Coca-Cola is the most popular beverage company in history and the world’s most popular product. John S. Pemberton founded the company in Atlanta, Georgia, and Coca-Cola was the first soda fountain beverage made by combining Coca-Cola syrup and carbonated water. It was later trademarked in 1887 (Hays, 2005). Coca-Cola is defined by the various products it brings to the market to become the most recognized and desired soft drink brand. The company is dedicated to marketing and distributing non-alcoholic soft drinks, producing over 400 brands through a network of bottling partners. The company’s headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia, and it runs its operations in more than 190 countries. It offers various drinks in various flavors and for various occasions.
Sustainable worldwide corporate success necessitates understanding local cultures, including work, leisure, and relaxation. Programs promoting health, education, diversity, and the ecosystem are a priority for Coca-Cola. The company’s goal is to be a world-class enterprise that continuously makes decisions that benefit the communities in which it operates while also maximizing shareholder value (Grgić, 2020). A systematic, independent, and periodic analysis of the company’s objectives, strategies, and activities will be conducted in this paper to identify all of the company’s problem areas, hence recommending short- and long-term measures to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Coca -Cola’s future.
Data was collected through a survey on product analysis conducted among ten students of both genders, primarily teenagers between 18 and 21 years of age. According to the survey findings, Coca-Cola is one of the most popular products among American families (Guo & Wen, 2021). The survey comprises a single section that contains four questions (closed-ended) designed to ascertain whether consumers are delighted with the current product or not. The responses to these questions were consistent with expectations, as most responses were favorable toward the product.
Students were asked to name which brand they preferred the most between Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Except for one participant who preferred Pepsi, all respondents preferred drinking and purchasing Coca-Cola products. Following that, they were asked to rate their frequency of soda consumption on a 1 to 5 scale. They all responded on a larger scale to this beverage’s consumption. They were asked about the product’s presentation in the third question. It was on a scale of 1 to 5, with one indicating they disliked the presentation and five indicating they adored the brand’s presentation. They all responded positively to the brand presentation. Finally, respondents were asked if they preferred Coca-Cola over the other competitors, and 95% stated that Coca-Cola was their preferred soft drink.
Market segmentation is a marketing strategy that divides potential customers into groups based on everyday needs and tends to respond similarly to a given marketing effort. This strategy enables companies to target different customers, each with a different idea of the absolute worth of different products and services. Coca-Cola’s segmentation is based on demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral factors (Guo & Wen, 2021). Coca-Cola may have started in the United States, but it has spread its brand to many countries worldwide. Coca-Cola beverages are generally intended for all consumers, as the company states. Coca-Cola’s target consumer is anyone looking to have an excellent refreshing time, whether solo or with friends, on a date or at work.
Geographic and Demographic Segmentation
Females and men between the ages of 15 and 28 years are the most consistently targeted population. Coca-Cola has been pursuing a multi-segment strategy in the majority of markets. The strategy entails the implementation of distinct product portfolios, pricing, and packaging for distinct market segments (Wang, 2021). These market segments are defined by distribution channel types, consumption occasion, competitive intensity, and socioeconomic status. Additionally, Coca-Cola has a national and international distribution network that reaches rural and urban areas. However, their products are more widely distributed in suburban and urban areas than rural and marginalized areas. Demographic segmentation is mainly based on the following:
- Gender. Coca-Cola has remained true to its core values throughout its long history, including having something for everyone. Men and women generally have distinct attitudes and behavioral orientations influenced by their genetic makeup and socialization practices (Wang, 2021). Since its inception, the company has maintained its focus, even as the industry has grown to include numerous products. Coca-Cola’s soft drink lineup appeals to both sexes; hence, the market is sizable and open to both sexes, allowing for greater product diversification.
- Size of the family. Coca-Cola’s base segmentation is also called Basis. In today’s society, families are of varying sizes. With that in mind, the Coca-Cola Company offers a variety of bottle options, including 300ml, 500ml, 1L, 1.25L, 1.5L, and 2L. Cola Company caters to all, whether a nuclear family or an extended one, single or married, school or a church. Hence, individuals can easily select an appropriate packaging option based on their family or company if one is hosting.
- Income. When people think of high-quality fizzy drinks, one of the first names that come to mind is Coca-Cola. The company offers a diverse selection of products; each providing a positive consumer experience. Similarly, Coca-Cola categorizes its products according to their packaging. For instance, the company offers a small returnable glass bottle to those with a low income, a non-returnable glass bottle to those with a medium income, and a can of coke to those with a high income. However, in either case, all products are available to everyone.
Psychographic segmentation is a research methodology that uses psychological characteristics like attitudes, lifestyle, opinions, activities, interests, social status, and personality to divide consumers into groups. Similarly, Coca-Cola divides its consumers into groups based on their values, personality, and lifestyle. Individuals belonging to the same group can possess wildly divergent psychographic profiles. As a result, the Coca-Cola Company manufactures and develops products compatible with their personalities.
