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This report aims at critically auditing the Coca-Cola Company within the United Kingdom jurisdiction both internally as well as externally by evaluating their brand position within the United Kingdom market, exploring their weaknesses, strengths, threats as well as opportunities. The report will also consist of the company’s competitive analysis, their SWOT and PESTEL analysis to establish their standing within the United Kingdom market. The paper will further explore Coca-Cola Company’s marketing mix which consists of the 7Ps, that is, product, promotion, price, place, process, physical outlook/ packaging, people, and positioning. The will then critically analyse and bring out an understanding of sustainable and ethical issues of the Coca-Cola Company that is affecting its marketing strategies within the United Kingdom market. A SMART marketing objective will then conclude the paper for the vision 2020 that will help boost the market position of the Coca-Cola brand in the market.
Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational company, corporation, retailer manufacturer as well as a non-alcoholic marketer of beverage syrups and concentrates. The company is known for its main brand coca cola invented in 1886. The company has its headquarters in the Atlanta, Georgia within the United States but has different bottlers around the world including the United Kingdom. The company distributes its syrup concentrate all over the world thereby enabling various bottlers all over the world to mix the syrup concentrate to form the actual bottled or canned drinks. Coca-Cola is known as the number one soft drink company within the United Kingdom as well as all over the world. The company has utilised its market-oriented nature as well as customer-driven nature to ensure that their customers get the best refreshing beverage nonalcoholic drinks in the market. Within the United Kingdom alone, Coca-Cola has over eighty drinks across its twenty branded products which include Coca-Cola Classic, Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Glaceau Smartwater and Vitamin, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, lilt among others. Coca-Cola Company has adopted healthy beverage production following the rise in sensitivity over healthy lifestyles. The company, therefore, came up with zero sugar brands aimed at refreshing individuals with weight issues and those who wanted to stay healthy and sugar-free. The company has bought some brands within the United Kingdom to ensure that they serve their customers within this jurisdiction (Hays, 2005, 5-15). The company has also ventured in other drinks such as energy drinks as well as water to help in quenching the thirst of their customers within the United Kingdom. The company utilises its financial power as well as economies of scale to ensure that they provide their branded products at affordable prices due to the reduced costs of production. The company has employed more than one thousand employees and making billions of profits each year.
To ensure that they dominate the United Kingdom market in the both the near as well as distant future, the company normally forecasts by planning by understanding the forces as well as trends expected to affect the business and flexibly design their products to suit these trends. Coca-Cola Company mission includes:
ü To create value as well as make a difference
ü To refresh the world in body, mind as well as the spirit
ü To inspire optimistic as well as happy moments through Coca-Cola brands as well as actions
The company has succeeded in ensuring that they refresh their consumers within the United Kingdom as well as share help in sharing happy moments within the United Kingdom (Aaron and Siegel, 2017, 20-30). Coca-Cola minds the health of its consumers and have always considered this factor in coming up with low sugar brands as well as zero sugar brands for the market segmented who do not use take in sugar due to health issues.
The company has achieved its missions by coming up with a set of goals to help achieve its missions:
ü Inspiring the best out of people by providing a good working environment
ü Offering a portfolio of drinks within the United Kingdom that satisfies, anticipates as well as exceed customer’s needs and desires
ü Grooming a network of winning partners as well as building mutual loyalty to their brand
ü Giving back to the society by acting responsibly by helping in the building as well as supporting sustainable communities within the United Kingdom as a corporate social responsible responsibility
ü Ensuring high effectiveness in production and profitability
The company is pride in their giving back to society through charities as well as other customer-oriented discounts as well as incentives. The company is also known for its integrity, accountability, diversity, quality products, passion as well as good leadership and collaboration with customers to ensure that they put customer needs, tastes and preferences are given utmost priority during the product design (Ramraika and Trivedi, 2016). The company also supports the call for the clean environment by ensuring that their packages are recycled as well as not harmful to the environment as well as easily disposable.
