Any company still in business after 125 years deserves respect. Make that a company that remains firmly planted at the top in its field and it becomes worthy of admiration. Love it or hate it, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola is still going strong and it all started with a tonic recipe concocted in 1886. The magic formula remains a fiercely guarded secret and after 86 years spent lying in a vault at Atlanta’s SunTrust Banks Inc, the recipe has now supposedly been moved across town to the World of Coca-Cola, the company’s corporate museum.
The whole transfer thing became the pillar of the campaign leading up to this week’s official opening of a new exhibit, The Vault of the Secret Formula. The ceremony was graced by dignitaries such as Georgia’s governor Nathan Deal and Atlanta’s mayor Kasim Reed. And, of course, there was Coca-Cola’s chief executive Muhtar Kent, who declared that the time had come for the recipe to return home.
The legendary document is on public display only up to a point since the public does not actually get to see it. It should also be mentioned there is only Coca-Cola’s word for it that the recipe is really in the safety deposit box said to hold it.
Nevertheless, the exhibit is worth a look. The door opens into a room with interactive walls telling the story of Coca-Cola and the recipe. Somewhere there is the real star of the show – the impressive vault guarding the secret. Its door sports a keypad and a hand-imprint scanner but company officials are not telling whether the security measures are for real or just for show.
Well, a little mystery is said to go a long way in keeping the flame (or brand, as the case may be) alive and Coca-Cola, a black belt in the art of marketing, hardly needs reminding.