- Lifestyle. Individuals exhibit a much broader range of lifestyles than is suggested. Individuals differ in their interests, activities, and attitudes, all of which influence the services and goods they consume (Grgić, 2020). For instance, players and athletes can cool down with an energy drink while kids having their meal can enjoy a bottle of coke. Hence the Coca-Cola Company showcases ideal quality products for today’s lifestyles (busy or idle) and mobile generation.
- Personality. The Coca-Cola Company always segments its market based on different personality traits. They imbue their products with a personality brand that goes hand in hand with the personality of the target consumer (Wang, 2021). Whether one is ambitious, easy-going, or determined, Coca-cola is guaranteed to accommodate everyone. A good example is selling Coca-Cola refreshments in bottles branded with various names so that people can identify with them.
Behavioral segmentation is classifying and categorizing customers according to their behaviors. Additionally, it assists the company in identifying products that customers dislike, allowing them to focus their marketing efforts on those products. Coca-Cola consumers are segmented behaviorally based on their attitude towards, response to, or knowledge of a product. Similarly, according to Wang (2021), many marketers believe that the best starting points for segmentation are behavioral variables, including; benefits, occasions, user status, attitude, buyer-readiness stage, loyalty status, and usage rate attitude.
Product positioning is how advertising strategies attempt to impose brands on consumers’ minds by combining the best features and attributes that meet their needs. The product’s positioning is determined by the consumer’s sensations, feelings, perceptions, and impressions regarding the product and its competitors (Guo & Wen, 2021). Consumers have seen Coca-Cola as the only reasonable choice because of its positioning approach. For Coca-Cola, developing a positioning strategy meant accurately portraying the goods and services they provide to its customers. As part of its positioning strategy highlighted its uniqueness and distinctness compared to its competitors’ branding (Grgić, 2020). Coca-Cola connected its product to the customer’s knowledge and value, thus emphasizing its advantages. Additionally, its positioning strategy included comparisons of Coca-Cola products to its competitors, including Pepsi, to convince their consumers that Coca-Cola products were higher quality and standard.
A pricing strategy is an approach for determining the right price for a product. Profits and shareholder value may be maximized while considering market demand and customer preferences. Coca-Cola product prices vary by brand and size. The products typically have a globally consistent price. They employ psychological pricing, a theory that specific prices have a physiological effect (Wang, 2021). Price differentiation or price standardization may be required depending on the market segment. The company bases its pricing on the consumer’s perceived value and not the seller’s cost. Coca-Cola’s market penetration pricing strategy chooses a low-price strategy for new products to attract many consumers and capture a sizable market share.
- Special pricing. The Coca-Cola Company will constantly adjust its prices for commercial paying customers who pay in advance, purchase large quantities, and demonstrate brand loyalty. Such customers are consistently awarded discounted prices and branded loyal customers by the company. Additionally, the company has two classifications of customer loyalty: hard-core and soft-core loyal. Hard-core loyal are the daily consumers of the product, and soft-core loyal recognize Coca-Cola as the brand of choice when it comes to soft drinks.
- Numerous products. Variety is a component of Coca-Cola’s sub-products; this refers to the variety of products available to consumers. Coca-Cola has approximately 300 varieties worldwide. Different types of beverages are available in each country and region, depending on the atmosphere and nature of the people (Wang, 2021). Products ranging from soft drinks to energy drinks and water are all but examples of the varieties Coca-Cola offers.
Different Components of the Price
- Quality and Design. Advertisers use quality as a primary positioning tool. Product quality is measured on two axes: performance level and product development consistency. The seller must select a level of quality that is consistent with the products’ position in the target market and with Coca-Cola. Additionally, design is critical in today’s competitive marketplace. The design gives the product a new look, and the Coca-Cola bottle design is attractive and unique to the company.
- Brand. Typically, a brand is a word, phrase, design, symbol, or sign that identifies the manufacturer of a product or a combination of these elements (Guo & Wen, 2021). Coca-Cola has a design that is recognized worldwide, with its name prominently displayed on the brand. This, combined with the brand’s signature red color, ensures that the brand stands out and that people do not forget such an eye-catching brand.
Coca-Cola distributes its products indirectly through intermediaries. The business does not sell directly to consumers. Almost all distribution centers sell the products, including sales modules (fairs and tastings), small shops, retail outlets, restaurants, kiosks, gas stations, schools, and entertainment venues. Additionally, the design of the channels, such as Coca-Cola, is a product that most people enjoy; their product is available in small and large quantities and is distributed via the Coca-Cola company’s transport trucks (Hays, 2005). To increase its products’ specialized and dynamic marketing, Coca-Cola’s strategy is to tailor efforts and segment markets according to each consumer segment or distribution channel.
The company’s primary distribution channels are small retailers, consumers such as bars and restaurants, third-party distributors, and supermarkets. To establish a presence in these channels, an in-depth analysis of various beverage consumers’ purchasing habits and preferences in each of the various locations or distribution channels is required. They adapt their product, pricing, packaging, and distribution strategies in response to this analysis to meet each distribution channel’s needs and maximize their respective potential.
