The classic Coca-Cola bottle is an obvious example of iconic design. The image above shows all the designs that have been used throughout their history, but the famous design is the one labeled with 1915. It was designed specifically to be distinctive. Before their iconic bottle design, almost all bottles were straight-sided, which made it easy for other drink companies to create very similar looking designs in order to trick people into buying their product. Coca-Cola released a design competition for their bottle asking for a “bottle so distinct that you would recognize if by feel in the dark or lying broken on the ground”.
The design that was chosen was both functional, helping drinkers hold the bottles easily even if wet, and distinctive, with a unique silhouette that is widely recognized as an American icon. Even their bottles today, replacing glass with plastic, bear a resemblance to the classic design.
For more information: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/the-story-of-the-coca-cola-bottle/