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Impact Seminar Snapshot: Coca-Cola CMO Joseph Tripodi On “Staying Relevant In Turbulent Times”

March 27, 2012

Coca-Cola Company chief marketing and commercial officer Joseph Tripodi’s career has spanned not only the soft drink and beverage alcohol industries—the latter as CMO of Seagram Spirits & Wine from 1999–2002—but also stints in categories as varied as energy (with Mobil), insurance (with Allstate) and credit cards (with MasterCard). That versatility made him a natural choice to address the topic “Staying Relevant In Turbulent Times” at the Impact Marketing Seminar last week.

“When you’re a large, prominent brand it’s easy to get complacent, but we’re far from our potential,” Tripodi asserted. Therefore, the company has set the ambitious goal of doubling its business in the next decade. “Annually, it’s going to take 5% growth, which is a lot on our scale, but doable,” he said.

“Our approach to winning in this turbulent environment comes down to three things: engaging the market, delivering shared value and creating a network advantage,” said Tripodi. Engaging the market, he added, means not only making impressions with consumers, but eliciting expressions from them, such as consumer-generated brand content on YouTube. To deliver shared value, he continued, the company has addressed sustainability concerns with initiatives like new packaging (made of 30% plant material) for its Dasani water brand. These and other moves have helped create a “network advantage” for Coca-Cola, through which its customers and stakeholders have become its strongest advocates. “When you build a brand through culture, you lose some control. But you become part of a larger leadership dialogue, and that creates tremendous value for your brand,” he concluded.

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