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A key factor in Coca Cola's success is its power in the industry. Although it has major competitors such as Pepsi and Virgin Cola, it owns the vast majority of soft drink selection. The company owns Schweppes, Oasis, 5 alive, Kea Oar, Fanta, Lilt, Dr Pepper, sprite and the sports drink Powerade. This is good for the company but reduces the buying power of the consumers, as there is less choice, creating greater selling power to Coca Cola. This means that Coca C ola can stop any new competitors coming into the market because it has so many brands that a new company would have to spend billions on marketing a new a product to compete against Coca Cola. Coca Cola that has large profits may be able to reduce prices, which it could take but a new competitor would not. Its large portfolio means that it can sell to all types people who have different taste
Pricing strategy is an integral part in a companies long term objectives. In order for Coca Cola to survive and prosper it is vital that they choose the right strategy where value for money and profitability are balanced. As Coca Cola is a huge organisation in which it operates a franchising system which supplies to over 1200 bottling operations world wide it is able to keep manufacturing costs down, thus increasing profitability.
Although Coca Cola is the most famous and the most popular soft drinks supplier it is still one of the cheapest to for distributors to buy, this price is enabled due to the company's approach to low cost production giving the retailers value for money. They are more likely to stock and actively sell coca cola because it has the same retail price as the other drinks but they get at a cheaper price then the other drinks so they can make the most profits on coca cola. Although it has a high retail price compared to other soft drinks. This is because it has always promoted itself to be the "original" and "the real thing" and therefore the price should reflect this otherwise the marketing mix would not flow.
"With Coca Cola's increasing dominance in the world market, their International operations generated revenue of $14.4 billion, taking their operating income from outside the U.S. to 80% of their total income in 2002." (Www.cocacola.com)
The product itself and the image surrounding it plays a vital role in its success. The design of Coca cola soft drinks has hardly changed in its history, from their logo to the special glass bottle. These individual characteristics give coca cola a strong brand image with brand loyalty a key result of this.
Although Coca cola is still their main and best selling drink, every product has stages in which it varies from introduction, growth, maturity through to decline. This is called the product lifecycle. In order for a company to continuously prosper it is important for it to analyse the product lifecycle of certain products and if needed re generate its image or introduce similar products to refresh the market. Coca Cola has done this to great effect in recent years with the "introduction of the Diet Coke product in 1988, which is the number two soft drink sold in Great Britain today." (www.cocacola.com) It has also introduced similar products such as Vanilla, Lemon and caffeine free flavoured coke. This has enabled coca cola to offer a wide range of soft drinks to suit different tastes but has also helped to revitalise its existing products. When a product is in maturity stage as is the case with Coca Cola and now Diet Coke, the product is well established and competition is usually high (Pepsi), profit and sales are also high and promotion of the product is very intense as companies strive to increase popularity of its products.
Place is just as important as the previous as it is vitally important that Coca Cola has its product available at the "right time, the right place and in the right condition." As is the size of the company its distribution levels are massive, it supplies to Retailers, from large supermarkets to corner shops, petrol stations, corner shops, off licences etc, Secondary schools ,its company policy not to promote soft drinks to children under the age of 11, for nutritional reasons, colleges, hospitals, clubs, restaurants, cafes and cinemas. Practically every shop that offers soft drinks will have coca cola on sale. This is the company aim, "within an arm's reach of desire", this translates into the company aiming to provide any one with its product should it be desired any where in the world. Coca Cola has massive supplying power when it comes to the distribution of its products as it is so widespread it can control the cost due to the demand for the product. Although the company does not sell in some major franchises such as KFC because Pepsi its main competitor has struck deals with them to only sell Pepsi products.
Promotion is a key stage in a businesses operation as it is a company's link between product and consumer. How the product is promoted and advertised ultimately determines the success of the product. Coca Cola has produced some of the most memorable adverts to date such as the Christmas specials featuring the polar bears and Santa Claus. This Santa Claus advert was so well thought out that it has changed the way that people think that Santa Claus looks like. It is aspects such as these that help coca cola stand out from the rest. It is estimated that the coca cola trademark has a 94% global recognition; this is down to lots of innovative and sustained promotion of its product. Coca cola has advertisements everywhere, billboards, newspapers, Internet, magazines and T.V. being the biggest source of advertising. Coca Cola has an advertisement on the famous Piccadilly billboards.