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According to Petretti (2006), the Coca-Cola tale is one of the most remarkable in American industrial history. The drink was inspired by an idea that was invented more than 125 years ago, and it has since been the best-selling and most popular drink of all time. Coca-story Cola's started in 1886 where Dr. John Stith Pemberton created it out of his desire to come up with the perfect medicine. He stirred up a fragrant, caramel-colored liquid. He combined the mixture with carbonate water and afterward tested the soda fountain at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta. Frank Robinson, who was the accountant of the company, named the drink Coca-Cola since he thought that the two Cs would seem interesting in advertising.
In 1888, Asa Candler, an Atlanta pharmacist, became interested in Coca-Cola and quickly purchased the interest owned by others. He gained control of the company after the death of Pemberton later that year. From 1893 to 1904, Candler transformed Coca-Cola from an invention into a business as they started selling beyond Atlanta. He was aware that there are thirsty people out who were potential consumers of the drink. As such, he established innovative and brilliant ways to introduce them to this thrilling refreshment. He outfitted distributing pharmacists with apothecary, calendars, urns and clocks that bared the Coca-Cola brand. This aggressive promotion worked and people saw the Coca-Cola everywhere. Asa Candler sold the rights to bottle the drink in most of the United States to Joseph Whitehead and Benjamin Thomas for $1. In 1904, the first advertising for the company appeared in national magazine.
The period from 1919 to 1940 is regarded as the Woodruff legacy in Coca-Cola’s history. This is because Woodruff saw the opportunity for expansion everywhere. He spend almost 6 decades as the leader of the company, introducing the beverage to the world beyond, unlike Candler who only introduced the U.S. Woodruff and thus did not only make the company a huge success, but made Coca-Cola a big part of people’s lives. In 1941, the World War Two also led to the legacy of Coca-Cola. The country and Coca-Cola rallied behind the thousands of men and women who sent overseas. As such, each man in uniform received the drink for five cents wherever they were and at whatever cost the company. Many Europeans enjoyed the first taste of the Coke during the war, and when Coca-Cola was doing a lot of business overseas, then peace finally came.
From 1960 to 1981, the Coca-Cola Company was perceived to be enjoying the world of customers. As such, advertising was always an exciting and important part of the Coca-Cola’s business. This reflected a brand totally in tune with freedom, playfulness and fun. In 1978, the organization was chosen as the only business permitted to sell packaged cold drinks in China. The 1980s was a time of much innovation and change. In 1981, Roberto Gouizeta became the company’s chairman and CEO. The bottling operations were introduced in Russia in 1985, and the formula for the beverage was for the first time in 99 years was dubbed the “New Coke.” Nonetheless, this generated protests, which led to the reintroduction of the new formula, which was renamed Coca-Cola classic. From 1990 to present, Coca-Cola has been committed to local markets. As such, the organization has paid attention to what consumers from different background and cultures like to drink as well as how and where they want to drink it. The values of the Coca-Cola bottle have also steadily increased over years (Petretti, 2006).
Doctor John Stith Pemberton is the founder of Coca-Cola. He was born in Knoxville Georgia in the year 1831. Pemberton is a trained pharmacist. He fought in the Civil War and he aspired to invent something that would ensure he achieved commercial success after the war. He decided to try his hand in the beverage market after everything he made failed in pharmacies. The soda fountain was becoming trendy as a social gathering spot during his time. Making soda-fountain just made sense since temperance was keeping patrons out of bars. This led to Pemberton creating Coca-Cola. After experimenting with the Coca and Cola drink, Pemberton finally felt that it was right (Petretti, 2008). However, Pemberton was not aware of the potential for his invention. For this reason, he sold portions of the company to various partners. This was when Asa Candler came in and invented one of the most innovative techniques for marketing Coca-Cola.
1.3. Early Products
After considerable success with the brand Coca-Cola, the organization chose to expand with new flavors. This includes first Sprite, which was introduced 1961. The product is a lemon and lime-flavored drink, which is caffeine-free and colorless. Another flavor is TAB, and it was adopted in 1963 as a diet drink. The Coca-Cola Company also introduced Fresca in 1966. The product is a grapefruit citrus and diet lime soft drink (Plunkett, 2007).
Gillespie (2013) pointed out that the product entails the tangible factors relating to the product, including its design, quality and specification. The product also comprises intangible factors, which are the guarantees provided, the after-sale service and the brand image. The Coca-Cola Company has a remarkably extensive portfolio in the beverage industry consisting of more than 300 products. The organization has divided the beverages into coffee, tea, energy drinks, water, fruit drinks, 100 percent fruit juices and diet drinks. The group is dedicated to paying attention to the changing needs of the customers when it comes to the products. The company cares about the well-being and the health of the consumers. For this reason, Coca-Cola is working to assist people everywhere lead an active and healthy lifestyle. With the variety of beverage products, sizes and nutritional information presented on the packages, the organization strives to help, motivate and inform the consumers to make sensible beverage choices that are compatible with individual lifestyle and needs.