The United Kingdom government supported the implementation of the healthy eating programme also known as the change4life program in which they spent over seventy-five pounds back in 2009 and have increased this sensitisation since that time. The Coca-Cola Company has since then invested in healthy soft drink products, for example, the zero sugar brands as well as water drinks among others. By this move, Coca-Cola customer base has increased tremendously expanding to those who did not consume their products due to high sugar levels (Broyles et al., 2015). The government has also supported the move against pollution by imposing bans on any activities that may lead to pollution.
The public has supported environmental conservation campaigns due to the hazardous effects of environmental pollution as well as pollutants. Legislations have been put in place to aid in ensuring that pollution is minimised as well as completely avoided to ensure that their products only benefits consumers within the United Kingdom and never affect them negatively in any way (Wright and Pujari, 2017, 109-125). Coca-Cola Company production processes are environmentally friendly as well as employing packaging products which can be recycled and therefore never disposed into the environment.
Consumer trends in the markets have always determined the products produced within the beverage industry. The United Kingdom market has raised concerns over unhealthy beverage products prompting the Coca-Cola Company to come up with healthy drinks aimed at ensuring their clients’ needs and preferences are respected in the production process. Artificial ingredients have also been identified to have negative effects on customers, and therefore the company has resorted to using natural ingredients to ensure that their customer’s health is given priority over the company’s profitability (Gertner and Rifkin, 2018, 162-170).
Innovation has ensured enhancement in technology all over the world, and the United Kingdom is among the hubs of innovation centres has not been left behind. Coca-Cola Company utilises better technological machines in the production of their beverages when compared to their competitors due to their financial abilities. The use of automated machines has enabled the company to enjoy large economies of scales thereby reducing their cost of production as well as making it efficient, fast and effective. The company has also adopted various digital marketing strategies aimed at ensuring a wide scope reach to all United Kingdom citizens to ensure they are up to date with the products, offers as well as services offered by the Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola has come up with websites, as well as other social platforms enabling it to market its products as well as ensure the achievement of its missions and visions. The company has also employed technology in their distribution channels to ensure smooth distribution of their products within the United Kingdom to ensure that their products are made available to the customers by ensuring they are available in the right place at the right time in the right quantity as well as at the right price.
Brexit has impacted the economic position of the country by affecting the disposable income by the customers as well as increasing inflation in the country thereby increasing prices of products within the United Kingdom. These factors have affected the purchase decision-making process of customers. The Coca-Cola Company over the years have expanded over time and have therefore provided employment opportunities to members of the public thereby improving their financial status due to the handsome payments involved with this country.
The legal system has come up with legislation aimed at protecting consumers as well as boosting their health standards. The government has come up with health as well as safety regulations which all food industries within the United Kingdom have to respect to ensure that their citizens are safe. Safety legislation, for example, fire safety legislation are aimed at ensuring that employees are protected within their working jurisdiction. Several legislations involving standards have been put in place to ensure that products meet a certain standard, therefore, ensuring that Coca-Cola company products, and other products, are of the right quality as well as quantity. These strict legislations aid in protecting both the workers within the Coca-Cola Company as well as customers to ensure that they are protected.
PESTEL Analysis of Coca-Cola
PESTEL forces are normally aimed at ensuring that organisations, as well as companies, aim at ensuring quality as well as quantity healthy products to consumers at the same time ensuring clean environment as well as the safety of employees. However, the Coca-Cola company has been associated with certain unethical practices which have caused a lot of concerns within the United Kingdom. It was realised in 2017 November that Coca-Cola Amatil, a Coca-Cola subsidiary was using Indonesian Suharto dictatorship structures to prevent workers’ right to organise. Also the same year, Coca-Cola used palm oil ingredients which were uncertified thereby raising questions over their quality. The company has also received an average or rather a middle-ranking position when it comes to environmental reports. Most of it processes aimed at ensuring that it improved its water efficiencies as well as ensure better recovery as well as recycling by improving its bottles as well as cans to ensure that they were 100% recovery rates. In politics, Coca-Cola Company has been accused of evading tax thereby listed among the top two companies which were unethical due to tax evasion cases. SHARK, an animal abuse campaign group documented injuries, abuse as well as deaths of rodeos around America with which Coca-Cola is among the largest sponsors (Elliott-Green et al., 2016, 12-34). They have associated these deaths, injuries, as well as injuries to the Coca-Cola Company since coca cola products, contain small traces of fish gelatin.
