May 18, 2013
Coca-Cola has been around for generations with the same iconic taste, logo and symbolism. Its brand has represented family and the memories of good times, celebrations and comfort of being with those we love. Unfortunately, the company has not made good marketing decisions in the recent past and has lost relevancy. The purpose of this essay is to assess the conditions that created Coca-Colas marketing problems, evaluate the future of healthy beverages and non-carb drink brand extensions, and provide recommendations to the management.
The Coca - Cola Company began its legacy in 1886. Dr. John Pemberton, a pharmacist from Atlanta, created the patented Coca - Cola syrup for sale in fountain drinks. In 1899 the bottling business began when two business men from Chattanooga secured the rights to bottle Coca-Cola and sell it. Today Coca-Cola Company is one of the world’s largest and leading manufacturers of beverages and sells in over 200 countries. The four most popular extensions of the Coca-Cola brand are Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Fanta and are nicknamed the Fab Four. Coca-Cola owns or licenses over 500 nonalcoholic beverage brands, primarily sparkling beverages but also a variety of still beverages such as waters, enhanced waters, juices and juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas and coffees, and energy and sports drinks.. The daily servings are approximated at 1.9 billion globally with the United States consuming at least 22% of the 1.9 billion (Coca-Cola.com, 2014).
MARKETING PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITIES
The problems in marketing and opportunities are expansive. According to Cravens (2009) in the 1990’s “Coca-Cola Co. was one of the most respected companies in America, a master of brand-building and management in the dawning global era” (p.57). Cravens goes on to say that in current times “the Coke machine is badly out of order” (p. 58). So what went wrong with the marketing and what are the opportunities that Coca-Cola has before them to get back on track? For any company to exceed previous sales and profits it must bring innovation and an excellent marketing strategy.
Like many companies, Coca-Cola became a victim of their own perceived self-importance and focused on the wrong things (Ray, 2013). “The Coca-Cola organization is stuck in a mind-set formed during its heyday in the 1980s and ’90s” (Cravens, 2009, p. 58) becoming irrelevant. However, being relevant in today’s society is only part of the problem though. “Carbonated beverages are in precipitous decline,” said John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest (Business Day, 2014). “The obesity and health headwinds are difficult and are getting stronger.” Another sign of problems evolving is from the Food and Drug Administration who has proposed food labels “that would more prominently display grams of added sugar, including the high-fructose corn syrup used in Coca-Cola”...