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The Coca Cola Company

Abstract

Since 1886 to the present date, The Coca Cola Company has been in existence. It is an international renowned company that started from humble beginnings. The company has grown to be the best known company for soft drinks in the world. The Coca Cola Company boasts of having a product portfolio of more than three hundred drinks ranging form water, sports drinks to fresh juices. It has grown and soared to great heights and its operations are felt globally. The paper reviews the global operations strategy of the company and identifies the unique characteristic that makes its outstanding on the global scene.

The Coca Cola Company

Introduction

The Coca Cola Company is world largest beverage company that specializes with manufacturing, distribution and marketing of non- alcoholic drinks, concentrates and beverages. The company traces its origin since 1886, when a pharmacist by the name of Dr. John Pemberton, made syrup in the laboratory. To Dr. John, the syrup was meant to be a patent medicine but this was not to be as he took it for testing to his partner’s laboratory and they bottled it up for sale at a cheap price. His partner, Frank Mason Robinson, thought the name with a double “C”

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would look good on the product and the name Coca Cola was born and the ever outstanding logo of the company (Pankay 5).

The company has a franchise distribution system that dates back to 1889 to over 200 countries of the world. It is indeed a great company that has great caliber and therefore needs global operational strategies for its operations. It is approximated that there are sixteen million customers who sell products of the company and the consumers are about six million. The Coca Cola Company has come a long way to be an international renowned company. The company’s headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia. To present date, production of concentrate is done at the company’s headquarters (Pankay 5).

Simplicity is emphasized in The Coca Cola Company and the red and white colors which are used are very unique. The mix of colors is represented in the company’s logo and is primarily kept simple. These colors are associated with the young and are meant to lure the youths into buying the products of the company. The company has also come up numerous designs of the Coca Cola bottles with the most famous one being the contour bottle of the 1915’s. It is a design that stands out from the rest of the designs of other companies in the beverage industry (Pankay 5).

During the initial stages, the drink Coca Cola was sold as a mixture of the Coca Cola syrup and carbonated soda. The company started from humble beginnings and they registered loss in the initial stages of starting the business. The sales from Coca Cola were not enough to cover the expenses of producing the drinks. Nonetheless, this did not deter the founders from selling the drink and today it is the most famous drink in the world. The company was later sold to the United States of America in 1893. This was done in a bid to expand the operations of the business to other parts of the world. The Coca Cola Company has since grown in operations all over the world. It is a public company and therefore offers shares to the general public (Pankay 5).

The company has over three thousands products and still growing the portfolio of its products. The products range in the categories of soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit juices, diet beverages, sports drinks, teas and coffee drinks among other drinks. Coca Cola Company strives to maintain the quality of its products and quality standards are maintained through out the product manufacture cycle. Besides quality assurance for the company’s products, consumer expectations are also meet. Therefore the company introduces different flavors in the market from time to time based on their market research. Customers are treated to their own flavors and their expectations are met (Pankay 5).

The company’s products are packaged in bottles of different sizes and quantity. The company takes pride in packaging products in containers that are thoroughly checked for hygiene purposes. In The Coca Cola Company, the products are packed in containers that meet the rigorous and strictly adhered to hygiene standards. The contents of the products also meet the safety and health standards. The company offers products that have a clean bill of hygiene in all the countries that the products are sold to. It is a safety measure that is well adhered to the international company (Pankay 5).

Being the leading company in the beverage industry, the company leaders are its main pillar. The present Chairman and the Board and Chief Executive Officer is Muhtar Kent while Alexander B.Cummings is the Chief Administrative Officer Executive Vice President of The Coca Cola Company. Different key personnel are put in charge of different regions through out the world. The company’s leadership is of high, powerful and influential leaders who in economic and social connections. The management team of the company is drawn from members who are highly educated and are able to steer the company to soar to great heights. As one of the leading company in the producing of beverages, the company has chosen a management team of people who have power and the qualities to head an international company (Ciampa, & Watkins pp. 46).

The Coca Cola Company; what are the global operations strategies of the company?

