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The Coca-Cola Company is an exceptional brand because they have built loyal customer relationships through the added value of their various community efforts, successful execution of the marketing concept, and established an effective marketing mix. The company’s competitor’s, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, lack the commitment to improve their carbonated soft drink market share rating by meeting their customer wants and needs. Favorite Brand Paper – The Coca Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is America’s number one soda brand and has been consumer’s drink of choice for decades. Coca-Cola does not sell just for its great taste, but also for its effective marketing strategies. This paper will analyze the strategies behind its success, customer loyalty, and their top two competitors – PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. Overview of the Brand
The Coca-Cola Company has offered consumers “delicious and refreshing” (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014) beverages for over 100 years, beginning at a soda fountain in 1886 located in Atlanta, Georgia (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). Coca-Cola has since grown to over 100 brands, $48 billion dollars in net operating revenues, and $9 billion dollars in net income as of 2012 (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). Their beverages are available in more than 200 countries around the globe and North American accounts for 21% of their unit case volume world-wide (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). Why This Brand is Exceptional
Coca-Cola is an exceptional brand because it has created its success with effective marketing tools. First, Coca-Cola incorporates social responsibility to their business. Social responsibility is a company’s obligation to improve its positive effects of society and reduce its negative effects (Perreault et al. 2011). Coca-Cola has mastered this concept by making positive improvements to lessen the effects of production on the planet. The company has prevented 5M metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions across global manufacturing operations since 2004 (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). They have also recovered 371M pounds of aluminum and PET plastic beverage containers through industry-financed and community-funded recycling programs, government mandated programs, and informal collectors worldwide (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014).
52% of water used in finished beverages in replenished through 468 community water projects in more than 100 countries and benefits 1.8M people worldwide. Coca-Cola has established partnerships with various nonprofit organizations, such as World Wildlife Fund, USAID, The Nature Conservancy, CARE, and UNDP to make these projects possible. According to The Coca-Cola Company 2014, these projects focus on “improving access to water and sanitation, providing protection for watersheds, provide water for productive use, and educate and raise awareness about water issues”. Coca-Cola also efficiently executes the marketing concept and stays ahead of the competition. The marketing concept is a simple – a business concentrates all of their efforts on satisfying their customers, and, in turn, makes a profit (Perreault et al. 2011). However, some companies fail to understand and adopt this concept in their business. As seen in recent years, soda sales have decreased and consumers have turned to “healthier” options such as water and low or no calorie beverages (Little, 2013).
In response to changing customers’ needs for soft drink options, Coca-Cola has introduced a revolutionary beverage dispenser, the Coca-Cola Freestyle. The Freestyle boasts touchscreen technology and more than 100 drink choices, many of which are low or no calorie and caffeine free, all from one freestanding dispenser (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). Coca-Cola kept the consumer in mind when they designed the Freestyle. The dispenser offers consumers a multitude of healthier drink choices, including more than 70 low or no calorie options and more than 90 caffeine-free options (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). Last, Coca-Cola uses an effective marketing mix to attract new and retain current customers.
The marketing mix should include effective placement of product, pricing, placement and promotion (The Four P’s: Marketing Strategies, 2009). Coca-Cola products are well-branded and distinctive from other products. There is a suitable mix of products available, including sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink juice, and ready-to-drink coffee. Many of these products are healthier options with 18 of the company’s top 20 brands have a low or no calorie alternative or are low or no calorie drinks (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). Their products are also affordable for their target market and the price also accounts for the cost of producing their products, overhead costs, and the market price (The Four P’s: Marketing Strategies, 2009).
Their products are found in almost any retail location, such as shopping malls, restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores. Coca-Cola used a variety of promotional marketing techniques to promote their products. The company advertises through magazine ads, television commercials, and YouTube videos. They also sponsor many local and global events, such as Olympic Games. The Coca-Cola website is also a valuable marketing tool as it provides customers with useful content relating to their products, community involvement, and company information (The Coca-Cola Company, 2014). Building Loyal Customer Relationships
Coca-Cola has built loyal customer relationships through many years of satisfying its customers. Customers know the quality of their products and continue to purchase them time and time again. In recent years with the consumer shift to healthier drink options, Coca-Cola responded with just that – a wide range of low or no calorie drinks to satisfy the customer’s needs. Furthermore, the company’s sustainability programs only add value and reinforce that loyalty to the Coca-Cola brand. Competitor Analysis
The numbers do not lie – Coca-Cola takes the number one spot with 42% of the carbonated soft drink (CSD) market. PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group fall far behind with 27% and 16% respectively (Sicher, 2014). Aside from numbers, Coca-Cola triumphs over Pepsi and Dr Pepper because they have built loyal customer relationships through the added value of their various community efforts, successfully executed the marketing concept, and established an effective marketing mix. Pepsi and Dr Pepper also have various sustainability projects. Pepsi has projects that focus on water stewardship, recycling efforts, and reducing GHG emissions (PepsiCo, n.d.). Dr Pepper also has environment sustainability efforts and the Let’s Play community partnership to build playgrounds across the nation (Dr Pepper Snapple Group, 2014). However, they lack the commitment to improve their CSD market share rating by meeting their customer wants and needs from a soda. Pepsi has focused less on their carbonated beverages and more on their snacks business and it shows with 60% of the company’s value is from snack foods (Team, 2014). Conclusion
The Coca-Cola Company is an exceptional brand over PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group because they have built loyal customer relationships through the added value of their various community efforts, successful execution of the marketing concept, and established an effective marketing mix. Both companies have a long way to go if they want to catch up to Coca-Cola.
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