Coca-Cola ensures that it provides the right product so as to satisfy the needs of the target market. The consumers are not paying for the tangible product, but for the benefit it offers. For the company, the customer research has been the primary aspect of an effective product. Their knowledge of the competitors and their target market has enabled them to provide products that appeal to the consumers. The organization has a different type of growth, which is the diversification of its products that are linked to its business offering product. On this note, offering a variety of products has enabled the Coca-Cola Company to be the most successful because the distribution method, the production process and raw materials are similar. This means that Coca-Cola does not have to acquire new distribution method, equipment, skills as well as suppliers.
Figure 1: Coca-Cola Products
Source: Coca-Cola India (2017).
Gillespie (2013) stated that price represents what the clients paid for the product at the point of purchase. Coca-Cola prices its products competitively with its closest competitor in the beverage segment such as Pepsi. For this reason, the prices of the Coca-Cola products are not high are not too cheap to give a low quality impression and are also not too high to be beyond the average customer’s reach. Besides, the pricing strategy of Coca-Cola is meant to drive brand loyalty. Furthermore, as a consequence of the decreasing demand for the soda products, the competition for pricing has even become intense between Coca-Cola and its rivals such as Pepsi. The prices are decreased with the size of purchase. This means that a consumer will pay significantly lower prices when they make a bulk purchase than when they buy a single Coca-Cola product.
Fixing the prices for the products offered by Coca-Cola is a tricky job. This is because while doing so, the company has to keep various aspects in mind. This include factors such as government restrictions, the prices that the rivals charge for similar products or the ones that are close substitutes, the ability of the consumer’s to pay, cost involved and the demand for the product. Pricing is a vital decision area for the Coca-Company because it influences the profitability of the firm as well as the requirement for the product. Efficient pricing has been crucial to the success of the Coca-Cola Company. This is because their prices have countered the offer of the competition, it has contributed to the organization’s image by communicating the perceived value of the products, and it has also covered the costs. Prices must include the changes made in price per segment and per channel (Gillespie, 2013).
Place is where the Coca-Cola presents its products for sale. Gillespie (2013) argued that one of the strengths of Coca-Cola is that it widely distributes its products whereby the consumers can easily get it whenever they are thirsty. One of the aims of the company is to be within an arm’s length of desire. Therefore, it is available all over the world and it is the most favorite brand globally. The products are available in bottles and cans in various retail stores as well as supermarkets. Additionally, Coca-Cola offers their suppliers fountain drinks, which are used in many restaurants. Therefore, the products are being sold in thousands of pop vending machines placed in public buildings and businesses. This convenience and ease of getting the products has been a critical factor to the loyalty of the customers.
Coca-Cola has an excellent channel of distribution, which comprises a chain of institutions and individuals such as retailers, wholesalers, and distributors who consist of the distribution network of the firm. Instead of selling directly to the consumers, Coca-Cola sells its products through intermediaries, including the retailers and wholesalers who resell the products. Doing this has provided Coca-Cola with a wider distribution compared to if it was selling the products directly. In turn, this has decreased the pressure of managing their system of distribution. Besides, they have as well reduced the storage space needed for the inventory. For Coca-Cola, the access to the consumers is one of the most critical reasons why they sell through the intermediary. These retailers and wholesalers have connections to the customers that Coca-Cola would possibly access by itself. The place also entails the specific details in the channel, which involves the levels of training and authorization required or provided for the business markets (Gillespie, 2013).
Gillespie (2013) stated that development involves the messages that the producer conveys in regards to its product as well as the manner in which these messages are communicated by the business. As such, Coca-Cola has created an increased demand in the market by adopting various promotional as well as advertising strategies. They do so by associating with behavior and life and primarily focusing on value-based advertising. A person is more likely to see a coke ad individualized with a general positive message or for a particular festival. The company allows allowances and price discounts to retailers and distributors and employs various types of sales promotion son as to push more products into the market. Therefore, Coca-Cola uses both the pull strategy through campaigns and advertisement and the push strategy through promotions.
Coca-Cola is regarded as the as one of the biggest spender in advertising and marketing, and most of the cost of its products is as a result of its marketing. The advertising strategy by the organization has played a critical role in forming the entire marketing industries many countries whereby it has transformed the significance of simple things to promote itself. The promotion by Coca-Cola has two major aspects, which are advertisement and slogan. Every notice of the company has a motto with the recent one being “Taste the feeling.” Coca-Cola uses some of its budgets on television advertising. As part of its branding, Coca-Cola has used a message of tradition and nostalgia as well as polar bear characters overtime. Other marketing media that Coca-Cola has used include online and social media as well as magazines ads. The social media accounts for the organization used for customer engagement as well as to connect with followers and fans.
