Coca Cola Branding Strategies
Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands around the globe. The history of Coca-Cola began over a century ago since 1886. Today Coca-Cola sells products in over 300 countries world-wide, and has over 3,000 different beverages. The brand is familiar to people all around the world, and is available in many different varieties. The company takes pride in the development of unique marketing strategies, which have allowed growth and access to various places throughout the world.
Their extremely recognizable branding is one of Coca-Cola’s greatest strengths and the simplicity of its bottling is a part of a great marketing strategy (Spring,2002). Coca-Cola makes money primarily from selling their very famous cola, allowing many across the globe to share the experience. Coca-Cola’s desired outcome from their marketing communications program is to move from creative excellence to content excellence.
The purpose of their content excellence is to create ideas so contagious it cannot be controlled in terms of business objectives, brands and consumer interest, all linked together.
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They developed a conversation model that begin with brand stories that create the linked ideas which provoke conversations that need us to act and react to 365 days a year. Coca Cola now intend to double the size of their business by observing a distribution of creativity in their advertising.
No one now has the smarts on ideas and in fact, consumer generated stories outnumber Coca cola Company stories on most of their brands and they constantly fuel both of those truths. Secondly is by the distribution of technology. They now have greater connectivity and consumer empowerment than ever before. This has driven an on demand culture where consumers can turn their demands on 24 hours a day. Technology can enable brilliant connectivity; we can generate ideas where we cannot separate the message from technology.
With that they develop direct relationship with technology companies. Coca cola focuses a lot on storytelling with their brand image growth; they focus on the evolution of storytelling by moving from one way storytelling to dynamic storytelling. Dynamic storytelling is the development of incremental elements of a brand idea that get dispersed systematically across multiple channels of conversation for the purposes of creating a unified and coordinated brand experience. This includes serial storytelling where one discovers the taste of coke by just opening the bottle and tasting it themselves, multi-faceted storytelling where one carries the drink wherever they go, spreadable storytelling where we speak of it through social media, immersion and discovery storytelling where one is already addicted and tells everyone about the goodness of it and engagement through storytelling through word of mouth (Spring,2002) Storytelling is at the heart of all families, communities and cultures and it’s something that the Coca Cola Company has excelled at for more than 125 years now. They also do sponsorship with different college and schools and sponsors their extra curriculum activities to get market share.
Their brand stories, just like most other brands shows commitment to making the world a better place with the existence of it. The equity of Coca Cola is rather tricky as people don’t distinguish all brands owned by the company, perhaps not knowing what they’ve bought or eating is a Coca Cola product. The availability and expected quality of Coca Cola makes it the most purchased brand for its visibility. Coke has become a part of a modern world culture through its advertising, a corporation worth close to $70 billion ranking as number one under brand equity.
Coca-Cola’s brand image has one of the most successful plan layouts compared to many other beverage companies that are competing. Their physical elements of their identity define who they are, who they intend to be and how they are perceived. Coca cola built their brand image to be known similarly all around the world, as happiness. The brand has the taste that consumers are looking for and connects with their lifestyle and daily lives. It is a globalized product that gives the pleasure of refreshment during a break.
Applying the SWOT analysis in Coke, among strengths that they have is being the world’s leading brand. Besides having strong brand recognition, they also have a leading brand value and a strong brand portfolio. The company owns four of the top five soft drink brands in the world which are Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta. Strong brands allow the company to introduce brand extensions such as vanilla coke, cherry coke and coke with lemon. Over the years, the company has made large investments in brand promotions. Next strength is that they have a large scale of operations.
Coca-Cola is the largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups in the world. The company currently sells its products in more than 200 countries. The company’s operations are supported by revenues from South East Asia, and strong infrastructure across the world. Among weaknesses they have is a negative publicity where The Coca-Cola Company has been involved in a number of controversies and lawsuits related to its relationship with human rights violations and other perceived unethical practices.
The company produces products that are not considered “healthy”, the large portion of their beverages are high in sugar content, and as the world’s waistline keeps growing, people are going to eventually look towards healthier alternatives. (Dart and Frost, 1956, as cited in Todd & Daft,2002) The opportunities they have is their extensive and effective distribution network allows the company to take any product and have it in nearly every store around the world in days. Besides that, there is an increasing demand for healthy food and beverages so it’s something else they could excel in.
Besides that, they have the opportunity to have more brand recognition. Threats that Coca Cola faces is with the PepsiCo Company that has for decades been battling with Coca-Cola for the money of the consumer, and this threat will not disappear anytime in the near future. Also, recently some select states have imposed taxes on the sale of soft drinks, and have banned the sale of drinks larger than a certain size, trying to battle obesity. However, coke continues to outsell Pepsi in most areas of the world. Comparing their asset rate in the world, Pepsi’s asset turnover rate is 91. 25% whereas Coke’s asset turnover rate is 58. 2% and the profit margin of Coke is 60. 86% leaving Pepsi with 52. 49% (Dart and Frost, 1956, as cited in Todd & Daft,2002). Among weaknesses that Pepsi has is the decline of taste with low consumer knowledge about their brand. Their recognition is wide as well but their attempt to grow their brand image isn’t as efficient as Coca Cola, causing a financial downfall for them. It’s now observed that Coca Cola is perceived quite positively as it has been projected.
People are aware how the brand and awareness of coke is quite high in the market and when a product is launched, coke drinkers choose this soda over any other competitor simply because it’s a Coca Cola product and they trust it. Although coke has been into controversies, people still prefer to stay loyal to the brand because it’s a coke brand and they trust it. When people buy Coca Cola they’re not just buying the beverage but also the image that goes with it, therefore even if they have a higher price it shows that the product is off better quality and that the consumer is not cheap.