Coca-Cola SWOT Analysis (Santos and Laczniak, 2015)
ü Ethical as well as charitable business operations within the United Kingdom by involving in Corporate Social Responsibility activities aimed at making the community better.
ü Large customer base due to its universal market segmentation leading to high profitability
ü Introduction of ethically accepted products in the market
ü High flexibility thereby exploiting the market easily with regards to trends as well as changing market needs
ü Coca-Cola is the largest beverage company in the world thereby benefiting from large economies of scale
ü Customer focused as well as demand-driven missions and values ensuring high sales due to high product acceptability in the market.
ü Availability of healthy as well as nutritious beverage drinks free from sugar as well as artificial ingredients thereby posing no health risks
ü Coca-Cola is a strong brand especially the Coca-Cola brand which is a powerhouse brand with a distinct formula only known by leading top management thereby making it a cash cow in the beverage industry
ü Coca-Cola products have enjoyed massive support from within the United Kingdom since as early as the early 1900s thereby increasing its brand loyalty compared to other companies for example PepsiCo.
ü The company has utilised technology as well as innovations to enhance its products as well as help in its aggressive marketing campaigns aimed at controlling United Kingdom markets
ü The Coca-Cola brand has developed power over its consumers since the company is known for influencing consumer buying decisions through its various marketing campaigns as well as brand identity
ü Coca-Cola has one of the widest distribution chains in the United Kingdom thereby enabling it to avail its products in the right quantity at the right place at the right time ensuring large sales
ü Presence of competitors for example Pepsi Company that has been the company’s arch rival
ü Coca-Cola has a low diversification of its products unlike Pepsi which has diversified into snacks
ü Coca-Cola is still among the leading causes of unhealthy lifestyles and conditions such as obesity due to the production of both healthy as well as unhealthy beverages raising concerns
ü Coca-Cola has faced a lot of suits for its large consumption of water during the dilution of its concentric syrups as well as the production of water products.
ü Competition by both multinational beverage companies as well as local beverage companies within the United Kingdom
ü Changing trends in consumer want, tastes and preferences threaten the products produced by the company each day since it is involved in continuous large scale production of products unlike other smaller companies
ü Economies of scale thereby reducing its costs of production enabling the company to achieve a cost leadership role in the market
ü Diversification into both health as well as food beverage products will ensure that the company increases its market segments from its existing refreshment market to the sensitive health markets by providing them with zero sugar products
ü With the increasing demand for hygiene and health standards of living, the company can introduce its packaged water product successfully to the market due to the massive support for this product
ü The company has also resorted to marketing its lesser selling or known products in the market by ensuring an aggressive marketing strategy to enable these products to sell within the United Kingdom
ü The company utilises its supply chain to ensure that its products are made available to customers as well as save warehousing costs by using retailers, wholesalers as well as stores to aid in ensuring that their products are availed cheaply to customers
ü The company is facing a possible water shortage threat due to its large consumption of water especially during the production stages
ü The company faces indirect competition from healthy beverage products for example tea, coffee, as well as other carbonated drinks, for example, energy drinks and Tropicana are giving the Coca-Cola brand competition
Market segmentation is vital during strategic marketing to ensure that all market segments are satisfied due to the difference in tastes, needs as well as preferences in these segments. To ensure customer growth and retention, the company has to separate its clients into different segments to ensure that they are influenced in different ways to buy Coca-Cola branded products. Demographic segmentation is used to divide the market according to gender, age, and ethnicity as well as occupation. Psychographic segmentation is utilised to divide the market into different segments including based on usage stats, benefits, occasions, lifestyle as well as loyalty status. The UK market can also be segmented using geographic segmentation where customers are divided based on cities, are, as well as regions (Melancon, and Dalakas, 2018, 157-167. Socioeconomic segmentation can also be utilised to divide the customers based on their classes including high, low as well as middle-class customers.
