greg bustin executive leadership blog coca-cola bottle shape history

Coca-Cola: The Shape of History

March 24th, 2015  | 

Published in Accountability

The current issue of Fortune magazine lists 50 of the world’s most admired companies. Once again The Coca-Cola Company is among the global high-performers.

The distinctive packaging design for the company’s signature product turns 100 this month. The bottle was designed by the Root Glass Company of Indiana in 1915 with the idea that the shape would be recognizable in the dark and even if the bottle was broken. Its shape is so closely identified with the company and its product that the design is protected under trademark laws by the U.S. Patent Office.

Imagine for just a minute that you are the person giving the assignment to design the Coca-Cola bottle. What would you say? Now switch roles and imagine you are the person who has accepted the challenge to develop this one-of-a-kind design.

The result of this commission 100 years ago is an iconic design that has stood the test of time.

Ask yourself: Do we have the right people in our organization for the challenges we face? Are we setting the bar too low or just right for our people?

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises leaders of some of the world’s most admired companies, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 200 strategic planning sessions, and he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. His fifth leadership book—How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices—examines 52 of history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies and debuted in April as the #1 new historical reference book on Amazon.

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