There are many ideas people can learn from history’s great thinkers and achievers. The Renaissance Era had the fastest progress in history. During this era, many thinkers and achievers such as Niccolo Machiavelli, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo introduced new ideas and new forms of art. Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian politician and diplomat. The reason his theories are advanced is that he is already used critical thinking while he lived in a country where most people explained things using God and religion. He was also a philosopher, and his many theories about managing a kingdom were quite innovative in Renaissance times. The Prince is a manual about how to manage a kingdom successfully. The Prince was written for Lorenzo de Medici of the Medici Family, which was the best known family in the Renaissance Era. Medici Family made great contributions to the culture because it traded and paid for many works of art in that period.
The Medici Family was rich and powerful in Italy, and it was the Renaissance equivalent of a major corporation. Machiavelli lived hundreds of years before the major corporation of today, but The Prince can still be used as a guide to getting ahead in business, just as it is a guide for building a successful princedom. The Medici Family had existed for hundreds of years, and it was powerful and rich just like the Coca-Cola Company. The Coca-Cola Company may also last for hundreds of years since it has been successful for over a hundred years. The Prince tells readers how to use power correctly; it also tells readers how to sustain the kingdom’s power and prevent the kingdom’s decay. More specifically, Machiavelli tells readers that what kind of personality and morality a successful prince should have.
The Prince contains some of Machiavelli’s ideas which were very advanced for that period. These ideas are still useful now and can also equally be applied to the Coca-Cola Company. The Coca-Cola Company is the leader in the beverage industry, and it is a very successful global company. Managing the Coca-Cola Company is similar to managing a kingdom. Therefore, Some of Machiavelli’s theories could be used by the Coca-Cola Company. In the chapter “How princes should honor their word” and “The constitutional principality”, I found some appropriate ideas which may be helpful to The Coca-Cola Company. Thesis statement:
Although Niccolo Machiavelli died hundreds of years ago, some of his ideas such as showing only the good qualities, keeping a good relationship with people, and making the product indispensable to people are helpful to the Coca-Cola Company. Honor the word:
In The Prince, Machiavelli makes some recommendations to the king about how princes should to honor their word. The recommendations can also apply to the advertising of the Coca-Cola Company. Machiavelli said, “A prince, therefore, need not necessarily have all the good qualities I mentioned above, but he should certainly appear to have them.”(57) No one is perfect, including the prince. Machiavelli believes that a prince should show his good qualities, and hide his bad qualities. It is like the advertisements of the Coca-Cola Company. A good advertisement should show all the advantages of the products or services advertised, and hide the disadvantages. Furthermore, we use our genuineness to earn other people’s trust.
However, Machiavelli has a unique perspective on how to earn the trust of people. In chapter eighteen of The Prince, “…princes who have achieved great things have been those who have given their word lightly, who have known how to trick men with their cunning, and who, in the end, have overcome those abiding by honest principles.” (56) If princes want to earn the trust of people, they need to use some type of scheme instead of being honest. This idea can also be used in advertising. A good advertisement is impressive, and it shows only the advantages to the customers instead of showing everything about the product to the customers. According to Interbrand, Coca-Cola is the most valued brand in the world. Coca-Cola has good sales performance because it attaches great importance to its products’ advertisements. It placed advertisements in magazines, on TV, in websites, and on street signs. In China, the Coca-Cola Company hired a number of well-known Chinese movie stars and athletes to make commercials for Coke. Coke is a great drink for summer because it is thirst quenching and cool.