A global operations strategy refers to the tactics that the company uses for it to be felt on the global scene.  True to say that the strategy that the company uses has helped it to grow and diversify to other regions of the world. For Coca Cola Company to have become an international company, there are some strategy that has been put in place to steer it to the levels of the multinationals. In this paper, a report of the strategy that have helped The Coca Cola Company gained the standards of an international company and for its products to be known all over the world have been analyzed (Patton 12).

In a rapidly expanding world market and increasing global world trade, companies must be very responsive in their operational strategy not only to capture their national markets but also capture the global market. Companies with the global perspective need to employ global operation strategies that help them to take charge of opportunities and gain maximum growth in their companies on a global scale. Global operational strategies for The Coca Cola Company have helped the company to drive the demand for its products and create market for the company’s products. The strategies have also helped to outsmart major competitors for beverages for example, the likes of Pepsi. The Coca Cola Company employs various global operations to fulfill their global presence by offering their internationally renowned products. Therefore, the essence of a global operations strategy for a multinational company like Coca Cola Company is to make even the most interior parts of the earth feel the presence of the company (Ciampa, & Watkins pp. 46).

Hypothesis

Though for a company to have global recognition it must use a combination of different global operations strategies, The Coca Cola Company uses different marketing strategy as its major global operations strategy. The company has widely used its marketing strategy as a global operations strategy to be where it is in the present day. Another global operations strategy reviewed in the paper is use of the company’s strategic objectives (Patton 12).

Project Objectives

 Identify the various marketing strategies that The Coca Cola Company uses as a global operations strategy. There are different ways that a company can use to identify its products in the market globally. The Coca Cola Company sells its products worldwide and therefore differentiating its products from the products of another company is crucial. The paper sets to find out the global operations strategy that helps the company differentiate its products from the competitors’ products (Patton 12).

To find out how the global operations strategy works in creating presence of The Coca Cola products all over the world. When a company diversifies from its native country to other countries of the world, its presence needs to be filled in a distinctive way. Coca Cola Company has strategies that make its presence felt all over the world. The tactics that the company uses are only typical to it and no other company and the sole reason as to why the name Coca Cola is widely known and its beverages widely consumed (Patton 12).

To identify whether these strategies do work for the international renowned company? The Coca Cola Company has curved a niche in the market that is only identified to the company. The global operations strategies that are used have contributed to making Coca Cola Company products, the choice of many beverage consumers all over the world (Patton 12).

Research methodology

The project has employed a combination of methods to come up with the data. Use of interviews and questionnaires has been widely applied. When conducting the project, key personnel of the company will be interviewed. Questionnaires were distributed to consumers for them to give their views on the company. Data collected through interviews and questionnaires is the analyzed and interpreted. The research was conducted at the Company’s headquarters and more than 50 key mangers were interviewed. Questionnaires were administered to a small sample of the population in the United States. Since giving out questionnaires manually would be a tedious and demanding activity, the questionnaires were posted on the web as an advertisement for those people who love the company’s products. Everybody was free to fill the questions and post the answers (Patton 12).

Collection Analysis and Interpretation of Data

            The company’s core competency is among the strategies that the company uses as its global operations strategy. This is whereby, the company uses its major strengths to dominate the world market for beverages and still be regarded as the best company for beverages in the world. Marketing is the number one strategy for The Coca Cola Company. For a company that is renowned as the world’s largest manufacturer for soft drinks, its marketing strategy has come in handy in helping the company command a geographical vast market that comprises of more that 200 countries worldwide. The Coca Cola Company sells it products in continents like North America, Latin America, and Africa among others. The company’s marketing strategy reflects positive growth in the company’s products and the success of the Coca Cola brands. However the company markets its various products in areas where growth is anticipated. It is a strategy within the marketing strategy employed by the company for its continual growth (Taylor 41).

          Customer Relationship Management otherwise known as (CRM) in the world of business is a concept that is not new to the international company. It is a strategy that is used by The Coca Cola Company in that it relates well with its customers all over the world. Most of the different marketing strategies that the company uses are geared toward the customer satisfaction  for instance, affordable prices, adherence to the strict hygiene standards to designing products that suits different regions in the world. The Coca Cola Company main target is consumer satisfaction and therefore rigorous research is conducted to find out what they customer wants and to provide the customer with the exact drink that matches his or her lifestyle (Taylor 41).

