INTERVIEW WITH KATE DWYER

To find out more about Coca-Cola, LM interviewed Kate Dwyer, Sr. Group Director, Global Licensing at The Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola is certainly one of the most iconic brands in the world. A brand that has led the way in the communication and licensing fields. A global brand that speaks to both young adults and adults, and that is also among the most valuable brands in the fashion world.

What is the positioning of the Coca-Cola brand today, and how is the licensing business performing globally?

Our main goal is to think about the consumer first and foremost when we showcase our brands. We recognize the differences in consumer needs and attitudes. Each territory has its own priorities, and in some territories, Coca-Cola is the number one brand, and in others, Sprite might be the market leader.

As we are a global brand, we are focusing heavily on growth in international markets and have made significant progress. We have seen really solid growth in markets like Russia and Australia; as well as the wider Asia-Pacific region. The US still represents 30% of our overall business.

What about the development of Coke as a reputable fashion brand?

The company has a large fashion imprint and is focused on establishing itself as a credible fashion player across multiple categories – from runway to street, high to low. We have a large fashion program that we build on year over year, thanks to our iconic brands and the strategic partnerships we undertake with fashion designers. In the Brazilian market, for example, we are one of the leading fashion labels. The fashion business is roughly 10% of our global licensing business and it keeps growing, supporting not only Coca-Cola but all of our portfolio brands.

Fashion also encompasses categories like accessories and footwear, the latter of which is doing exceptionally well. In footwear in the Brazilian market, Coke-branded shoes are arguably more important than the likes of Puma and Converse. Looking ahead, we continue to look for new partners and new licensing ideas to maintain current growth levels.

What about the other categories?

Of course, drinkware is still a significant part of our business. We produce approximately 300 million drinking glasses every year. This licensing category is the highest in terms of overall revenue it brings in.

What about future plans for your brands?

We are always looking at new trends and exploring how these relate to our core business needs. We are prioritizing the sustainable sourcing of our products and raising awareness of the importance of eco-friendly production with our partners and retailers. Inclusivity and diversity are also key themes for how we approach our apparel partners. We recently did a collection with Facetasm. It is a brand known for a playful and bold approach to self-expression. They create unique, gender neutral fashion that speaks universally to youth culture. As a brand that’s tapped into a global style youth audience, Coke has to work with labels that embrace diversity and inclusiveness.

 

This interview along with other exclusive content is featured in the latest issue of Licensing Magazine, which you can browse through at this link. Ask today at info@bm-eu.com for an annual subscription to receive our magazine in your office.