The Coca-Cola Company faces competition mostly from the Pepsi Company. Its major archrival within the UK market as well as other local beverage companies. The company also faces indirect competition from healthy beverage providers for example coffee, tea, as well as energy drink companies such as Red Bull Company as well as Monster. Although the company faces these competitors in the market, Coca-Cola having a strong brand image has been able to triumph over its competitors due to its aggressive marketing policies as well as its move to share moments with its customers thereby enabling the company to engage its customers thereby influencing their purchasing decisions (Renz and Vogel, 2016, 6-17). The company has employed several corporate socially responsible activities including involving in community programs such as sports, sponsoring unable students as well as involving in other charity activities aimed at improving the company’s image within the United Kingdom to ensure that they benefit within this market.
Current Marketing Mix
Coca-Cola Company has developed over twenty branded soft drinks over its few years of operation within the United Kingdom. Its products are always developed as well as designed based on consumer needs, preferences, tastes as well as trends in society (Hansen, 2016, 1-10). This ensures that its products are always demand driven as well as consumer-oriented to ensure maximum acceptability of its products in the market.
The company utilises different pricing strategies during the various seasons enabling them to change their prices according to different occasions. Coca-Cola is known for its cost leadership position in the market due to its economies of scale advantage which enables it to produce a large number of products at lower production costs. Slightly higher prices accompany summer seasons compared to winter periods which are associated with fairly low prices (Keller, 2000, 147-150). Generally, Coca-Cola products are always of high quality and are provided at affordable prices when compared to other brands.
The company has utilised many promotional mix factors to ensure their products sell in the market which includes advertisements especially television ads, digital or online promotions among others. The company also purchases shelves in big departmental stores and display their products in attractive manners to ensure they are displayed to customers. The company also sponsors events and institutions for example school cafes as well as sports to market itself to customers. The company also engages in UTC schemes where they promote their product by coming up with rewards for those who buy their products for example watches, T-shirts, cash prizes among other rewards (Singh and Sahin, 2017, 159-165) The use of online platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms aid in ensuring their products are made known in the market.
Coca-Cola brand is sold in the entire UK having bottling plants in many parts within the country to ensure availability of their branded product. The company utilises appealing packages to ensure that their clients can be attracted to their products or rather can locate them from far due to their attractiveness.
Coca-Cola invests in its working force and ensures they target the most skilled as well as highly qualified personnel during their recruitments and hiring activities. The company also train their new and existing employees to ensure they are capable of maintaining the quality status of the brand. The workforce is also well paid and treated to ensure they are motivated to ensure they perform to their potentials and as a measure of retaining its skilled labour.
The company utilises its secret ingredients in the preparation of its products and therefore provide its concentrate syrup for mixing in its different bottling companies. Their production process is normally flexible and customer driven to ensure that they take advantage of market acceptance (Sauerbronn et al., 2018, 52-60). The company also utilises the latest technology machines to aid in the production process to increase production efficiency.
Coca-Cola utilises two types of selling, that is indirect and direct selling. Indirect selling, they distribute their products to shops as well as retailers and stores for reselling to customers. In indirect selling, they deal with the various wholesalers and agencies within the UK to ensure that these products are availed at the right place in the right quantity at the right time.
SMART Objectives (Brondoni, 2015, 6-21)
To at least double their revenues and profit by 2020 to aid in expanding the company in its quest for global dominance
Measurement of revenues annually to establish if their goals will be achieved before 2020
This goal is achievable due to the brand strength, market position globally as well as the motivated workforce
The company has resorted to incorporating partners, employees as well as customers in their vision to ensure they succeed
This vision is bound to be completed by 20120
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