Creating Global Design Principles @ Coca-Cola

Read a great article in Fast Company on the new design strategy David Butler (VP of Global Design) is implementing at Coke. Couple of key takeaways:

1. His goal has been to build a central design apparatus that can be specific and flexible that can roll out across the globe, but maintain focus. To do this, they focused on four core principles: every design whether point of sale, equipment, etc. needed to reflect 1) bold simplicity, 2) real authenticity, 3) the power of red, 4) and be “familiar yet surprising.”

2. To convey his message across the organization, he wrote a 3-page manefesto called “Designing on Purpose”…his key take away was that people across the organization did not have a shared understanding or definition of what design was and how design needed to win the war at the point of sale.

3. They have created a Design Machine that allows anyone across the globe to use a web-based design tool and digital-asset management system to create point of sale materials that are customized for local markets but adhere to the global brand strategy in less than 10 minutes.

The interesting thing about these key points is not how applicable each one is literally to other organizations, but rather how the use of key principles, messaging and decentralizing innovation can drive massive change in a mature, global organization.

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