The Coca-Cola Company: Strategic Plan Evaluation

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Executive Summary

The Coca-Cola Company is absorbed under the General Corporation Law of Delaware and has its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, US. The venture deals with beverage products, offering more than 450 brands in over 200 nations and frontiers. The corporation has grown to become a global drink industry, with close attentiveness in producing, retailing, and selling non-alcoholic beverage extracts and syrups (Abdulla et al., 2017). It manufactures Coca-Cola as the parent product, a flagship product invented by a pharmacist named John Pemberton in 1886.

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The report gives a detailed analysis of the existing marketing strategic plan for the Coca-Cola Company based in Pakistan, also providing recommendations for adoption. The evaluation analyzed both internal and external business environments for the entity using the Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats analysis technique. SMART format aided in explaining the execution scheme for the set goals. The research utilized the Resource-based Theory in elaborating the competitive advantage for the Coca-Cola Company in both Pakistan and global markets. The second part of the paper involved postulations on the possible leadership change complexities that the firm should consider in implementing the plans.

Analysis of both Internal and External Environments for Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is a massive, globally-recognized brand in the field of beverage production. Its subsidiaries employ approximately 30,000 people worldwide, with 70% of its volume and 80% predominant firms on Earth (Greenhalgh, 2019). Being global remains the biggest strength for the organization, as it is a venture with famous, cost-effective products and a strong basis in many countries.

The rate of beverage consumption and its prediction from 2013 to 2021
Figure 1. The rate of beverage consumption and its prediction from 2013 to 2021 (Dad and Karim, 2019, p.2).

The purpose of selecting Coca-Cola for the report is the existing wide range of information available on the corporation. Its current competition with Pepsi is deemed the top competitiveness between two popular global brands (Farrukh, Lee, and Shahzad, 2019). In Pakistan, the corporation operates as Coca-Cola Pakistan Beverages Limited, with its commodities obtainable in every Pakistani village, city, and district. Globally, Coca-Cola continues to set the pace for the beverage industry, signifying that Pepsi still trails in the international market trend.

Market analysis is accountable for observing both internal and external environments. The Coca-Cola Corporation utilizes the strategy to watch and evaluate the inner and outward factors following its business transactions. According to Hu et al. (2018), the elements influence the success in retaining the spot as the world’s top beverage industry. The inner business surrounding and its impacts are contained within the corporation’s management.

As expressed by Sultan, Ahmad, and Hashmi (2019), the crucial internal environments that the company ensures are in place include proper organizational skills, effective production processes, constructive networks for communication, investment in innovation and Information Technology, product variety, and an exemplary marketing methodology. As a proper way of monitoring and managing its internal environment, Coca-Cola conducts analyses of its operations and appropriately responds to any factors likely to affect the consumer section and manufacturing procedure.

Coca-Cola is a worldwide corporation, with its products consumed in almost all world countries. In Pakistan, the company manufactures, distributes, and vends beverages of the corporation, which started in 1996. The bottling production facility in the country was enhanced in 2008 and came under the management of Icecek. According to Faisal (2017), the business organizes and structures itself in a manner that conforms to that of a booming industry while simultaneously striving to satisfy its market necessities sensitively. The leadership of the company has a mandate to develop a flexible organizational framework to fulfill the mentioned requirements.

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The Coca-Cola Company retails the world’s leading soft drinks. Marketing of beverage drinks for Coca-Cola Company is done both in Pakistan and globally because it is the largest entity producing liquid refreshments. Hence, it is the leading manufacturer and marketer of such beverages, with organizational achievements based on various internal aspects (Abdullah et al., 2017). It manufactures distinctive and recognized products and brands. Consumers in Pakistan and worldwide acknowledge Coca-Cola trademarks due to the quality. As Abbasi (2017) posits, the business provides its customers with high-quality products in a more consistent way.

The company offers creative and innovative retailing initiatives delivered across various subsidiaries, coupled with its global availability in marketing. Its consumers can acquire the products from any part of the world. The company also has a well-structured organization designed to achieve the set objectives. Business analysts such as Amrollahi and Rowlands (2017) and Dad and Karim (2019) express that the framework utilizes a collaboration strategy in making decisions and deliberations, where the best ideologies are shared across the corporation. Therefore, the organization experiences an authority from the pivot with all the necessary management levels.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis will enable the report to identify the strengths and shortcomings of the Coca-Cola Company. The technique also provides broader viewpoints on the organization’s opportunities and competition as it conducts its businesses (Farrukh, Lee, and Shahzad, 2019). Designing a complete awareness of the circumstance remains fundamental in formulating resolutions and strategic planning. Therefore, the SWOT business tool shall evaluate the internal environment influencing the industry.

