Posted: May 25th, 2022
Business Case study
Coca Cola Case Study
Coke is a brand name that has been known for decades in the United States, not to mention the rest of the world. Unfortunately, there has come a time when the brand is no longer at the top of the “sparkling” beverage industry. In the New York Times article, the history and future of Coke are discussed with detail, while also giving flashes of information into its shortcomings. One learns that the well-known company has been fraught with conflict, turnover, and an inability to produce innovative products. (Martin) This problem appears significantly evident throughout the article. Martin continues to talk about how far Coke has come, and yet how far it still has to go. The majority of the writing discusses the transitions around Coke’s chairman and chief executive Neville Isdell. With this, one man held the hopes of a significant boom in innovative non-carbonated drinks, and advertisement. Nonetheless one finds out towards the end of the article that the level of increase was not truly reached, probably due to the fact that Neville was seen as a man that made safe decisions instead of innovative, cutting edge ones. It is also evident in the article that there were large business acquisitions that Coke missed out, only to later see PepsiCo end up profiting from Coke officials fear of change and chance i.e. Gatorade & South Beach Beverage Company (Martin 1-4)
The history of Coke is a vast one that dates as far back as 1886. Two men, an Atlanta Pharmacist and a civil war veteran created coke as a tonic that was made to help aid people suffering from fatigue and headaches. In 1926, a foreign department was created to begin globalizing the Coke brand. The year 1981 marked a boom in profit share for Coke stockholders when value per share increased from an average of $35 to $2,209.72 during the time Goiuzueta was the chief executive. In 1990, the World of Coke Museum opened with an average of 750,000 visitors per year. (Martin 3) May 2007, Coke announced the purchase of the vitamin water company Glaceau for $4.1 billion. (Fisher) June 2007, Coke announces their funding project to conserve seven major rivers worldwide as well as revamp bottling techniques. (Coke launches water conservation campaign)
Coke continues to face the same problems that the company has been facing for over a decade; innovation, change and market share in the United States are lower than those of competitors. Martin exposes in his article that there were opportunities for Coke to buy and take over major businesses and brands that would have added to the Coke name, however because of fear of change and attempting to stay with sparkling beverages these missed opportunities became large market share for PepsiCo. Fisher, reports about the acquisition of Glaceau to attempt to increase market share in the bottled water market. However, Martin questions in his article if this is too little to late, with little insight as to whether or not this acquisition will have enough effect to reinstate the Coke brand name back into the hierarchy it had become accustomed with before PepsiCo out maneuvered it. Lastly, there were also the issues that had long since followed the brand that Martin, reports on his article that deal with consumer concerns regarding past business practices, tainted soda cans and prejudice against Coke employees.
If I were the CEO of Coke, there are quite a few things that I would change within the structure of the company, branding and techniques. The first thing that I would do is change the face of the company, now let me be clear in exactly what I mean by this statement. Martin reports that the average age of the directors is 68. This needs to change, in my opinion it would be difficult to have innovate thought and concept originating in a room full of individuals whom possibly cannot move past the old ways and concepts that have continued through Coke from its origination up until now. There also needs to be more diversity among the directors, which currently include one female and one African-American member (Martin 8) another important step is to allocate funds to research better sources of natural sweeteners that are easily renewable and better for the consumer, taking into account the desire by consumers for healthier and less sugary beverages. I would continue to find more efficient ways of bottling the product and put more effort into advertising and market research relating to teens and young adults. Martin reported in his article that teens and young adults make up the largest population of carbonated beverage drinkers. Therefore, there purchase power and choice for drinks cannot be ignored. I would create a panel of teens and young adults that can help to formulate fresh ideas and concepts for the brand. It would also be beneficial to launch initiatives that would continue to support and increase market share outside of the United States.
On the other hand, I agree with the water conservation initiative. It is imperative that these resources be secured. However, as mentioned above something needs to be done regarding the amount of sugar used in a simple liter if coke. (Coke launches water conservation campaign) discusses that it takes between 46 to 66 gallons of water just to produce enough sugar cane for 1 liter of product. Either the sugar content needs to be dropped significantly or new ways of growing the cane without depleting natural water resources need to be realized and initiated. Otherwise, this will lead to even bigger issues down the road, not just for Coke but also for the world globally in depleting such a resource. These are some of the main issues that would be attended to within the first 3 years. Lastly, I would create a campaign that would embrace new beginnings but give respect to the roots of this globally marketed Beverage Company.
Coke launches water conservation campaign. 05 June 2007. MSNBC.com. 05 June 2007 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19045993/print/1/displaymode/1098/.
Fisher, Ken. Coke buys Glaceau for $4.1 billion. 25 May 2007. 05 June 2007 http://cnnmoney.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=Coke+buys=Glaceau+for+%244.
Martin, Andrew. Coke Struggles to Keep Up With Nimble Rivals. 27 May 2007. 05 June 2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/27/business/yourmoney/27coke.html?ei=18b2d686c2a.
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