          It is striking to note that the company employs selective marketing and different marketing strategies are employed in different areas, or depending on the occasion. For instance, in Mexico, families are known to have lunch together. The Coca Cola Company has used its own careful marketing strategy by introducing a two and a halt litre bottle in Mexico. This type of marketing strategy ensures that the target population is reached and that all consumers of Coca Cola products enjoy the company’s products. Selective marketing is done when a market is identified; the company, then moves in to develop a product that is typical of the identified market. In other words, the company takes advantage of the identified market and makes it an investment centre by developing a product that is only suited for the market (Taylor 41).

          In addition, the introduction of diet coke is another form of selective marketing whereby old people who may be diabetic and those who have health issues are given a drink that fits them. The young are also treated to their own fun of joy since the Coca Cola Company mostly targets the young. The company also produces drinks that are for sports among other drinks. Examples of sports drinks are, Powerade and Aquarius. When there is a sporting activity, the company is sure to be represented through its products. Whether it is sports or family drinks, The Coca Cola Company has not failed its customers through its product portfolio and each product designed to meet the needs of the customer and its presence is always felt  (Taylor 41).

          The Coca Cola Company uses its attractive brand name to market its products. It is a trade mark that cannot be confused with any other brand in the market. It is widely believed that the name Coca Cola is known by more people in the world and gives the company’s products their identity. The name Coca Cola not only gives the company an attractive brand name but also helps to differentiate the company’s products from one company to another. Product differentiation in a market that is filled with similar products is vital. Coca Cola products have unique names and this goes a long way in differentiating the products on a global scale and the company is able to adopt a global outlook. The name also helps to unify the company’s products on the global scale in a way that the products can not be confused with other beverage products in the world (Taylor 41).

          The Coca Cola Company also uses its different products flavors to market the company’s products and increase interest of the consumer to Coke’s products. The different flavors that are offered to the market ensure that consumers are satisfied and each consumer is catered for. The different taste caters for different consumers in the market and consequently builds relationships with the company’s customers. In marketing, customer satisfaction is the most important because when customers are satisfied they become loyal to the products that they enjoy otherwise known as product loyalty. The different range of the company’s products makes sure that the Coca Cola Company presence is felt all over the world (Taylor 41).

         Concentrate for making the drinks is made in Atlanta, Georgia and distributed to the rest of the world where it is bottled and offered for sale. The method in which the company produces concentrate at its headquarters and then sells it to bottlers who are licensed maintains the products flavor. Coca Cola products have the same unique flavor throughout the world. Through centralizing its production of concentrate at its headquarters, the company remains on the limelight as the most famous company for non-alcoholic beverages. The uniform taste of the company’s products works as a marketing strategy for Coca Cola products by giving the products a global taste. Consumers are assured that, whether they travel to different parts of the world, Coca Cola beverages remains the same taste (Taylor 41).

         Coca Cola products are placed at the right place and at the right time a trend in business referred to as market positioning. Throughout the world it is easy to find Coca Cola Company products in retail shops and shops outlets. Though a global company, their core in business remains satisfaction of the consumer even to the one who is in a rural setting. It is widely believed that a product that is seen more in the market place make the best of sales or rather is the one that is often bought by customers. Consumers will more often than not go for the products that are easily available. The products are strategically placed within the reach of the consumer for convenient purposes. In the world of Coke, the company’s commitment for convenience is also demonstrated by the designed Cola-Cola dispenser which was designed by Raymond Loewy. The dispenser not only makes Coca Cola products convenient but also shows the company’s commitment towards the consumers (Taylor 41).

         The company’s products also range widely in their customer’s satisfaction. A consumer who feels thirsty after a hot day can either take the Dasani water or a cold Sprite depending on his or her dislikes. The right products are placed at the market at the right time whether the event is sporting or simply family gatherings. Availability of the company’s products to even common people serves their marketing strategy right. A product that satisfies consumers unconditionally must be within the reach of the consumer at all times and whenever the consumer needs it and Coca Cola Company best understands this concept (Taylor 41).