Strengths

  1. The business firm is the best brand in value with the world’s most significant beverage shares. It has the most extensive medium for non-alcoholic soft drinks distribution, serving over 200 nation-states, with the ability to distribute about 1.7 billion in a day (Faisal, 2017).
  2. It has potent advertising and retailing with the most significant liquid refreshment shares. By 2019, the company held approximately 65% of the global market shares in non-alcoholic drinks (Tiens et al., 2019).
  3. Its channel for beverage distribution is the most stable in the world, up-to-date with high customer loyalty to its products.
  4. Coca-Cola has bargaining power and corporate social responsibility.

Weaknesses

  1. The company has a deeper focus on carbonated drinks, where it still centers on vending Fanta, Sprite, and Coca-Cola. The master plan has succeeded for a short period since the consummation of such products is projected to continue growing in the struggling economies.
  2. Compared to most of its competitors, Coca-Cola only focuses on the manufacture and retail of carbonated drinks. The scenario puts the company in a disadvantaged spot as rival corporations such as Pepsi have diversified product collections.
  3. High level of debt resulting from purchases, borrowing expenses, and interest rates.

Opportunities

The utilization growth of bottled water continues to expand in Pakistan, and the firm projects the consumption of bottles to increase in the country. The higher rate for the demand for beverages and healthy food continues to rise due to various initiatives by the company to counter obesity (Greenhalgh, 2019). In terms of expansion through purchase, Coca-Cola Pakistan Beverage Limited has been obtaining other firms to facilitate their current advancement level, enabling it to penetrate other markets.

Threats

The changes in customer taste remain a challenge to most beverage and food companies. Coca-Cola serves only carbonated soft drinks and faces a potentially bigger risk since global consumers remain health aware and may plan to lower their use of such products (Iizawa, 2017). According to Juniaid (2019), beverages contain many calories, fats, and sucrose. In the global markets, anti-soft drinks campaigns are on the rise, posing potential harm to the operations of the Coca-Cola Company.

Water scarcity remains a significant challenge for the Coca-Cola Company. The deficiency of the precious commodity around the world has elevated both the organization’s price criticism for the consumption of its large amount (Al-Halil, 2019). The stiff competition from Pepsi Company over retail share also remains on the rise as the manufacturer is keen to enter the market and capture the sector (Melton, Damron, and Vernon, 2017). In the Pakistan market, brands such as Gourmet have been introduced add continue to be perceived as the immediate competitor for the company apart from Pepsi.

Proposals: Strategic Options

Global Marketing Strategic Plan, Standardization, and Modification

Global marketing refers to a specific form of international retailing covering a broader spread of the world nations. It aspires to systemize its merchandising strategy between the countries. The Coca-Cola Company’s global plan closely links with corporate methods. The latter guides the organizations’ performance in the overall business transactions and resource allocation to attain the set business objectives. According to Raza et al. (2018), when a business venture tracks a universal strategy, it considers the world retail environment as a whole instead of a market on a nation-by-nation basis.

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The optimum international strategy produces a standardized product and retails it through a systemized marketing scheme. Coca-Cola must also be aware that a global firm’s challenges are achieving low-cost performances and production of high-quality commodities (Ropianto et al., 2017). The struggle for a lower rate through standardization of products remains fundamental as it results in business growth. Besides, corporations dominating the small internal markets are likely to be erased by cheap manufacturing businesses.

Strategic Environment and Positioning

The Coca-Cola Company has a role in evaluating its strategies position by examining the best approach. In doing so, various factors should be considered, including tactical positioning and calculated implementations. For retailers and strategists, the consideration for scheme development should be given external elements to the corporation (Melton, Damron, and Vernon, 2017). These components should include micro, macro, and meso factors as comprised in the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental (PESTLE) tool.

Businesses that trade beyond the borders of the mother countries have to resolve whether to systemize or adapt their premises for particular market. However, according to Singaram et al. (2019), the adoption or standardization has its implications for the related retailing mix and therefore, the general strategic position and tactical pose must be embraced. As Sulistiani, Wardani, and Sulistyawati (2019) expresses, adaptation helps in the extension and practical application of domestic objective-market-ruled commodity standards, whether tangible or intangible, to vend in the international markets.

In examining the best marketing strategy, firms must benefit from the competitors’ competitive advantage. Businesses also need to have a particular stance in place for their system to be fruitful. According to Van Leeuwen and Mohnen (2017), competitive advantage presents sophisticated resources, extraordinary skills, and better positioning. Assets and expertise enable corporations to attain the set targets and outsmart the competitors in the sector. Therefore, Coca-Cola Company requires the two mentioned elements to ensure its success and the positioning edge on how it arranges the components in maneuvering competition in Pakistan and other subsidiary markets.

