Is Coca-Cola A Mission Driven Business?


I believe that businesses can change the world.

I believe this because we are stronger together and when we’re united under a common mission with a clear vision there’s nothing we cannot do.

The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!Genesis 11:6

You may look at the world around you and see that this is not the case anymore.  This is why I believe mission driven business can change the world.  Businesses have the one thing that is missing from our social endeavors, unity resources.  Some businesses catch this better than others, while other vision may only be monetary.  A friend of mine has a statement about businesses that goes like this, “A business has one purpose, profit.”  I can agree in part because clearly a business that does not turn a profit will not last very long.   That view, in my opinion, is short-sighted at best.

However, there are some organizations with mission and vision and the resources to be able to impact the world around them.   They impact their employees and customers, but also their community.  The difference between a mission driven business and one that is simply a successful profitable business is missional alignment along with the amount they impact the world around them.

What I’m talking about is a Mission Driven business.

Instead of a rant about social justice followed by a Pollyanna view of a world where rainbows and unicorns thrive, let’s take a look at what’s currently possible with a local company, and where there is huge potential.    If a company moves towards being mission driven (vs profit-driven)  it would likely elevate profits, enhance what they are already doing and increase brand awareness.

This isn’t a call to spend money, this is a call to be intentional with the power of unity behind a vision.

Coca-Cola Mission Statement and Vision

Coca ColaIn my home town of Atlanta, there’s a few of the businesses that already have the recipe for a mission driven business.  Coca-Cola is one such company.  Are they mission driven?  No not yet, maybe someone will read this and they’ll “get it.”  However, the Coca-Cola Company has all the ingredients for this particular recipe (see what I did there?).

In addition, Coca-Cola has all the resources to truly change the world.   Logistically they are world-wide with deep supply chains.  If they wanted to change the world for the better they have everything any organization could hope for.

Let’s take a look at these mission and vision ingredients:

When you look at a company you really need to see if they have a written mission and vision…

Coca Cola’s Mission Statement

  • To refresh the world…
  • To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…
  • To create value and make a difference.
Coca Cola

Let’s stop and pause.  Right now, there’s nothing about Coke’s marketing to me that says anything about these three.  I bet you didn’t even know they had these three things written down.  If they call me I’ll tell them, “Hey, delete the bottom two.”   Why?  The first one is great and you could argue their ads communicate this one but there’s no substance.  The bottom one is cliche’ and while it could be true, because of it’s cliche’-ness it becomes forgettable.  However,  “Refresh the world,”  That just gets me excited.  Unfortunately, for the average Coke employee, there’s nothing refreshing about what they are doing.  I won’t go into their product but it’s just a business, a profitable business.  Let’s keep going.

Coca Cola Vision Statement

Coca Cola's Vision Statement

(blah, blah) this is where it breaks down.  You can read it for yourself.

If I had to pinpoint where Coca-Cola lost it, it’s in their vision.  Their entire Mission page reads like a textbook leadership manual but there’s no heart.  Outside Refresh the world, it lacks the real clarity needed to change the world.

What if we helped them a tad.  If I had to keep the “P” motif, I’d say.

People – Our people are our secret ingredients.  They refresh and energize each other and create a rejuvenating environment in which to accomplish our Mission.

I could do this for each one.  However, I don’t think you want to read it, and frankly without knowing why Portfolio is in there or why is Productivity separate from People, I can’t really offer any insight.

The rest of this page needs a redo as well.

So what’s the point?

Imagine for a second that Coca-Cola decided to be a missional business that changes the world for the better and still makes a profit.  A missional business has more employee engagement, more customer awareness and satisfaction and impacts the community.

Coca-Cola’s New Business As A Mission as Defined by Joshua

Coca-Cola’s Mission Statement (revised)

To refresh the world.

Coca-Cola’s Vision Statement (revised)

To quench the world’s thirst. 

Statement: Imagine a world where the beverage companies end world thirst.  Every Coca-Cola product sold at retailers serves not only to excite the taste buds of those drinking but also provides drinking water to those that do not have access.  Together Coca-Cola’s secret ingredient (it’s employees) and non-profit organizations (like Charity:Water) work hand in hand in creating new innovative ways to solve this World problem while innovating new flavors and refreshments for retail partners.

Is this far-fetched… uh, no.  You can read it here, but Coca-Cola already does this.  So why does the above excite you and me so much more than what they have?  They’ve kept these things separate.  It’s only through raising awareness of what they do at the Coca-Cola foundation that they’ll actually tie these together.  Coca-Cola Foundation is doing some GREAT things worldwide.  If they could simply UNIFY their entire company under this mission, they could end a World Problem.  


What do you think?  Am I pushing Coke too hard on this?  Are they doing a great job and don’t deserve my critique?  Are they on the cusp of something even greater?  Would you like to see more of these kinds of posts?

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