Coca-Cola redesign – three macro trends at play


Last week, Coca-Cola unveiled a new masterbrand design for its range. We take a look at three macro trends that could be informing the brand’s strategy.

In inescapable news last week, Coca-Cola unveiled a new masterbrand-led design strategy for its iconic packaging.

This is of course big news in design circles. And there has been many an opinion piece written since, both applauding and berating the design.

From our perspective, irrelevant of whether you like or dislike Coca-Cola’s approach, we believe the redesign taps into a number of macro trends evident in the design industry…

Design for online – using own-able and scalable equities in the digital channel

We’ve seen a proliferation of brands moving toward designs that champion key visual equities, making shopping for the product in e-tail faster. In the new design, Coca-Cola have applied their ‘red’ plus the brand’s disc icon on each variant to assert these as confident brand symbols; which ensures consumers have a visual shorthand to help find their product onscreen. We envisage seeing more re-design work along these lines, as multi-channel grocery shopping becomes more common.

PG Tips by JKR, Schweppes by Epoch Design
PG Tips by JKR, Schweppes by Epoch Design & Coca-Cola – all creating standout for primary equities on pack


The Future Consumer’s need for #NoFilter design

As we learnt when researching our latest thinkpiece, The Future Consumer (aka Gen Z) has information at their fingertips constantly. They are the Dr Google/learn it from YouTube generation and have the knowledge and tools to swiftly debunk a brand or product. Brands can’t hide or lie about what they really are, what they really do, and what their products really feature. Coca-Cola’s new, overt benefit descriptors appeal to this mindset – and it will be interesting to see if other mainstream brands follow suite.

Nothing But: “All we do is cut them up, take out the water and seal them in a bag” & Coca-Cola Life: “Less sugar with stevia leaf extract”


Launch and learn

We’re seeing more and more brands looking to do things ‘the start-up way’ when it comes to research and NPD. This is exactly the approach Coca-Cola took last year, when it trialled two separate pack designs in different global markets to gather consumer feedback once the designs were out there in the real world.

Whilst it’s unclear whether learnings from said trials guided this latest look, Cola-Cola’s strategy poses an important question for the research industry – how can we make research more ‘start-up’?

The two trial design approaches
The two trial design approaches