Free «Effective Marketing Strategies: The Coca-Cola Company Research Paper» UK Essay Sample

Effective Marketing Strategies: The Coca-Cola Company Research Paper

Introduction

The Coca-Cola Company is among the world’s greatest beverage corporations as well as the leader in manufacturing, marketing, and distributing non-alcoholic drinks, concentrates, and syrups globally. Moreover, it is among the biggest corporations in the United States of America whose headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia. The company’s renowned world legacy is its chief product Coca-Cola, developed by the pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in 1886. In the present day, the Coca-Cola Company is internationally renowned as soft drinks corporation with determined plans to advance the growth of its brand (“Coco Cola – Marketing Strategy and Market Plan”, n.d.).  Therefore, this paper extensively elaborates on how Coca-Cola continuously implements its effective marketing strategies so that it can sustain its global success.

Apart from its favorite brand Coca-Cola beverage, the company currently provides nearly 500 brands in more than 200 countries worldwide and supplies 1.5 billion allocations each day. The company has most of the soft drinks accessible in vending machines and coolers in the Western countries. Among these products are Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, and sub-brands Sprite, Fanta, PowerAde, and the Oasis (“Coca Cola – Marketing Strategy and Market Plan”, n.d.).

Three principal names control the world's soft drink market - Coca-Cola, Cadbury-Schweppes, and PepsiCo. Coca-Cola holds 47% of the share while PepsiCo and Cadbury-Schweppes 21% and 8% respectively (Vrontis & Sharp, 2003). Other major companies include Ambev and Cott in South America. Coca-Cola’s global success is attributed to consistency in acting locally and remaining loyal to its local customers. The company’s recognition is evident all over the world. Their central brand guides this recognition. However, they are constantly locally committed to fulfilling the tastes, preferences and culture with over 230 brands in approximately 200 countries (Vrontis & Sharp, 2003). The company’s customers have varied experiences, given their individual preferences and location. Coca-Cola is dedicated to regulating its strategy so that it can benefit from these differences and offer the proper marketing actions and beverages to unite with consumers (“Coca Cola – Marketing Strategy and Market Plan”, n.d.).

The marketing strategies of Coca-Cola Company play a significant role in enhancing the success of the organization globally. The global achievement is the result of the firm’s famous promotional mottos and catchy phrases played to consumers all over the world. Furthermore, Coca-Cola Company uses these jingles together with songs to ensure that the customers remember the brand. Another major factor in the global success of the company is the firm’s capabilities to modify the product to meet the requirements and desires of individual markets.

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For example, the company can customize its product line to fulfill the needs of the young consumers by providing flavored Coke and PowerAde products, such as Vanilla Coke and Cherry Coke. Moreover, the Coca-Cola Company aims at meeting the requirements of older consumers and the health conscious individuals with its Odwalla products, Diet Coke, and Vitamin Water. In light of this, Coca-Cola invests money and time into exploring and understanding varied segments of the market based on age, income, and lifestyle to develop and sell its products accurately.

Differentiation in packaging is another aspect that enhances the adaptation of the Coca-Cola product to different segments of the market. Moreover, the use of functional packaging assists the company in making the products accessible in various forms and sizes, including plastic and glass bottles, fountain drink dispensers, and aluminum cans. In light of this, the company can ensure vending machine dispensing and easy stacking. However, in the conduct of its business, Coca-Cola has a commitment to ecological sustainability. The company discharges this responsibility with the use of packaging materials designed to be eco-friendly and named accordingly for easy customer recognition (Vrontis & Sharp, 2003).

In addition to product differentiation, Coca-Cola Company invests heavily in emerging trends in technology to sustain its global success. The transportation of products is more cost effective and efficient with the emergence of larger and faster cargo ships, jet aircraft, trains, and semi-trucks. Moreover, Coca-Cola utilizes these developments to produce and ship products quicker and farther to market sectors that were inaccessible before these improvements in transportation (Vrontis & Sharp, 2003).

 
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Furthermore, technology advances are the driving force behind smooth and speedy information available. Distribution and warehousing departments can accurately track the levels of inventory and make order shipments leading to a reduction in overall costs of operation. In addition, computerization enables the company to reduce product costs, which leads to improved efficiencies. Computerization and automation in manufacturing equipment increase the speed and quantity of production. The technology advances contribute significantly to enabling Coca-Cola to compete globally as well as to making sales on the well-established brand of products around the world at viable prices (Vrontis & Sharp, 2003).

The Major Aspects to the Success of Coca-Cola Business

The business policy of Coca-Cola Company clearly displays what the company does appropriately to remain successful on the global market. First, Coca-Cola’s objective is to concentrate on the company’s best product offerings to remain competitive. The Coca-Cola Company concentrates majorly on its most promising brand lines. For example, in 1984, 77% of the company’s income from operations resulted from soft drinks. However, in the present day, the figure is 97% (Warkentin, 2014). The cause for this increase is the fact that the organization has sold off parts of the enterprise not offering the same financial fundamental returns like the soft drink business. In addition, Coca-Cola now focuses only on high-return business areas (Warkentin, 2014).

