This paper is a comprehensive audit of Coca-Cola's marketing program and recommendations developed for future marketing plans. I provide recommendations for Coca-Cola's marketing efforts as well as product line enhancements, as Coca-Cola faces stiff competition and changing consumer tastes. These recommendations include:
• Pursuing a multi-pronged marketing strategy, including growth into geographic regions like Russia, China, and Turkey.
• Leverage the company assets by brand extension into water-based, slightly sweetened refreshment drinks to meet more health-conscious consumers.
• Diversify offerings outside the non-alcoholic beverage market, leveraging the vast distribution network.
Coca-Cola was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886 by Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist. Dr. Pemberton produced the syrup for Coca-Cola®, and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced "excellent" and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink. Carbonated water was teamed with the new syrup to produce a drink that was at once "Delicious and Refreshing," a theme that continues to echo today wherever Coca-Cola is enjoyed. During the first year, sales averaged a modest nine drinks per day.
Today, over 6 trillion servings of Coca-Cola have been enjoyed worldwide and Coca-Cola has over 400 brands.
Coca-Cola's Key Success Factors
Coca-Cola has several key success factors including:
• The Coca-Cola Company is a Fortune 500 company. In 2010 The Coca-Cola Company was ranked number 72 on the Fortune 500 list, making it the 72nd largest company in the United States when judged by revenue. The Coca-Cola Company achieved revenue of $30,990.00 million in 2010 and earned a profit of $6,824.00 million. The company ranking improved in 2010, moving up the Fortune 500 list to 72nd compared to 73rd in 2009. This was based on its 2009 revenue of $31,944 million (a change of -1 million compared to 2010) and profits of $5,807 million (a change of $1 million compared to 2009).
• Strategic relationships with sporting events and is the longest continuous sponsor of the Olympics. Coca-Cola has been a regular Olympic sponsor for 84 years and was the first soft-drink Olympic sponsor in 1928. For the 2012 Olympics in London, their campaign is called Move to the Beat. Coca-Cola also formed an early relationship with the United States military in World War II, offering every American soldier a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents per bottle wherever that soldier was geographically located.
• Strong social responsibility. Coca-Cola has been listed number 2 on the list for top-rated companies for social responsibility. In addition, Coca-Cola is looking to differentiate itself and become the recognized global leader in corporate social responsibility and has recently launched an audit of labor practices throughout the Coke supply chain brand itself. They have developed the first ever plastic PET beverage bottles that are made partially of plants. They also have display cases that are 100% recyclable so that they are sustainable.
• Over the years, Coca-Cola has built a huge portfolio of products, many customized to the local market. Coca-Cola has also built the brand by innovating: the contour Coke bottle premiered in 1915 and is still available today. Coca-Cola introduced new flavors in the 1960's including Sprite, TAB, and Fresca. And, in 1978, Coca-Cola was the only company selected to sell packaged cold drinks in People's Republic of China. In 2009, they introduced the Freestyle beverage dispenser. This machine uses microdosing technology that can dispense more tha 100 possible beverage choices from one freestanding machine. The Freestyle was released in test markets in 2009 and in November of 2011 they began a Facebook campaign for the release in the states. This is the only machine of its kind on the