The Coca-Cola Company’s Technology and Future

Abstract

The Coca-Cola Company is one of the most successful business entities in the world. The company operates in the competitive beverage industry, and it has developed a high competitive advantage through its pricing, marketing, and distribution channels. The company has also leveraged technology in its logistics department and other business processes to enhance the ability to save costs and time. The future requires Coca-Cola to diversify its products and to produce healthier products.

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Introduction

The Coca-Cola Company is one of the renowned companies in the beverage industry. The company has attained tremendous success over the years through the development of strategic approaches in the business processes. The Coca-Cola Company has managed to develop a brand with a global presence, and it has a supply chain that is rivaled by many of its competitors. One of the factors that have led to Coca-Cola having a large loyal market share across the world is the ability of the company to distribute its products effectively in the market. Customers across the world have never experienced a situation where there was a shortage of the various soft drinks produced by The Coca-Cola Company, and this is a result of leveraging technology in the distribution process, as well as ensuring that the company’s logistics are handled by a competent function.

History and Growth

The Coca-Cola Company was established in 1886 by John Stith Pemberton. In 1889, Pemberton sold the formula and brand name to Asa Griggs Candler, who would later franchise the production of the beverage, and the company has operated as a franchise since 1889 (Pendergrast, 2013). The Coca-Cola Company produces syrup for various drinks and sells it to various bottling companies across the world, which implies that it must have a very efficient logistics department. The company is listed on the NYSE stock exchange as NYSE: KO and its stock price have been performing steadily well over the years because sales have always been on an increasing trend. The growth of the company has particularly been increased by the intensive marketing approach and having high responsiveness to customers’ needs, especially in the contemporary business world, where the majority of the consumers want healthy beverages.

Strength and Weaknesses

One of the primary strengths of the Coca-Cola Company is the intensive marketing approach used by the management. Coca-Cola is one of the companies that use a substantial amount of its annual profits for marketing purposes (Bhasin, 2017). The company has particularly adopted the use of seasonal themes to market its products. The brand is marketed throughout the year with themes that create a brand memory for the consumers. Additionally, the Coca-Cola Company has established a logistics unit that has actively adopted the use of technology to enhance its efficiency. One of the most useful technologies that have been recently adopted by the logistics department is a traffic routing system that provides the most reliable routes for delivering products on a daily basis. The system uses GPS tracking systems to identify the shortest and fastest routes to be used by the professional delivery teams, and this has enhanced the ability to save costs and to eliminate time overruns in the delivery system. One of the weaknesses associated with the company is the absence of products that are 100% healthy beverages.

External Environment

The Coca-Cola Company has the opportunity to venture higher into success by diversifying its products to include healthy beverages. This would ultimately take market share from some of its competitors who have concentrated on producing healthy beverages. Additionally, the company faces the opportunity of developing snacks and candy associated with the Coke brand. Diversification is the future for Coca-Cola because its close rivals such as Pepsi are already applying this strategy. The major threat faced by the Coca-Cola Company emanates from Pepsi, a close rival with a business strategy that is identical to Coca-Cola’s but with the ability to diversify its products and win a large market share in the global market (Bhasin, 2017). While Pepsi is yet to attain the success level that Coca-Cola has achieved, it poses a major threat to the company because its products are direct alternatives to the products offered by Coca-Cola.

Analysis of Findings

The Coca-Cola Company has a very high competitive advantage over its closest rival because it has a strong brand with a loyal customer base. The Coke brand is associated with a lasting brand memory, and the intensive marketing approach has ensured that the consumers are constantly reminded of the quality and uniqueness of the products. The opportunities available to the Coca-Cola Company would ultimately enhance its ability to attract more customers because there are many people who refrain from consuming some of its products because of their sugar level. However, the company has responded by developing healthier products under the Coke brand to respond to the needs of the consumers. Perhaps the high responsiveness to the requirements of the consumers is one of the factors that have kept the company at the top of the competition in the industry. However, Coca-Cola needs to look into diversifying its products to match the competitive strategy used by its rivals (Bhasin, 2017).

Corporate Level Strategy

The mission and vision statements of the Coca-Cola Company highlight the commitment of the company to refreshing the world through its brand and actions. The main aim of the company is to continue developing a local market share in the world, and this is attained through the development of themed marketing campaigns (Banks, 2016). The company’s corporate-level strategy is particularly associated with the need to deliver products to the market fast, and this is actualized through the production of syrup and selling it to bottlers, who use various levels of distributors to deliver the products to the consumers. This strategy has seen the smooth articulation of efforts in the production and distribution departments of the company.

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Business-Level Strategy

The Coca-Cola Company has managed to maintain a loyal customer base through the provision of high-quality products at relatively low prices compared to the competitors. The company applies the concept of the economy of sales to realize a large profit margin. The affordability and availability of the products in all retail stores across the world are also a contributing factor to the tremendous success of the company. The distribution process of the commodities has been improved through the adoption of technology in determining cost-effective and time-efficient routes in the logistics department (Banks, 2016). Having numerous products under the popular Coke brand and marketing them intensely through various media channels, including social media, television, and print media has also been a significant boost to the performance of the Coca-Cola Company.

Implementation

The Coca-Cola Company has a complex organizational structure that is associated with franchises and independent distributors. The model of the company is characterized by the presence of a president heading the various continental production units, corporate staff, manufacturing employees, marketing team, and a finance department. The compensation process of the employees is based on the market levels, but the company has always provided its employees with enticing benefits to maintain their commitment to Coca-Cola (Banks, 2016). The franchises are compelled to produce and distribute Coca-Cola products efficiently to ensure they are available in all stores across the target markets.

Recommendation

The Coca-Cola Company must look into developing products that are aimed at promoting health. The global society has continuously inclined its consumption preferences toward products that improve health outcomes. Some of the products of the Coca-Cola Company are associated with high levels of sugar, which is a major cause of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (Powell & Gard, 2015). The company must focus on responding to the consumers through the development of healthier beverages. Additionally, it would be desirable for the company to enhance its product portfolio by differentiating the products. Developing different snacks and Coca-Cola candy would improve sales by harnessing a larger market share than its rivals.

Conclusion

The most interesting part of the Coca-Cola Company is that it is among the few companies that have looked into adopting technology in the development of competitive advantage. The routing system facilitates the logistics department with information on the best routes to use when making urgent deliveries. This has enhanced the delivery speed and integrated with the marketing approach and production capabilities to increase the competitive power of the company. While some weaknesses exist in the company’s business strategy, the Coca-Cola Company is still the leading company in the beverage industry. Its competitiveness comes from the fact that it has the capability to provide significantly lower prices for the beverages, unlike its rivals. The company has numerous opportunities, including the development of new products under the Coke brand, and enhancing its sales through lower prices for various products.

References

Banks, H. (2016). The business of peace: Coca-Cola’s contribution to stability, growth, and optimism. Business Horizons, 59(5), 455-461.

Bhasin, H. (2017). SWOT of Coca Cola. Web.

Pendergrast, M. (2013). For god, country, and coca-cola (1st ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books.

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Powell, D., & Gard, M. (2015). The governmentality of childhood obesity: Coca-Cola, public health and primary schools. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36(6), 854-867.

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