         Media plays an important role in advertising the products of the Coca Cola Company in its marketing strategy. A good example of how the company uses media to market its products through adverts is during Christmas. The company has used the brand name Coca Cola not only to market its products but also come up with the image of the modern day Santa Claus. The festive Christmas duration is filled with Coca Cola Christmas advertisements with Santa Claus. The adverts are the same throughout the world and are of good quality and geared towards attracting people during the festive season towards Coca Cola products. The advertisements also go a long way in ensuring that there is increased consumption of the company’s products (Taylor 41).

        Price is a sensitive issue to The Coca Cola Company. In relation to the company need for consumers to feel them all over the world, their products have to be affordable to the consumers. Consumers of the company’s products vary from one country to another, from developed countries to the developing countries. The company has to vary their price as a marketing strategy to reflect the market which the products are being sold. Price is also crucial to the company in view of its competitors. If the company was to increase the prices of its products, it would mean that other competitors in the beverage industry would take advantage. Therefore Coca Cola Company prices its products relatively to its competitors in the beverage industry (Pankay 5).

Last but not the least of the marketing strategy among others, the company provides free bottles and free samples to retailers and middlemen. The incentives given to middlemen and retailers help reduce the cost of the product to an affordable price to the consumer. This is because the cost of the bottle is not reflected in the overall cost of the product. The retailers and middlemen then, act as intermediaries in popularizing the company’s products on a global scale. This marketing strategy has enabled the company to go a step further to outdo the competitors and making Coca Cola products felt all over the world. If Coca Cola Company were to sell their bottles to middlemen and retailers, the cost of the bottles would be reflected in the price of the products. By eliminating the costs of the bottles, the company also lowers the price of its products to a rate that is affordable to the common man. Free samples and bottles, which are given to middlemen and retailers act as an incentive in exchange for the service of distributing the company’s products (Pankay 5).

Strategic Objectives

         Objectives refer to the set targets that a company aims to achieve and they are the guiding principle to the success of a company. They refer to the path that a company with future expectations of growth travels on. The Coca Cola Company has been guided by strategic objectives through out from 1886 to present day for it to be felt globally. In the start up of the company, their main objective was to survive, to make maximum profits and to expand the company’s business. The company has since outlived its primary objectives. The company stopped making losses and started to register profits, it survived the dark stages of a business starting up and also it has grown to be an international company and its products sold all over the world. The undeterred efforts of its founders even when the company was registering loses saw it through its primary objectives. Most of the businesses that are started on a shaky ground and post losses in their first months, ends up closing down instead of running on losses (Taylor 41).

            Others objectives have however been put in place for the purposes of broadening the company and capturing an international market. The number one objective and the mother of all objectives, after the primary objectives were achieved is customer satisfaction through creativity and consistent growth in the company’s products. The company undertakes massive researches, market analysis and market identification in all parts of the world. Research is done for different regions, the likes, dislikes and preferences of a people of a particular region are identified. This is coupled with the company’s reaction to an identified market. Products are designed and developed to cater for the needs and wants of the people of that region. For instance, in Mexico, the company identified the behavior of the Mexican families of having lunch together, saw an opportunity and a business venture and reacted to the identified market by providing them with a packed drink from the company that is only identified with the Mexicans. For any business to survive in the modern world, where customers have preference of some products over the others, the company must listen at the customers’ voice or risk loosing its customers to competitors. In addition, the global market has turned out to be competitive enough and one’s company’s mistake in terms of not fulfilling the customer’s needs can send them direct to the hawk eyes of the competitors (Taylor 41).

         When products are designed to cater for different preferences in various parts of the world, and for various events like sporting, another objective of consistency in growth for the company’s products is achieved. The company has developed different products and currently its product’s portfolio stands at 3300 products.  Through catering for the customers needs, different products have been developed for instance; PowerAde is for sporting people, energy drinks for boosting the energy and making people refreshed to water for the thirsty. Though all these products are developed to cater for the different needs of the customer and for customer satisfaction, The Coca Cola Company is growing by the number of products that are in the market. Carbonated soft drinks leads the company in attaining its growth and the Coca Cola brand is the most famous in the world. The brand also ensures that the company gains maximum profits from the market and also led its competitors who will only trail behind The Coca Cola Company brand of carbonated drinks (Taylor 41).

