Coca-Cola is one of the most well known brands around the world. One of the main reasons behind this is because of the brilliant marketing that the company does around the world. Coca-cola is an extremely successful company that has 500 different brands being sold in 206 countries around the world, making it a successful 67 billion dollar global business. Coca-cola does not only have a domestic marketing strategy, but also has a highly successful global marketing strategy. 80% of coca-cola’s income is because of the international sells of the different beverages it owns. Coca-cola does many things different from other companies which helps them stay ahead of the competition. Some examples of this is having their own bottle designed just for their product, or the continuous sells within Africa, where other companies have pulled out. Making their company stand out from the rest is the main reason Coca-cola can differentiate themselves from their competition. Even though coca-cola has many different beverage types available to the public, Coke classic still seems to be a favourite among the consumers. We can see this when consumers have the choice between all the products, they still choose Coke classic the majority of the time.
Problem / Opportunity
During the 123 years that coke has been made available to the public, they have had many successes and only a few barriers to overcome. The main marketing successes and barriers that have all lead to the overwhelming success of Coca-cola are: 1) Having a brand image that appeals to the consumers emotional side instead of the typical advertisements among the other beverage companies. Coca-cola has built a brand culture on the fact that drinking a coke can be linked to a happy memory that the consumers have had with coke.It is important for coke to have the consumers associate their brand with positive feelings such as having the Coke logo on their favourite teams stadium. Coca-cola’s most well known advertisement of the hill top singers is still remembered today as people continue to want to see along with it or make their own versions on Youtube.
2)The marketing research Coke does helps the company to be a step a head of the competitors. Coke is continuously researching consumers and how they buy. They look at the different buyers behaviours, such as impulsive buyers who make up a big part of the profits for the company. Half of peoples decisions are impulse buys, which occur in the first 5 seconds from them looking at the shelf. They tragically place their products in stores in order to grab your attention, or near food to make you believe you will need a drink with your meal. Coca-cola also had some challenges within their marketing research dealing with the emerging healthy market that has captivated many consumers. Coca-cola believes that there is nothing wrong with their product, although it does have many calories and sugar. They do believe that it does not have a factor in the child obesity that is sweeping the nation. They have fought to be able to keep their products in schools, and have even had to introduced new products such as Coke Zero in order to stay within the healthy markets. Coca-cola has also started to tap into the highly growing technology market by introducing an innovated beverage dispenser into some test markets. This will appeal to consumers who are into keeping up with the times as it offers a touch screen and allows you to pick from all of the coke products available. This will hopefully be available in restaurants around the world.
3)Coca-cola is continuously adjusting the four “p”s of marketing. These include product, price, promotion, and pathway. Coke tried to adjust the product itself, however it was not a success. They decided to change the taste of coke based on the results of taste testing between Coke and Pepsi. There were many people who were disappointed with Coke’s decision to change the product that consumers have come to love. Coke decided to go back to the Coke’s original taste and market it as “Coke Classic”. In addition, When Pepsi was first introduced there were some issues with the price of Coke as Pepsi was able to sell two Pepsi drinks for the same price as one just one Coke drink. In reaction to this, Coke decided to introduce a new “king size” bottle of coke, although it wasn’t a success.
The promotion of the bottle is a key tool in Coke’s marketing toolbox because after they redesigned the bottle their sells increased. They are the only company that owns the rights to a bottle design.It is important for Coke to be able to stand out on the shelves with all the other competition. Consumers are able to identify Coke just based on the bottle alone. The pathway Coke uses has its up and downs. The ten percent of bottling companies that Coke does not own actually costs the company money. However, The relationship Coke has with its distributers is strong and they have had trusting relationships for years with very loyal leaders. In addition, Coke is able to save on costs as most of the bottling factories are in proximity to the different retailers of Coke.
4)Coke has an advantage in making its product accessible around the world to the different countries with different values. Each county has each own obstacles to overcome such as poverty. Coke is able to penetrate the different markets by tailoring each marketing strategy to each region. For example, in the developing countries such as Africa, Coke markets optimism. For families in the middle class of Africa, it is a statement of the little extra they are able to get now. In countries where there is more conflict, Coke markets its progression and positive change, while in America it markets memories and living the American Dream. Coke also takes advantage of opportunities around the world such as the FIFA world cup in 2010 when it advertised as much as possible in that time frame.
There are some pros and cons to the factors of the internal and external decision making process that Coke goes through. Some of which include :
There are a few things the Coke does internally that makes it a success. Only 10 percent of the bottling companies are owned by private owners. This gives coke the most control over what they are doing and how they are doing it. In addition, they have their bottling companies strategically placed near their retailers in order to decrease travel time. The owners of the bottling companies themselves are very loyal to Coke and some have never even tried Pepsi.
Some of the weaknesses that have happened internally are when they decided to change the taste of Coca-cola in order to compete with Pepsi. The originally decision had a terrible backlash with the public, with people even calling the company themselves in order to complain about Coke taking away their Coca-cola. Less than three months later Coca-cola realized its mistake and reintroduced Coke as Coke Classic.
While it is difficult to control the external environment, Coke does a good job of analyzing the different situations to make the best possible outcome from the situation. For example, when there was conflict in Africa and most companies pulled out, including Pepsi, Coke stayed and sold the bottling service to a local businessman. This brave step by Coke has made it a leader in international business. Another strength that Coke has in the external environment is the relationship it maintains with its consumers. Coke was able to send troops around the world bottles of Coke to make it feel like they were back home. This gave the soldiers a feeling of something that they were fighting for, which in turn gave Coke 11 million loyal consumers. Giving their consumers a feeling of home is one thing Coke does right. Coke has the opportunity to tap into the different markets that other companies are not willing to. The main threat to Coke is other beverage types, as the demand for soda is not an increasing market.