Marketing is an important field for any business that wants to succeed. One company that has consistently tapped into the opportunities provided for businesses through marketing is The Coca-Cola company. Ever since its inception in 1886, the company has consistently marketed its products in all regions in the world. Actually, its aggressive marketing tactic is attributed to the company’s financial success. Further, the company operates in over 200 countries and has over 400 brands of non-alcoholic beverages (World of Coca Cola). In order to understand the factors that may have led to this exponential growth and success for the business, it is important to check on the marketing strategy that the business employs.
In general, there are five marketing concepts that Coca-Cola combines to sell its products and ensure that its brand is recognizable in every part of the world. Furthermore, Coca-Cola has maintained these concepts which have become part of the business’ culture (Armstrong and Kotler). Basically, the marketing concepts for the company are as follows:
Production concepts posit that consumers prefer commodities that are easily accessible and affordable. In light of this, businesses try to ensure that they sell their products at the least possible price. In the same vein, businesses also develop a strong distribution channel and ensure their products are available in all regions in the world. Notably, Coca-Cola has been able to build on this concept by ensuring accessibility of their beverages in all regions.
Typically, a franchise is a license given to a business to manufacture and sell another company’s for a commission. In order to ensure worldwide supply of soda, Coca-Cola franchises most of its services to various bottlers around the globe. Generally, the bottlers manufacture, package, and distribute Coca-Cola beverages for a commission. Importantly, Coca-Cola supplies these companies with their own soda concentrate and these companies mix it with soda water, sugar, and carbonate the sodas during packaging. Processing of soda in this manner ensure that these companies are able to process identical high-quality drinks in whatever regions they are located. Importantly, however, franchise enables the Coca-Cola company to have a global presence in even the most rural areas of the world.
Low Cost and Affordable Drinks
In brief, the processing concept is based on the ideology of easy access to affordable drinks. From this perspective, The Coca-Cola company ensures that its products are sold at the best market prices for each country. In effect, the company does not have a single worldwide price; rather, prices vary depending on the country’s economy and prevailing competitors’ prices. As a market leader, The Coca-Cola company sets the prevailing soda price at a level that is accessible to most consumers, but still where it makes maximum profits. Since the soda market is an oligopoly which has only three major players namely, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Schweppes the price setting tactic through collusion works perfectly.
On a similar vein, the use of franchise and bulk processing of soda concentrate which is then supplied to various soda bottlers works effectively in reducing costs of production. Production costs vary within countries based on each nation’s income levels, available technology, and overall production costs. Evidently, less developed countries have a low cost of production as compared to fully industrialized countries. In general, this is due to low costs of raw materials and cheap labor. Therefore, sodas which are processed and sold in a low-income country are cheaper than those in a more developed country. Nonetheless, both the citizens of a developed and the less developed country can afford the Coca-Cola sodas sold in their country due to their differing income levels. For example, the price of a 2-liter soda in New York is approximate $2.33 while it costs approximately $1.55 in Nairobi, Kenya. By the use of this tactic, Coca-Cola ensures that sodas are affordable in all regions in the world and they are in great supply.
Product concept espouses that consumers buy products that are of the best quality, perform the best, and are most innovative. In brief, this concept believes on the need for high-quality products in order for them to be accepted by consumers. In light of this, companies wishing to market their products using this ideology must ensure their products are high quality, innovative, and unique (Grewal and Levy). Coca-Cola company has been able to effectively apply this concept in their marketing process through differentiation, branding, and offering a variety of products.
Differentiation: Basically, this refers to the process of offering a wide variety of unique products to customers. In this case, Coca-Cola ensures that its sodas are packaged in a unique and distinguishable manner. To begin with, the glass Coke bottle which portrays the image of the company usually has a unique shape of curves around the bottle. In general, this unique shape distinguishes Coke sodas from other varieties. Notably, the company has maintained the use of this beautifully shaped bottle for more than 50 years. Similarly, even after the introduction of plastic bottles, Coca-Cola still advertises itself using the beautifully shaped Coke bottle.
Branding: Coca-Cola company has been able to create a distinguishable brand for its sodas through its unique customer service requirements. Notably, Coca-Cola recommends that its sodas should be served when chilly. In essence, this method aims at ensuring that there is a distinguishable taste among consumers when they drink Coca-Cola sodas as compared to those from other companies. Further, this concept is emphasized through the use of advertisements that show the company having its sodas in the refrigerator. In general, this method has been successful in increasing the company’s soda consumers.
Variety of Products: Coca-Cola company offers a wide variety of high-quality products to its consumers. In essence, the company offers over 400 varieties of soda flavors, as well as milk and packaged water. Further, the company packages its sodas in various forms such as bottles that are as small as 250 ml to those that are 2 liters. Similarly, the company manufactures different varieties of products that target the countries different clientele. Basically, the company has different tastes of sodas such as Coke, Fanta, and Sprite among others that serve all type of customers. On the same note, the company also produces different varieties of beverages to serve the unique preferences of various customers. For example, besides producing sodas, the company has a variety of healthy drinks that target the health conscious consumers. Mineral water, milk, and Coke Zero are some of the products that target the health conscious consumers.