          The company has also invested in highly potential markets across the globe. The Coca Cola Company has strived to invest in markets that have a high potential. For instance, the United States of America consumes most of the products of the company. They commonly refer to it as ‘coke’. The company has invested in the United States market to take care of the ready market in the United States.  More Coca Cola dispensers are placed in the United States institutions like schools, social halls and malls. This is done in a bid to capture the ever growing market in the United States of America (Taylor 41).

         Growth profitability and capability together with the company’s bottling partners is also among the objectives of the company. The Coca Cola Company understands that its bottling partners act as middlemen who help in pushing the company’s products to the market. Without the help of the bottlers, the products would take long to reach the consumers. Registered bottlers are located all over the world and they also create relationship with retailers and consumers. The company in its quest for growth ensures that even bottlers become a part of the legacy in view of profits. The bottlers are offered free bottles so that they do not incur the costs of the bottles and then transfer it to the consumers. The relationship that the company creates with its bottlers creates avenues for profits and the company’s productivity (Fekete & Keith 15).

Presentation of Conclusion and Recommendations

          The international business scene is saturated with different companies that are all trying to capture the same market. Some of these companies are offering products that are similar, for instance, Coca Cola products and products offered by Pepsi. It is upon a company to adopt strategies that will make it succeed on the global scene lest it is overtaken by its competitors. The Coca Cola Company in its quest to become a market leader has used two strategies. These strategies have been effective not only marketing the products of the company but also in making it the most famous company for soft drinks. Global operations strategy that a company adopts plays a major part in the company discovering new markets, offers an opportunity for the company to compete with other companies on a global level and discover its strengths (Taylor 41).

         The global operations strategies of the company have enabled the company to reach to even the interior parts of the earth. Small shops and retailers stock the products of The Coca Cola Company at a price that is affordable. For instance, by giving free bottles to registered bottlers, the company has gone a step further in eliminating cost of the bottles which could be reflected in the prices of the product. Global operations strategy for a company should be a joint concept between the company and the intermediaries between the company and the consumers. The Coca Cola Company understands the concept well and tries to create relationships not only with the intermediaries but also the consumers. It has opened up chances for other people to gain employment through selling of the company’s products. It is indeed an international renowned company (Taylor 41).

           There are some of the areas that the company should improve to reduce the threats from its number one competitor that is Pepsi. The company should conduct more research in countries where Pepsi is gaining popularity to avoid customers substituting Coca Cola products with Pepsi products. It is a tight competition and not even the most famous company can survive without proper strategies put in place to guide against competitors (Taylor 41).

Sample Interview Questions

(i)                 What makes The Coca Cola Company to be the best beverage company?

(ii)               Are consumers of the Coca Cola products satisfied with the company products?

(iii)             How the company does make sure that it caters for the needs of the consumers?

(iv)              In what ways does the company takes advantage of a particular market?

(v)               What are the major strengths that you feel the company has over its competitors?

(vi)             What are your views of the future of The Coca Cola Company?

Sample Questionnaire

(i)                 Which drink is the most favorable in the market?

(ii)               As a consumer, which drink are you likely to find in the market?

(iii)             Which is the most affordable beverage to you and caters for your need?

(iv)             Which is your most preferred drink from The Coca Cola Company?

(v)               As a consumer, how are your needs meet by the company?

(vi)             Which areas do you think the company should improve for the company to continually serving its customers well?

(vii)           Which flavor of the company’s product do you like the most?

References

Ciampa, Davis. & Watkins Morris:  Taking Charge in a New Leadership Role: New York: Harvard Business School Press: 2003: pp.46.

Fekete, Smith. & Keith, Ley: Companies are people too: New York: John Wiley & Sons: 2003: pp.15.

Pankay, Ghemawat: Globalization: The Strategy of Differences: The Wall Street Journal: November: 2003: pp.5

Patton, Jim: How To Do A Research Project And Write A Good Paper: New York: John Wiley & Sons: pp.57: pp.12.

Taylor, mike: Cultural Variance as a Challenge to Global Public Relations: The Wall Street Journal: 2000: pp. 41.

 

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