Building a brand is especially necessary for every producer who wishes to command a big share of the market. The process is also not done overnight but over a long period usually resulting in an increase in sales and consumer loyalty. A good case of such organizations is The Coca-Cola Company. The corporation has a broad range of products that are targeted for its different customers. The products can be identified as individual brands. The researcher interviewed one of its consumers and got a good insight of how the company manages to control the market amid the competition it experiences from other soft drink companies.
Elsie is a completely loyal consumer of Coca-Cola products. Her favorite Coke brand is the Diet Coke. She has a complete trust and almost distinct preference for its consumption. When interviewed on why she had complete loyalty to the Diet Coke product, she said she associated her loyalty to two things. These are the healthy nature of the product and the fact that she trusts in the quality of the products Coca-Cola produces. On health issues, she pointed out the fact that she is weight conscious and must take care of what she consumes. She also continued to say that the company’s presence in the market has influenced her decision to be their loyal customer. She added that competitors of the company do not seem trustworthy and are often unpredictable.
Coca-Cola is an internationally recognized company. The Coca-Cola drink leads the recognition, but the company also offers over 230 brands all over the world. The company controls over 47 % of the soft drink market followed by Pepsi-Cola that commands about 21 %. The company has been able to control this share of the market by using different methods all of which promote brand positioning, equity and market segmenting.
First, the company was the first entrant of the soft drink market among its main competitors. This gave it an advantage. Regardless of the time it has spent on the market, the company has not changed its brand immensely. It has only had slight changes here and there to go with the times and to fit in individual market segments. The company was also the first entrant in the international market. Its entry in the international markets mainly improved its marketing capacity. Initial exposure to certain products also helps to maintain its prominence.
Another way the company has been able to improve its brand equity is its commitment to perform marketing promotions world for each of its products especially upon launching. The company has thereby gained relevance in the market with time. When the company launched diet soda, it publicized it as a product tailored for women. The product helped to absorb the market of those customers who had been avoiding the coke products due to their high calorific value. Serving that market, the company tailored a product just for them.
The company has also earned trust with its customers over time. This has been done due to its exemplary performance during its history. The company has also not had conflict with authorities over the quality of products it has. It has been able to tailor products for all of the nations in which it sells its products. This way, the company, has been able to stay within the ethical boundaries set out in each of tits markets. The company mostly sells a particular mix of products in each of its markets and keeps certain products from certain markets.
The customer’s loyalty is mainly laid upon the ability of the company to have a clean history, consumer trust. These are both necessary for consumer creation and retention. The company also entered most of its markets earlier than its competitors and has protected its name from scandals ever since it was founded in the late 1800s. Advertisements and promotional platforms have also helped in the company’s brand positioning. The company has always placed its name at the forefront in its industries by ensuring it participates in events that matter to the consumer. A good example is the company’s participation in football both locally and internationally. The company also targets specific markets by creating products that serve specific needs of particular customers.
Coca-Cola’s brand positioning and equity strategies
Coca-Cola is amongst the most acknowledged names alongside Microsoft, Marlboro, Toyota, Nokia and McDonalds. The company has been able to command a big share of the market through a variety of strategies and commitment to growth. The company already is the most consumed soft drink worldwide and sells its products in over 200 countries.
The company has put down a variety of measures to ensure consumer loyalty, preference over other brands and market equity. According to Chitakornkijsil (2012), some consumers may like the taste of Pepsi but still prefer Coke. This is a result of loyalty from customers. This loyalty is built over time is independent of the quality as shown above.
Another way Coca-Cola has been able to control its market is by having a wide variety of products. This protects it from the risk of substitution in the non-alcoholic drink market. Substitution results from a customer’s desire to change their taste. Coca-Cola also provides a product for every customer. Indeed, the marketing strategy of Coca-Cola has been to market to specific markets. Products that are closely related or similar like diet coke and Coke zero are targeted for ladies and men respectively. The products give one a sense of belonging while at the same time serving consumer needs (Talk from the top 2012).
Coca-Cola under the guidance of the standards of ethics in its different countries of operation has been continuously able to conduct honest and socially acceptable advertisements. They have, at the same time, been able to eliminate advertisements that are against the ethics of particular countries. Consequently, they have avoided advertisements of products that are deemed unhealthy, useless, or unethical. Advertisements done about Coca-Cola are known to be informative, targeted, and involving (Chitakornkijsil, 2012).
Another way Coca-Cola has won the battle of superiority in the non-alcoholic drinks market is its ability to produce high quality products at relatively low costs. This has been possible through the employment of operational and production processes that are cost effective. This has been done by use of distribution networks and manufacturing systems that are economical in the long-run. They have, for example, been able to contract bottling companies and distributors from around the globe. Price regulation has thereby made it possible for the company to stay above the rest of its competition throughout (Arca continental SAB de CV – annual report, 2012).
The company has been associated with football and other activities for as long as it has been know. This has been, probably, to deal with the health issues that surround the Coke brand. It is, for example, one of the companies that sponsor world cup games. The company by doing this achieves two things. First, it ensures that it participates in the ethical dimension of business by supporting health promoting activities. Secondly, the company gets a platform for advertising on all major television stations. By the end of every world cup event, Coca-Cola registers large sales in every country (Talk from the top 2012).
In creating brand equity i9nnovation has been most useful. The company has been innovative in several ways. First, it has been able to get involved in several segments of the soft drink and beverages markets. This has been an innovative step. Secondly, the packaging of its products is always way better than that of its competition. The company has, for example, a unique bottling system that is accepted worldwide by the company’s consumers. Finally, the company is innovative in the creation of its products. It has been involved in tea sales, for example. It has also manufactured targeted products for every market segment (Chitakornkijsil, 2012).
In conclusion, the Coca-Cola Company has been able to effectively
position itself in the market. It has also been able to have market equity
which has brought about its close to absolute command in the market. The
company has done this by actively participating in promotional campaigns all
over the world as well as intense advertising. Advertisements at the Coca-Cola
Company have been observed to be moving, activating, and informative. The
company has also been innovative and creative in its customer service and
Arca continental SAB de CV – annual report, 2012. (2012). (). Kuching: REPORTAL. SDN. BHD. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1532907496?accountid=144459
Chitakornkijsil, P. (2012). BRAND INTEGRITY, ADVERTISING AND MARKETING ETHICS AS WELL AS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.International Journal of Organizational Innovation (Online), 4(4), 109-130. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1011813173?accountid=144459
Talk from the top: Exclusive interviews with the global leaders of the beverage industry: Joe tripodi, CMO of the coca-cola co.(2009). (). Bromsgrove: Aroq Limited. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/212458123?accountid=144459
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