The Living Legend Laerte Codonho is Just as Popular as His Dolly Creation

Laerte Codonho is a man who has taken on giants and won.


The Brazilian businessman is the founder of one of his country’s most iconic brands of soda, Dolly. The company was founded in 1987 and swiftly became a popular brand in the southeast regions of Brazil. Dolly introduced diet soda to Brazil. 


The success of Dolly soon attracted competition from some of the biggest names in the soda industry, including the ultimate behemoth, Coca-Cola. The cash-rich and powerful American company posed a serious competitive challenge to Dolly. Laerte Codonho understood that if his brand was to survive and thrive, he would need to develop unique ways to compete with some of the biggest brands in the world eager to get their share of the vast Brazilian consumer market (Facebook).


Laerte Codonho built his brand on a concept of quality. In all of his marketing messages, he emphasized the idea that his soda was superior in taste and content. One of his early slogans was, “Dolly: for those who are not afraid to change… for the better.” In support of that was Laertes creation, Dollynho, a cheerful and energetic mascot that was an anthropomorphic bottle of soda.


Dollynho proved a huge success. The image was highly conducive to internet memes, TV ads and other media images that garnered huge recognition for the Dolly brand. Coca-Cola did everything it could to counter the growing popularity of Dolly.


Laerte Codonho said his company was having considerable success in siphoning off customers and profits from Coca-Cola. But the American firm countered with a variety of tactics involving government influence, the legal system and market factors. Laerte Codonho knows big companies like Coke have huge budgets for lawyers, lobbyists and gigantic advertising firms that are good at squashing “the little guy.”


Laerte Codonho not only fought back but proved that his was a company to contend with. He instituted a marketing plan heavily centered on educating the public about the superior quality of his brand – and also the nature of the unfair competition.


His success in battling the giants has made Laerte Codonho a legend in the Brazilian world of business.

More on Dolly company news

Betsy DeVos On the Other Side of Transgender Bathroom Policy Repeal

At first glance, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ charitable donations are laudable. She’s donated nearly $139 million over the years, much of which was given to education causes.


DeVos can contribute financially to so many causes because of her husband dick DeVos, co-founder of Amway. Betsy’s school friends from Grand Rapids, Michigan recall Dick picking her up in his Mercedes, and his success has grown, making both public figures billionaires. While their charity is no laughing matter, it’s only about a quarter of their net worth.


However, Devos has come under fire for contributing to political campaigns and conservative religious groups. Even when she focuses on education, DeVos has faced ire from a public that disagrees with using public funds to allow students to attend private and religious schools. Devos has also faced scrutiny because so much of her contributions are funneled through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.


Still, Betsy DeVos remains firm and even optimistic about education vouchers. As both the secretary of education and a philanthropist, DeVos has focused on reforming education, which she has publicly stated fails to fulfill the American dream. Citing the fact that children from poorer neighborhoods cannot access quality education, DeVos argues that providing students with a choice of schools will only allow for success.


Recent news suggests that Mrs. DeVos has not only alienated some of the American public, mostly those who are left-leaning but that the Education Secretary is also in the middle of a rift with President Trump who ran on the Republican ticket. The president recently lifted a federal policy that would enable transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identities.


The repeal happened despite reported opposition from DeVos, who has been described as relentless and driven, a person who shouldn’t be underestimated or viewed as weak. Former state attorney general even described DeVos as “steely” when working toward her goal.


So while she may be at odds with the Trump administration over transgender bathroom rights, Devos surely possesses the power to keep pushing education reform through, regardless of any public outcry against her advocacy.


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