One of the short commercials was very impressive. A group of teenagers was running on the street, and they were sweating hard. Everyone was tired and thirsty. At this time, a van with a Coca-Cola logo passed by. They recovered their energy by drinking Coke. The whole advertisement focused on the teenagers’ athletic bodies and their expressions of enjoyment. This advertisement showed the advantages of Coke, which are the wonderful taste and the cool refreshment; however, it did not show the disadvantages of Coke including high amounts of sugar, caffeine, and chemical additives. After watching the commercial, people have the desire to buy Coke. As Machiavelli advised, The Coca Cola Company is using cunning to trick customers into drinking their soft drinks by showing only the positive aspects of Coca Cola. Relationship with people:
Machiavelli has written about the relationship between the prince and the people. “I shall only conclude that it is necessary for a prince to have the friendship of the people; otherwise he has no remedy in times of adversity”(34) If a prince does not have a good relationship with the people, he will soon lose his power. A prince brings peace and prosperity to the people, and the people give their support to the prince. The “people” in The Prince are similar to customers in modern society. If a company wants to hold a great market share in the industry, it must focus on its relationship with customers. The Coca-Cola Company has a positive image for customers. The product is shown as “energetic and youthful”. When people visit the Coca-Cola Company’s official website, they can feel the company’s enthusiasm. The Coca-Cola Company has a short film on its home page which shows polar bears. This film is about the happy life of polar bears. The bears in the film are really cute and kind, and they are enjoying Coca Cola. It definitely leaves a good impression on the customers.
Also, the Coca-Cola Company has successful marketing strategies. The Coca-Cola Company has a great amount of loyal customers because it serves more than 200 countries in the world; customers can buy their products everywhere because they have the most advanced distribution channel. As a result, Coca-Cola is the most valued brand in the world; it has held about a 48% market share of the beverage industry. The Coca-Cola Company is the leader in the industry because it has a good relationship with customers. Make products indispensable:
According to The Prince, “Therefore a wise prince must devise ways by which his citizens are always and in all circumstances dependent on him and on his authority; and then they will always be faithful to him.”（35) That is to say, If a prince wants the people always be faithful to him, he should make people dependent on him. The Coca-Cola Company has a similar idea. When it was introduced, Coca-Cola contained cocaine, and this is the origin of the name “Coca Cola”. Cocaine is a stimulant from the leaves of the coca plant. People become addicted to cocaine by the long-term use of it. After cocaine was prohibited, The Coca-Cola Company put caffeine in Coke instead of cocaine. However, caffeine still can make people become addicted to Coke, thus, they become dependent upon having Coca Cola for the unique flavor and for the caffeine.
One of the most important people in the Coca-Cola Company’s history is Robert W. Woodruff. He was the CEO of the Coca-Cola Company in 1923. Woodruff had the same idea as Machiavelli, which is making customers “dependent” on Coke. He mentioned that if the customers could not get Coke immediately when they were thirsty, Coca-Cola would lose in the competitive marketplace. The first vending machine was invented, and the Coca Cola Company began to sell coke in retail stores and convenience stores. Woodruff’s idea was to satisfy all the customers no matter when and where the customers wanted Coca Cola. The Coca-Cola Company made a very successful commercial in 1937, which was groundbreaking for that period because the theme was lifestyle.
In this commercial, The Coca-Cola Company highlighted the importance of Coke in life instead of the attributes or ingredients of Coke. The most famous advertising slogan from this commercial is “The Pause That Refreshes”. Woodruff spent a lot of money and time on promoting Coke, but it was well worth the effort. The Coca-Cola Company still spends lots of money on advertising even in nowadays. In 2012, the Coca-Cola Company spent more than three billion dollars on their advertising and increased the sales of firm and brand recognition. The Coca-Cola Company now has many loyal customers, and Coke plays an important role in our daily lives.
Machiavelli wrote The Prince for the Medici family. The Medici family was like the big corporations of today. Because of this, Machiavelli’s ideas are just as important now as they were during the Renaissance era. As Machiavelli advised, princes should only show their good qualities and hide the bad qualities. Through its advertising, the Coca-Cola Company is using cunning to trick customers into drinking its soft drinks by showing only the positive aspects of Coke. Moreover, Machiavelli believes that if princes have a good relationship with people, people will always support them. In modern society, the Coca-Cola Company has many loyal customers because it has a good relationship with them. Furthermore, Machiavelli advised that people will always be faithful to a prince if people are dependent on him. The Coca-Cola Company is using caffeine in its products, so when people drink Coca Cola, they become addicted. Also, the Coca-Cola Company spent a lot of time and money promoting its products. As a result, the Coca-Cola Company has a great number of loyal customers. All in all, many of the ideas in The Prince are similar to the ideas of the Coca-Cola Company, although The Prince was written during The Renaissance hundreds of years before Coca Cola was introduced.
Machiavelli, Niccolo. “The Prince.” Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. London: Penguin Group, 1961. 106.