Implementation and Recommendations Using SMART Format

Setting objectives for the anticipated outcomes is the key to development for manufacturing corporations such as Coca-Cola Company. According to Dad and Karim (2019), laying goals for production lines, systems, and human resource leads to an advantage in businesses by reducing waste and providing efficiency. Therefore, the specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) technique offers a detailed execution plan for future strategic direction for Coca-Cola Corporation.

The initial phase of SMART strategic planning involves evaluating the fundamental factors that Coca-Cola wishes to accomplish (specific). The Pakistani business environment has favored the company operations despite competition from other beverage industries such as Pepsi. In setting objectives, the management should consider the specific goals on elaborating the overall plan, for instance, increasing the sales team (Van Leeuwen and Mohnen, 2017). Such targets would further improve the sales revenues and market value in Pakistan and across other nations at large.

The measurable stage of SMART format entails analysis of measurable targets and using metrics in recording progress. According to Esfahani, Mosadeghrad, and Akbarisari (2018), any assumption of success by the company that its success is not subject to challenge by rival industries can prove disadvantageous. Tangible justifications for accomplishing goals involve decisions on the type of data a company can track and improve its efforts. The Coca-Cola Company can determine future success by evaluating consumer satisfaction reports, feedback, turnaround periods, accuracy rates, and revenues.

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On relevance, Coca-Cola Company in Pakistan and other nations have the mandate to examine objectives’ appropriation. Strategic goals need to be pertinent, and as Tiens et al. (2019) posit, irrelevant targets should be dropped and adopt that further its plan of action. As Juniaid (2019) states on the SMART format’s time-bound phase, business objectives succeed when there is enough time linked to the target-setting procedure. The choice of a period-frame for a strategic plan for Coca-Cola Company in Pakistan will ensure positive adjustments to the existing programs.

In future, the Coca-Cola Company should consider having achievable objectives based on its current competencies, knowledge, and resources. Attainable objectives that the company currently has in place still challenge the team in Pakistan. Therefore, it remains fundamental to set those that are not destined to fail. Having a good framework in the internal market ensures an increase in the consumption of beverage products. The establishment should consider other factors outside its industrial structure (Abbasi, 2017). It should assume an appropriate stand within the beverage industry, which plays a crucial role in identifying the competitive advantage.

Porter’s Generic Strategy

Porter’s generic strategy
Figure 2, Porter’s generic strategy (Lincoln and Andrew, 2018).

The report evaluates some of the ideologies from academic practitioners and advisers who have contributed to the strategic planning discipline. According to Amrollahi and Rowlands (2017), all strategic plans should go through a channel to identify if formal planning is necessary. Decisions should also be in terms of logic and information with a planning process that must be followed. As Esfahani, Mosadeghrad, and Akbarisari (2018) explain, further from making decisions, master plan evaluation can and needs to be utilized in interacting with the external and internal collaborators. Porter’s Generic Strategy is a crucial tool in evaluating the Coca-Cola Company’s strategic issues in Pakistan.

According to Dad and Karim (2019), the firm can use various techniques in becoming a lot of cost manufacturers and can be utilized in isolation or collectively. The design or the material composition develops the price advantage, for instance, the use of substitute commodities

Evaluation of Resource-Based Theory

The resource-based theory postulates that in strategic planning, the key sources and motivators to a corporation’s better performance and competitive advantage are majorly linked with the ascribes of their resources and valuable capabilities. According to Alvarez and Barney (2017), based on the postulation that strategic assets are diversely allocated across business ventures and that the diversity is regular overtime, there is a close relationship between Coca-Cola Company resources and its sustained advantage in the beverage industry. According to the hypothesis, corporations’ resources encompass all the capabilities, institutional procedures, assets, attributes, knowledge, and data (Davis, 2017). Therefore, the implementation of the Coca-Cola Company’s strategic plan should consider the stated factors for the realization of success.

Possible Leadership and Changes in Complexities in the Implementation of Strategic Plans

Strategic planning concerning the Coca-Cola Company entails focusing beyond its immediate future to achieve specified objectives. Strategic changes present in various forms for the current business corporations. According to Esfahani, Mosadeghrad, and Akbarisari (2018), a robust corporate plan narrows the center organizations and lays the blueprint for growth and advancement. Therefore, the section discusses some of the leadership and changes complexities that Coca-Cola Company Limited in Pakistan and other subsidiaries should consider implementing in the future.

Coca-Cola Company leadership should consider the art of anticipation for implementation. Most corporations and leaders find it difficult to diagnose and realize threats and opportunities in their ventures (Davis, 2017). The corporation leadership has the mandate to evaluate some of the methodologies in place for rival companies such as Pepsi. In the future, an indirect benchmarking exercise on the competitor’s strategies of success should be contemplated. As Farrukh, Lee, and Shahzad (2019) explain, rival organizations’ standard measurement enables companies to set their objectives higher than their initial aims.

