coca-cola has expanded into multiple different brands and products this way and you can expand your network simply by talking to people.

And finally, find at least one new skill to master and become resident expert on it. It can be anything that will help you become more valuable in your customers or clients eyes.

Maybe you’re in finance and are interested in learning SEO (search engine optimization). Sign up for a course online, buy a few books, setup your own blog and get your site on the first page of google. If you own your own business you should have done this already, and if you need some marketing tips refer to this post.

Has Coca-cola changed its ingredients at all, ever? No! The creator found just the right amount of each ingredient, and fortunately the guy who purchased stuck with it. That’s key: if you find something that works then stick with it. Become the best at marketing yourself, your business, and your products or services and you will find success.

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Originally posted on http://patriciadimaggio.com/