Selling concept is based on the ideology that consumers prefer commodities that are aggressively sold by their producers. In this case, the consumers are able to know of the existence of the products, its quality, and taste. Coca-Cola is an aggressive seller of its products through various promotion offers that it offers. Basically, it is common for Coca-Cola to offer offers such as having a free soda to some lucky winners. Other methods include offering of umbrellas, caps and calendars to customers. Notably, Coca-Cola aims at selling its sodas at the most affordable prices. In addition, it also has an effective distribution channel that ensures its products reach customers in all regions in the country. In order to achieve an effective selling strategy, the company uses the 4P’s selling strategy of product, price, promotion, and place. In essence, this tactic ensures that the company offers commodities at the most affordable price for each market (Drummind and Ensor). Basically, the cost of soda in poorer countries is much lower than the cost in rich countries.
Similarly, the company supplies sodas of different varieties and tastes depending on the customers’ ability to purchase. In this case, it is commodities based on customer’s ability to buy the specific product. In general, the small bottled sodas of 200 ml target the low-income earners. On the same accord, the huge bottled sodas, such as the 2 liter soda are aimed for individuals who want to have a regular supply of soda at home. Moreover, premium expensive products and healthy beverages such as milk target the health conscious consumers. Coca-Cola is known for been an aggressive promoter of its products through the consistent use of advertisements in national and international sports events such as the world cup and Olympics. Finally, the company ensures that its products are strategic locations. Notably, Coca-Cola sodas are sold in social areas such as parks, schools, and near parking lots. Evidently, most people are always relaxing in these areas and they always want to have a drink as they enjoy their time with friends and family.
Marketing concept aims at delivering better value than competitors through the provision of high-quality services and products. By using marketing concept, businesses aim at ensuring that customers regularly seek their services since they get maximum value from the company. Basically, Coca-Cola employs various marketing methods aimed at ensuring that their selling tactics are both sustainable and manageable. For example, Coca-Cola has been a regular sponsor of the world cup and international sporting events. By marketing its products in international events, Coca-Cola is able to gain the attention of the global audience. Further, the company markets its products and in a manner aimed at creating lasting memories to its customers. Primarily, Coca-Cola products are marketed as products to be consumed in social events in order to create lasting memories. Advertisements are typically done featuring friends, a party, or a family ceremony. Evidently, these are events that any person can connect with.
On the same note, the recent recreation of parts of UK through the restoration of past advertisement models aims at rekindling old memories. Noteworthy, this is in line with the company’s aim of “creating memories’ among consumers of its soft drink. Effectively, such advertisements connect with people who were during their initial formation. In turn, they increase the demand for Coca-Cola sodas as they remind individuals of beautiful past experiences. Similarly, the customizing of Coca-Cola sodas is one indication of the company’s selling tactic. Customizing of the Coke bottles to illustrate an individual’s name creates an attachment with the product. Basically, this is an innovative marketing method that enables people to create and associate with the soda they are consuming. In addition, the use of this method makes the company appear concerned in the production of customizable products that uniquely meet their customers’ preferences.
Importantly, the use of social media is an important platform that Coca-Cola uses to market its products. Due to the global reach of these systems, they are effective and appropriate for the marketing teams. To begin with, Coca-Cola shows all its advertisements and social events on its Facebook and Twitter page. Effectively, the thousands of people who follow Coca-Cola immediately get the company adverts when they are launched. Further, through the use of online systems, Coca-Cola was able to make people their customized virtual cans due the difficulty of making sodas with all the names in the world (Kaufman and Horton). Therefore, the use of social media was effective in ensuring that all Coca-Cola customers are well served.
Societal Marketing Concept
Markedly, social marketing concept is formed on the ideology that it is important for businesses to offer social services to the community. In light of this, businesses usually offer beneficial social services such as the construction of schools, dispensaries, sports facilities, and social halls for communities. Notably, the provision of these free services is beneficial to both the business and the community. From the communities’ perspective, the development of social services such as schools, hospitals, and social halls improves the entire living standards of the whole community. In addition, provision of facilities such as schools, a health center, and a sports arena improves the skills and knowledge of the youth within the community. In turn, this leads to the emergence of a wealthier population in future who can be able to buy the company’s products.
On the company’s side, the societal marketing concept enables a business to gain acceptance in a certain market. Notably, this acceptance is important in order for the business to be able to sell its products in the community. Moreover, the provision of social facilities such as a school and a health center ensures that the community has healthy and skillful individuals to work for the company. Furthermore, skillful and healthy individuals are more likely to be wealthy and able to buy the company’s products.
Coca-Cola company is known for its major role in the provision of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In particular, Coca-Cola India has consecutively been awarded as the best company in offering CSR in India. In brief, the company was recognized for developing over 500 rainwater harvesting structures with a capacity to serve over 1 million individuals. In addition, the business has organized health camps in slum areas that have effectively served over 1 million individuals. Further still, the company has issued over 135,000 scholarships to students from 116 army schools (Coca-Cola India). In light of this, the Indian community recognizes the importance of Coca-Cola in their social and economic development. In effect, the company brand and products are widely accepted in India.
From the discussion above, it is evident from the success of Coca-Cola company that marketing is important for the success of any business. In general, it is through marketing that customers are able to know of the existence of a particular product. Further, marketing gives businesses an opportunity to explain to customers why they should buy its products. Through the constant reminder to consume a company’s products, marketing is able to coerce individuals to buy a certain products even when they are of slightly lower quality or highly priced. Effectively, marketing leads to the success of a business. Consequently, all businesses should incorporate marketing as a primary function of their operations.
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