In the future, Coca-Cola company executives should consider reflecting and examining the challenges through different lenses before taking decisive operations. It will require courage, patience, and an accommodative mind of the Coca-Cola Company leadership (Raza et al., 2018). Various complexities emerge in the beverage industry, not only in the Pakistani subsidiary but also globally. As the report majorly focuses on the marketing strategy and its competitive advantage, the need to evaluate the two factors in the firm’s future remains significant.

In conclusion, the report has evaluated the Coca-Cola Company marketing strategic plan in Pakistan and how it propels the company. The research provides a literature review on the strategic position and proposals for consideration in the corporation’s future. The paper presents options for the company using the resource-based theory and Porter’s Generic Strategy grid. The analysis also recommends that the company keeps its retailing orientation not only in terms of strategic viewpoints but also in its daily tactical undertakings.

Reference List

Abbasi, H. (2017) ‘Marketing strategies of Coke: an overview’, Kaav International Journal of Economics, Commerce & Business Management, 4, pp. 194–199. Web.

Abdullah, A. et al. (2017) ‘Operation management analysis: Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan‘. Web.

Al-Halil, B. (2019) What is the Coca-Cola Sustainability Initiative effect on production? Web.

Alvarez, S. A. and Barney, J. B. (2017) ‘Resource-based theory and the entrepreneurial firm’, in Hitt, M. A. et al. (eds.) Strategic entrepreneurship: creating a new mindset. New York, NY: Wiley, pp. 87–105.

Amrollahi, A. and Rowlands, B. (2017) ‘Collaborative open strategic planning: a method and case study’, Information Technology & People, 30(4), pp. 832-852.

Dad, A. and Karim, A. M. (2019) ‘A literature review on external factors affecting export competitiveness of raw woven sector of Pakistan’, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 4(2), pp. 51-58.

Davis, P. J. (2017) ‘How HR can create competitive advantage for the firm: applying the principles of resource-based theory’, Human Resource Management International Digest, 25(2), pp. 4-6.

Esfahani, P., Mosadeghrad, A. M. and Akbarisari, A. (2018) ‘The success of strategic planning in health care organizations of Iran’, International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 31(6), pp. 563-574.

Faisal, F. (2017) ‘Sustainability: an imperative for improving governance and management in Pakistan’, Pakistan Economic and Social Review, 55(1), pp. 53–78.

Farrukh, M., Lee, J. W. C. and Shahzad, I. A. (2019) ‘Intrapreneurial behaviour in higher education institutes of Pakistan’, Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 11(2), pp. 273-294.

Greenhalgh, S. (2019) ‘Making China safe for Coke: how Coca-Cola shaped obesity science and policy in China’, The BMJ. Web.

Hu, J. et al. (2018) ‘Strategic planning and the stratification of Chinese higher education institutions’, International Journal of Educational Development, 63, pp. 36–43.

Iizawa, C. (2017) ‘Analysis of KOBE biomedical innovation cluster based on Michael Porter strategy’, Asian Journal of Research in Business Economics and Management, 7(11), pp. 38–43.

Juniaid, M. (2019) Supply chain hurdles in ABC Beverages Group Pakistan. PhD thesis. Center of Management Science, COMSATS University Lahore campus.

Lincoln, I. V. and Andrew, C. E. (2018) Porter analysis: a business strategy of Amazon.com through a value chain and comparative advantage analysis of Amazon’s trademarks and intangibles. Web.

Melton, A., Damron, T. and Vernon, J. (2017) A marketing strategy from corporate social responsibility: lessons from Unilever and Coca-Cola Enterprises. Web.

Raza, S. et al. (2018) ‘Dissection of small businesses in Pakistan: issues and directions’, International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 22(4), pp. 1–13.

Ropianto, M. et al. (2017) ‘Optimization of strategic planning organization in the framework of achievement objectives of education’, 2nd International Conference on Education, Science, and Technology. Paris: Atlantis Press, pp. 149-151.

Singaram, R. et al. (2019) ‘Coca-Cola: a study on the marketing strategies for millenniums focusing on India’, International Journal of Advanced Research and Development, 4(1), pp. 2455–4030.

Sulistiani, H., Wardani, F. and Sulistyawati, A. (2019) ‘Application of best-first search method to search nearest Business Partner Location (Case Study: PT Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, Bandar Lampung)’, 2019 International Conference on Computer Science, Information Technology, and Electrical Engineering. New York, NY: IEEE, pp. 102–106.

Van Leeuwen, G. and Mohnen, P. (2017) ‘Revisiting the Porter hypothesis: an empirical analysis of green innovation for the Netherlands’, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 26(1–2), pp. 63–77.

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