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Secondly, the company reinvests its profits to encourage ongoing business improvements. These reinvestments establish the base from which the company will derive future incomes. In the previous years, the Coca-Cola Company used to utilize the realized profits through payment of dividends to the shareholders of the enterprise. Today, the company focuses on ensuring growth in earnings as well as increasing the dividends at a slower rate. Therefore, the company can invest back more profits than it did before (Warkentin, 2014).

Third, as a strategy to sustain its global success, the Coca-Cola Company advocates for consistent customer focus. Success of all enterprises today is caused by their embracing the requirements and desires of their consumers. Where a company can meet the needs of its customers, it gains good ground to sustain its success. The Coca-Cola Company embarks on taking apparent actions to ensure differentiation in the products as a goal to become number one customer Marketing Corporation in the world (Warkentin, 2014).

The fourth aspect of Coca-Cola’s business success is the company’s policy of differentiation with clients. The direct consumers of the company’s products are retail outlets such as supermarkets, newsagents, service stations, leisure centers, clubs, and other joints selling soft drinks. Nevertheless, in this area, the importance of marketing is to provide better delivery, sales support, and promotional services. Every element among these apparently differentiates the Coca-Cola Company as the beverage distributor with the likelihood of generating revenues for retailers (Warkentin, 2014).

Differentiation with the consumers is the fifth aspect of Coca-Cola’s business. The final buyers of Coke are millions of individuals who consume soft beverages worldwide. For many years, Coca-Cola has expanded its markets horizontally across the countries until there came to be no place in the universe that people could not drink Coke. Presently, the horizontal growth is nearly total, with less than 20 countries not consuming the product. Therefore, Coca-Cola now attempts to build up brands vertically. Naturally, this means the creation of consumer desires deeper than they previously existed. It entails convincing people to consume Coca-Cola products rather than those of its competitors. That is the importance of customer differentiation (Warkentin, 2014).

However, it is not easy to make this happen since already 5.6 billion individuals clearly understand what Coca-Cola means to them. Nevertheless, there are significant strengths that assist the company in this task. They include, first, the widely known trademark. In addition, the Coca-Cola Company advocates for an action orientation, which states that, rather than waiting for a change to happen, it should lead to driving the work onward. Sixth, the Coca-Cola Company succeeds greatly on the global market by winning the largest market share in soft drinks. The company can become the chief player on the trade market since it understands the requirements of its consumers, and it tirelessly works towards exceeding these expectations (Warkentin, 2014).

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Issues Requiring Improvement in the Coca-Cola Company

Notwithstanding the fact that the Coca-Cola Company is the chief non-alcoholic drink producing organization in the world, it faces some business and marketing issues that are difficult and challenging. In the recent past, consumers, government organizations, and health experts have noted the potential well-being issues connected with sedentary ways of life and obesity. With Coca-Cola being an organization that manufactures consumer nourishment items, the challenge to the company is present. Obesity is a complex general well-being issue. (Warkentin, 2014).

Responsibility is needed from the organization to guarantee that its broad product offering comprises of a wide choice of drinks whose welfare value deals with the issue connected to obesity. However, this is conceivable by having healthy products, for example, diet and light beverages, sports drinks, and water. The Coca-Cola Company confers itself in sticking to dependable arrangements in marketplace and schools, supporting projects to encourage physical exercise and advanced nutrition training, and incessantly addressing consumer needs through beverage development, choice, and assortment. However, in participation with government organizations, users, and instructors, the Coca-Cola Company attempts to handle this issue through creating science-based projects and solutions (Warkentin, 2014).

Water quality and its amount are yet another business problem confronting the Coca-Cola Company. Water, which is a fundamental element for drinks created by the organization and because of climatic changes happening on the planet today, turns into a rare resource. Therefore, to control this issue, the Coca-Cola Company has begun taking activities in water-resource administration, water treatment, and reusing. In addition, it collaborates with different partners and groups intending to water and sanitation issues and needs (Warkentin, 2014).

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Right now, because of globalization of the commercial center and enhanced ways of life of the individuals, a consumer’s needs progressively increase their complexity every single day. Because of this, the Coca-Cola Company faces the issue of managing advancing buyer inclinations as the customers search for more decisions. Various shifts in customer demographics and needs, the emergence of more informed consumers, the presence of aging populaces, and unbounded ways of life significantly affect the marketing and business operations of the Coca-Cola Company. With a particular end goal to have the capacity to manage the issue, the organization directs its focus to making new open doors for development through its center brands. Moreover, the team continuously focuses on increasing its number of brands and products to make more decisions to meet the consumer’s way of life desires, goals, and needs (Warkentin, 2014).

The 4Ps of Marketing Mix in Coca-Cola Company

Product

Many products are visible objects that an individual can acquire and take home. However, the word ‘product’ carries a much greater meaning than just a physical commodity. In the world of marketing, the product can also mean a service such as a movie or holidays where one taps the benefits without possessing the outcome of the service. Organizations must view products in three dimensions that are the actual, core, and the augmented products. The core product entails what the customer acquires and what benefits this product offers. In light of this, the customers of the Coca-Cola Company buy a broad range of soft drinks.

