Coca-Cola Company: Product Reassessment

The Coke product in terms of its repositioned target market demographics using U.S. Census Data

The positioning of any product by any company is a key determinant of the volume of sales that the company expects from the sale of the product. Coke is a product of the multinational Coca-Cola Company. The product targets young Americans especially from the age of nine to fifty. Coke is a product that has been associated with being young. The product also targets youths in activities such as games and leisure. The product has been able to acquire a market leader in the United States as the best selling beverage product.

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About 68% of youths prefer Coke as a product since it is associated with fun. Repositioning of Coke as a product aims at increasing its market share. The product now targets the whole U.S population without limiting itself to a certain age bracket. This strategy will ensure that a 79% segment of the United States’ population will prefer Coke as the beverage of choice. About 49% of Americans take 2.6 glasses of soda every day.

There has also been a high public outcry about the ingredients used in manufacturing Coke. Coca-Cola Company is therefore repositioning the product through publicity and customer relation operations. Proper and timely communication will also enable the company to assess the mind and moods of the customers. With proper information on customer needs, the company will be able to reposition the product.

The types of research needed to reposition this product or service

Various researches must be carried out in order to ensure that branding and marketing teams act from a point of knowledge. There is a need to conduct positioning research. In this research, the company will be able to evaluate the perspective in which the target markets for Coke as a product perceive the brand. What is the ratio of preference of Coke to other beverages in the United States’ market? What is the rate of product liking for Coke? The research team will therefore conduct research in a bid to compare the position of Coke to other products. Competing brands such as Fanta, Pepsi, and Sprite will be evaluated.

Fuchs and Diamantopoulos (2012, p. 235) argue that it is important to conduct product-customer satisfaction research that seeks to understand the levels of customer satisfaction with the product. The team will also conduct a demand estimation research to identify the quantities of demand for the product in the target market. Demand for Coke as a beverage varies by season. For example, during summer, demand goes down while it is relatively high during the other seasons. Demand for beverages also goes up during festive seasons. For example, during Christmas celebrations, the demand for Coke is likely to go up.

Coke has been associated with fun moments. Therefore, research will be conducted to verify the truth of the assumption. The research will also enable the Coca-Cola Company to regulate its production. The lines of distribution and the timing of advertising will also be done in accordance with the findings and recommendations of the demand research. Distribution channel research will also be conducted to find out the attitude of distributors towards the product. Distributors are very influential in determining product acceptance and reach. They will therefore determine whether the product will reach all customers or not.

Without the distributors’ liking of the product, customers may never have access to the products they want. In the same way, clients are likely to influence the distributors’ demand for Coke. Distributors will order products that flow quickly in the market. Segmentation research will also be important for the repositioning of Coke. In this research, the repositioning team will be seeking the demographic characteristics of potential buyers. According to Ellickson, Misra, and Nair (2012, p.756), segmentation research also seeks to know the behavioral characteristics of the markets. The behavioral adaptation of the market influences its perception of the product. The reaction of various markets to various marketing strategies will also depend on their behavioral adaptations.

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The method(s) I would use to increase adoption rates

There is a need to adapt the product to fit the needs of consumers. The process of adapting Coke to the needs of customers can be done through product modification. Product modification will be done by changing the features of the product. For example, some of the consumers of Coke may require the manufacturer to add some features to the product. Such consumers are also ready to pay for the extra features. In the same way, some consumers may require the producer to eliminate some features in the product to purchase it. While adapting Coke to fit the needs of consumers, various features will be added.

For example, the packaging of the beverage will be improved. Colors will be used to make the product more appealing to customers of various age groups. Customers will also be offered bottle holders to enable them to buy and carry the beverages when traveling. Bottle holders will be offered together with the soda. The bottles will be modified to fit well in the holders. Enhancing the portability of the bottle will enhance the marketability and usability of Coke as a beverage. The other method of adaptation will be pricing. According to Ellickson, Misra, and Nair (2012, p.753), pricing is necessary for making a product adapt to consumer demand.