Figure 2: Coca-Cola Advertisement
Source: Ads. (2016).
2.5. Licensing Agreement
The Coca-Cola Company has broad brand licensing programs founded on the trademark of the organization. Nonetheless, there are numerous aspects of the organization’s corporate, which are and may be licensed to third parties. The design as well as the red and black background with which the Coca-Cola mark is displayed, for instance, is an artwork that may be licensed to third parties. This is aimed at exhibiting on products in concurrence with the trademark. Likewise, the design of the Coke bottle is a trade dress and it may as well be licensed to third parties to come up with among other things such as drinking glasses, which have similar appearance as well as shape to the famous contour Coke bottle. Furthermore, the organization licenses companies globally to use and keep confidential its secret formula for the syrup used in the soft drink. The foreign enterprise, in return, pays Coca-Cola a percentage of the earnings they get from the sale of the soft drink (Miller & Jentz, 2010). Every licensed product that the organization creates is an enduring embodiment of the brand that provokes reconsideration and leads to often consumption of the beverages and the brand continues to have a life. The organization perceives licensing to be a powerful tool for marketing.
According to experts, there is a link between happiness and wellness, and Coca-Cola prides itself playing part in happy occasions globally. Coca-Cola was founded more than 125 years and its many years of experience in sparkling soft drinks have given them the knowledge that they utilize to all its beverage categories. As such, they ensure that they provide the right mix of options in calorie content, pack sizes and brands. The objective of the enterprise is to offer compelling and unique products that inspire moments of happiness and builds preference for their brands. For this reason, they produce brands that appeal to numerous people from all ages, genders and races. The business sells its products to over 200 countries, which makes it well known for its worldwide popularity. As such, the branding of the organization persistently surpasses all other beverage businesses. In comparison to its competitors, many aspects of Coca-Cola have proved to be superior. These ranges from implementation plan and market mix strategy to positioning. Another issue includes promotional techniques to corporate structure. These aspects also instigate the organization to aspire for higher missions and goals.
It can be argued that Coca-Cola has continually stood for integrity and quality with a commitment to serve the community as well as the consumers. This is the deep-seated value that the company implements tin every philanthropic donation it gives and to every drink it helps. The organization is perceived to be the most leading manufacture of beverages globally. This is because there is no place that Coca-Cola has not reached. Moreover, the reason as to why Coca-Cola is on top of its rivals is because they provide more variety.
The Coca-Cola Company has various plans. For instance, the organization is evolving the strategy for its business so as to become a total beverage company. They intend to accomplish this by offering the consumers with more of the drinks they want. This includes selling more packages in more locations with the products containing low and no-sugar options across numerous categories. Besides, the organization intends to build a portfolio that shifts focus to what the customers want to buy rather than what the company wants to sell. Coca-Cola is aware that the customers are aspiring for products that are more natural that have more benefits and with less sugar. For this reason, the multifaceted approach of the organization is aimed at meeting the changing needs as well as tastes, which entails reducing calories and sugar across many brands. In this case, the agency plans to provide new drinks that offer health benefits such as nutrition and hydration. The enterprise is also funding research so that they can learn. This will enable them to inform their customers as well the business about the packaging, ingredient, and the health issues such as obesity, which pose a challenge. Coca-Cola has also started the journey towards the goal of supporting the current recommendation of numerous health authorities. An example is the World Health Organization. The recommendation is that people should consume less added sugar drinks to a maximum of ten percent of their energy intake (Moye, 2017).
Ads. (2016). Slideshow: Vintage Coca-Cola Bottle Print Ads. The Coca-Cola Company. Retrieved 18 May 2017, from http://www.coca-colacompany.com/vintage-coca-cola- bottle-advertisements.
Coca-Cola India. (2017). Product List & Descriptions - Coca-Cola India. Coca-Cola India. Retrieved 18 May 2017, from https://www.coca-colaindia.com/our-products/product-list- descriptions/.
Gillespie, A. E. (2013). Business economics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Miller, R., & Jentz, G. (2010). Fundamentals of business law (1st ed.). Mason, OH: South- Western Cengage Learning.
Moye, J. (2017). Coke’s Way Forward: New Business Strategy to Focus on Choice, Convenience and the Consumer. The Coca-Cola Company. Retrieved 18 May 2017, from http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/cokes-way-forward-new-business-strategy-to- focus-on-choice-convenience-and-the-consumer.
Petretti, A. (2006). Warman's Coca-Cola Collectibles: Identification and Price Guide. Krause Publications.
Petretti, A. (2008). Petretti's Coca-Cola Collectibles Price Guide: The Encyclopedia of Coca- Cola Collectibles. Krause Publications.
Plunkett, J. W. (2007). The Almanac of American Employers 2008. Houston, TX: Plunkett Research Ltd.
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