Coca-Cola’s goal will always be to reach all consumers, as the brand’s messages are always pleasant and cheerful. That is why it is so popular and hospitable. Coca-Cola has developed brand loyalty through advertising, and these consumers are typically pleased with the product they purchase. On the other hand, advertising enhances learning by reinforcing desirable behavioral expectations or patterns, as the human brain can absorb and process symbolic information (Grgić, 2020). Coca-Cola is a Company whose aim has been to inspire moments of optimism via its products and deeds, generate value, and leave an impact in each place where they operate.
Coca-Cola’s advertising is always categorized by the controversy it provokes. The advertisements are characterized by some beguiling music, an inner message, the famous musicians they feature, or just by their long duration. In addition, they always aim to catch the attention of their consumers through their advertising efforts on the numerous sites visited by the populace (Wang, 2021). Coca-Cola is offered more as a brand than a product and is majorly sold worldwide as a view of life. The moral universe of Coca-Cola is that of happy people. Coca-Cola is the curator of this ethical environment, and it fosters identification to make its customers happy. Anyone can embrace that lifestyle by buying any Coca-Cola product because the advertising claims that their product moves one closer to that ideal living without lying.
The Coca-Cola Company consistently revolutionizes its products with a more elegant and straightforward container design. Some of the Coca-Cola bottle packaging produced include 300, and 500ml tin can packs and returnable glass bottles of 300ml, 500ml, and 1L. The company has also created plastic bottles that range from 350ml to 2L with compact and exquisite style to fulfill each customer’s shopping needs. Additionally, every logo and design of Coca-Cola has a flexible inventiveness, transformation, and aptness to appear on advertising, beach towels, T-shirts, and caps, which provides a complete marketing drive for Coca-Cola. Adage selected the Coca-Cola Company as “Marketer of the Year” in 2011 (Wang, 2021). With this design, Coca-Cola has confirmed its top position in the package design styles of beverages.
Customer Satisfaction and Commitment
As can be noticed in this audit, Coca-Cola has an effective marketing tool and strategy. Their well-known drinks are known or heard by everyone worldwide, including people from all sectors and socioeconomic classes. The people in whom the poll was done allowed us to establish that the Coca-Cola soft drink is their favorite and first pick. In addition to preferences for other brands, according to 9 out of 10 interviewees, the best is Coca-Cola. As well as, everyone felt that the branding of Coca-Cola was highly approachable, and its logo is an effective instrument for its marketing activities. However, these are not data to be cool about since it has been observed that Coca-Cola is a beverage that, in its excess, can affect the health of the individual. Even with this bit of group, please do not doubt that it is represented as a worldwide percentage of the followers and customers of the Coca-Cola family.
Although there are many substitutes for Coca-Cola on the market, the product still has devoted customers who prefer it either because of its taste or its fame as a brand, suggesting that it knows how to position itself. Thanks to the corporation’s excellent advertising methods, most consumers buy it more as a brand than as a product. The biggest strength Coca-Cola Company boasts is the quality image that it projects, sustained by stringent procedures in its creation and bottling.
Coca-Cola is a major world-level brand in terms of soft drinks that stands out for its faultless advertising techniques and the quality of its product array, which offers almost a unique sort of brand. There is no recommendation concerning their marketing campaign since Coca-Cola is part of the popular culture of practically all nations, from Japan to Mexico, from Arabia to England. Coca-Cola has a positioning in people’s minds that it is practically impossible to break what helps each firm product sell almost alone. However, a tip would be to make public the social responsibility it makes in each of the regions where it works that the society perceives as an additional contribution to enhancing people’s lives. This product’s price is also worth noting, as it is the most expensive among its competitors, displacing some social groups. Therefore, cutting the costs of certain drinks would be incredibly effective for the market since any social class could purchase the product.
With the danger of political and practical shakiness, Coca-Cola must evaluate every nation’s novel social, political, legitimate, and monetary state to develop its market share. With the risk of increased health consciousness among consumers, it is fitting for Coca-Cola to promote further their drink product options since this market segment is developing swiftly. Coca-Cola must think about the product, distribution, promotion, and price, setting up a promotional blend for every client group. In a genuinely immersed moderate moving refreshment industry, if Coca-Cola can enhance and develop these items internationally, they would increase a significant market share and a tremendous competitive advantage that would consider more major long-term benefits and increment masteries into the following generations.
Grgić, J. (2020). Coca-Cola internationalization strategies [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The University of Zagreb.
Guo, X., & Wen, M. (2021). Research on competitive strategy of Coca-Cola Company. Proceedings of the 2021 International Conference on Public Relations and Social Sciences, 203(1), 2879-2885 doi:10.2991/assehr.k.211209.467
Hays, C. L. (2005). The real thing: Truth and power at the Coca-Cola Company. Random House Trade Paperbacks.
Wang, J. (2021). How Coca Cola and Pepsi use segmentation in consumer product industry. Proceedings of the 2021 International Conference on Public Relations and Social Sciences, 3(2), 866-870. doi:10.2991/assehr.k.211020.271
Results of the conducted survey
- Which brand do you consume more often?
- How often do you consume coca-cola beverages? (On a scale of 1 – 5, 1 being not much and five very often).
- Do you prefer Coca-cola better than other known beverages brands?
- Do you think the presentation is effective in branding and the logo? (1 being not effective and five being very effective).