Summary of The Real Thing

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The Real Thing book summary


7 Overall

7 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Coca-Cola is the world’s most famous brand, but reaching that pinnacle wasn’t easy. Leading the globe in a commodity product requires exceptionally hard selling, negotiating and tough leadership. Coca-Cola hit those marks by turning its sales operation into a mission: make Coke the most popular soft drink in the world. Author Constance L. Hays tells Coca-Cola’s story with exactitude. As a reporter, she is good at mixing gallons of detail with individual stories and anecdotes, even if they make the book seem long. This makes her chronology a bit slow and disjointed, because she does not hesitate to explore intriguing tangents - such as the history of the cold soda vending machine - whether or not they deflect her momentum. This calculated trade-off, which many readers will appreciate, happens particularly when she recounts the company’s actions against its bottlers and describes its marketing. The book captures an important sales story about a global marketing powerhouse that fought for shelf space and control of its bottling plants at any cost, and about the men in charge. recommends these hard insights into the business of soft drinks to strategists and sales makes for an interesting brew.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Coca-Cola company developed;
  • What factors made it a global powerhouse;
  • Why it encountered problems; and
  • What Coca-Cola’s top executives did right - and wrong - to shape the company.

About the Author

Constance L. Hays worked as a reporter for The News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also covered the food and beverage industry as a reporter for The New York Times.



"Brain Tonic"
The power of Coca-Cola is ubiquitous. An affordable, core part of the American social experience, it offers a more complex taste than other soft drinks. John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886. His original concoction contained cocaine. In 1888, Asa Candler bought...

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