Consumers of Coke may want the product. However, they may not be able to pay for it. Pricing is important since it enables the provider to meet the needs of a wide segment of consumers. Consumers with low financial ability can still associate themselves with the product that wealthy people consume. Such a product is packaged in quantities that low-class people can afford. According to Ellickson, Misra, and Nair (2012, p.750), it is also possible for a company to segment products in a way that the same product will fetch different prices in different markets. Another method of adaptation that the company can use is quality changes.

The Coca-Cola Company can reduce some qualities of Coke that are not very necessary to the consumer yet they make the product very expensive. The company will also avoid improving the qualities of Coke using ingredients that may make it very expensive. The company can also lower the quality of the product without making it unacceptable in a bid to compete well with other products. Whenever a product is lowered in quality, it does not necessarily mean that it will be a poor product. The Coca-Cola Company will also use a makeover as a product adoption method to improve on its market. The makeover will require Coke to make use of the good name of The Coca-Cola Company.

The product has a name that is closely related to the company’s name, thus marketing Coke as the best product of Coca-Cola Company. The company will therefore brad Coke in a way that consumers of its other products will associate it with the company hence purchase it. The products will also be associated with the total fulfillment of the customer’s needs. For example, the product will solve various needs such as thirst, fun, and cooling of the body of the consumer. Fuchs and Diamantopoulos (2012, p.232) reveal how consumers prefer a product that solves various needs at once instead of buying various products for each need. The company will therefore use a makeover method in marketing the product.

Will a new service component provide a new interest in this product or service?

In the process of marketing Coke as a beverage, a new service line is likely to create a new interest. The product reassessment team will therefore open a new line of service that will attract more customers. This service line will involve the provision of fridges to distributors and retailers. It will also include maintenance and repair of storage devices. The provision of this service will enhance the distribution of Coke to various parts of the United States.

Refrigerators that bear the brand name of Coke will also improve people’s interest. After issuing various distributors and retailers with fridges, other distributors and retailers will also be fascinated. As retailers strive to obtain fridges, they will easily become part of the distribution.

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Maintenance of the product will also increase the contact that Coke marketers have with their distributors, retailers, and customers. Such marketers will therefore be able to gather information from consumers. With constant information, the Coca-Cola Company will have a chance to improve their product to meet consumer’s needs. Retailers will also display the product in the fridges outside and inside their shops. Customers can therefore identify the product from inside and outside the refrigerators. This service line will therefore enhance customers’ interest in Coke, hence increasing its market share.

The most likely distribution problems I would encounter and how I would address them

The major distribution problem in the repositioning of Coke as a product will be the fear of taking a risk by distributors and retailers. Since the product will have a new feature, distributors and retailers are likely to shy away from purchasing in large volumes. Such a move may make the distribution process slow. In order to counter this problem, the manufacturer will ensure proper publicity of the new Coke on various media platforms. Fuchs and Diamantopoulos (2012, p.229) argue that advertising will make the product familiar. Hence, demand will go up as distributors seek more volumes of Coke. The second challenge of distributing Coke will be the old brand.

Most distributors and retailers may not acquire the new stock while the old brand is still in store. The presence of new brands in other shops may also make their customers turn to other providers. Such a move may kill the supply chain. To counter this problem, the manufacturer will ensure a controlled distribution of the repositioned product. For example, he or she will delay the delivery of the new brand in order to ensure that the old stock is cleared in the stores. This move will ensure that customers will also anticipate the repositioned brand.

Reference List

Ellickson, P., Misra, S., & Nair, S. (2012). Repositioning Dynamics and Pricing Strategy. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 49(6), 750-772.

Fuchs, C., & Diamantopoulos, A. (2012). Customer-Perceived Positioning Effectiveness: Conceptualization, Operationalization, and Implications for New Product Managers. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 29(2), 229-244.

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