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The actual product involves the parts and attributes that bring out the core product. The buyers of Coca-Cola’s products will consume the drink due to the high quality and standards of the Coca-Cola goods. The augmented product stands for the additional benefits and services offered to the customers. Therefore, because soft drinks are consumable commodities, there is a limitation to the augmented level. Nevertheless, Coca-Cola does provide a grievance and feedback phone service for unsatisfied customers or those who may wish to give comments on the products (Curd, 2015).

Price

Price is an essential aspect of the marketing mix since it can have an effect on the demand and supply of the Coca-Cola Company. The price of Coca-Cola’s goods is a major factor in a customer’s choice to buy. Price will usually be the benchmark factor that the customers use to compare the products. Therefore, organizations need to design pricing policies that, considering the consumers and external factors, should strike a balance between revenue and production costs. Approaches to price are significant to the Coca-Cola Company since it is the price that determines the quantity of sales and income per unit sold. Businesses have to come up with attractive prices that provide the enterprise with the best level of profit.

There are five pricing strategies available to an organization such as penetration pricing, loss leaders, price points and discounts, and market skimming. The Coca-Cola Company utilizes penetration pricing strategy as a mode of gaining grounds on the market as well as winning a market share. Once a company establishes customer loyalty, as it is evident with Coca-Cola, it is then able to raise the price of its products gradually. Severe rivalry in price exists between Coca-Cola products and Pepsi ones since both companies compete for customer satisfaction and recognition. It is evident that Coca-Cola is the one at the top even though for it to earn long-term gains, it had to forego the short-term profits (Curd, 2015).

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Place

The place is the third P of marketing mix, and it refers to the mode of getting the product to the market, or in other words distribution of the product. The manufacturer initiates the process of distribution that then ends with the customer. Selecting an appropriate channel of distribution is important since the choice will establish the levels of sales and the costs. When selecting the channel of distribution, it is significant to consider numerous factors.

These factors include the location of the customer, lead times required, the type of product, and costs associated with transport. There exist four strategies of distribution that Coca-Cola Company could have implemented. These are selective, exclusive, intensive, and direct distribution. It is clear from the recognition of Coca-Cola’s product on the market that the enterprise used the method of intensive allocation in the past. The aim of the company here was to ensure that the product is accessible at every existing outlet (Curd, 2015).

Promotion

In the present day’s competitive environment, getting the right product on the right market and at the right time may still not be sufficient for the company to succeed. Therefore, to ensure the success of an organization’s product, the firm should put in place an effective communication with the target market. The promotion is the P among the 4Ps of marketing mix intended to enlighten the consumers about the company, how good its product is, and where the customer can buy the goods. Organizations also use promotion to convince the buyers to try a new product or continue consuming the old one.

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The promotional mix is the integration of sales promotion, advertising, public relations, and personal selling. Advertising takes place in the media such as radio, transport, television, billboards, magazines, and newspapers. Coca-Cola uses advertising to market its products since the target market has access to the media such as radio, television, and magazines. However, even though this method of marketing is expensive, Coca-Cola finds it adequate to remind its potential consumers of the company’s products. In addition, the Coca-Cola Company uses other line promotions like coupons, contests, and free samples. These actions are a useful method of getting buyers to consume the company’s products (Curd, 2015).

The Coca-Cola Company SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis gives a real insight into the tactical abilities and resources existing in an organization. Moreover, it also elaborates on how these potentials strengthen the competitive advantage and enable the company to realize new opportunities. SWOT framework gives an analysis of both intrinsic factors (strengths and weaknesses) and extrinsic factors (opportunities and threats). These factors define the environment of the market as well as the ability of a firm to react to the conditions of the market. Furthermore, the SWOT analysis provides a distinction between the positive factors (opportunities and strengths) as well as adverse factors (threats and weaknesses).

Strengths

The Coca-Cola Company possesses some powers that contribute significantly to its success globally. They include the Coca-Cola brand, economies of scale, and the Coca-Cola System. As for the brand strength, the company has a very powerful brand across the world. The world recognizes the Coca-Cola brand as the largest internationally. In addition, the company maintains other brands such as Diet Coke, Fanta, and Sprite. Over more than a century, the company has invested extensively to build a brand with a high customer preference for an enormous recognition. It also enables the Company to consider brand expansions and the introduction of several other beverages (“Coca Cola – Marketing Strategy and Market Plan”, n.d.).

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The Coca-Cola Company enjoys substantial economies of scale since it is the world’s greatest manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of non-alcoholic drinks. The company makes sales of its products in over 200 countries of the world. The large scale of activities enhances the company’s investments in new markets and taps benefits from the success of these investments. The Coca-Cola Company whole bottling system and supply chain is also a huge strength for the corporation. These strengths enable the company to aim at various readily available markets globally as well as allow the company to expand rapidly to the rising markets without costing the company hugely.

 

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