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International Marketing Case Study Of Coca Cola

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Question:

Discuss about the International Marketing Case Study of Coca Cola.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Marketing shapes success of an organisation in terms of stability and competitive position in market. International marketing has some complexity in strategy formation and analysis, as doing business in foreign location by successful market penetration is not an easy task. But with better planning this becomes possible. In this report, international marketing has been highlighted from Coca cola’s point of assessment revolving a new launch of product named Coca-cola zero. The organisation may adopt several strategies while making an entry with Coca-cola zero in UK market (Chandra, Styles and Wilkinson, 2009, p.45). With regard to this, some major strategy variants like situational analysis, analysis of market entry mode, marketing mix strategies and implementation of strategies in the marketplaces of UK are important and these have been discussed in this report. Coca cola is a largest selling beverage company with soft drink as its most popular product under its product lines. This would create advantage for the product like Coca-cola zero to be accepted by UK people. The company is based in Atlanta of Georgia and was founded in the year of 1886.  International market across the world offers huge opportunities for the firm to reap marketing benefits and more profits. For making market entry in UK, several analysis followed by strategy formation and implementation are of use for the company. It becomes necessary for the firm to undertake some market assessment strategies which are advantageous to strategy development and implementation for successful launching of Coca-cola Zero (Czinkota and Ronkainen, 2013).

Situational analysis of market entry in UK – This is important for coca-cola for understanding the internal and external environment along with knowledge about customers and business environment in UK. This will help the company to launch Coca –cola zero in UK market.

 

Market analysis

This is an important assessment for coca cola to know about its organisational capabilities to conduct business in UK. Situational analysis has its stress on market analysis or else the essence of situational analysis becomes weak. In the part of market analysis, it is vital for the company to understand internal and external market. Market entry requires investigation about internal and external factors which will have profound influence in business decisions in UK and based on this, the firm can roll out its business out there (Dow and Larimo, 2009, p.80). The firm’s possibility of success and survival in UK soft drink industry largely depend on effective analysis of market and opportunities available to Coca cola.

Internal environment of business in UK for Coca cola- The business environment and factors in it are moderately within the control of coca cola. The company has its management skills, effective production process and communication channels which altogether can serve the purpose of company in   better controlling of its operation in UK (Fletcher and Crawford, 2013). But the company will still require to conduct frequent appraisal of its control mechanism of internal factors for supporting business in the new location.  Inefficient elements need to be amended for ensuring better results in international market.

External business environment- This brings about challenges for the firm and Coca- cola has hardly any control on the external factors in external environment.  Changes in economic climate create challenges or even opportunities and Coca-cola needs to have awareness of that for utilising the opportunities and strategy preparation for controlling challenges. Customers’ choice towards products of coca-cola and their values are important indicators of deciding business fate of coca-cola in UK market (Joshi, 2009). Many people in UK are obese and suffer from diabetes. They want to steer clear of sugar content foods. This has to be kept in consideration while devising market entry strategies. Coca- cola has marketing mix strategies to circumvent threats and challenges likely to arise out of external environment.

 

Analysis of the market entry modes and one recommended mode of entry

Coca cola has several options as market entry modes among which are exporting, joint ventures and franchising. These all have their some merits and demerits as per nature and capacity of business.  The options of market entries if are not suitable for the company, then company is inclined to adapt with more reasonable entry mode for starting business in UK.  Exporting facilitates quick access to UK market but there large cost involvement with possibility of reduced revenue. According to Leonidou, et al (2010, p.500), franchising creates opportunities like relationship development with foreign markets, agents and governments and speedy contact with UK customers while the disadvantages are volatile behaviour of agents and their lack of commitment. Distribution system often gets disorganised due to this. Murphy (2010) stated that, Joint ventures are often fruitful as direct engagement in business operation increases in UK. Also another advantage is procurement of management rights for bottling companies (Nijssen and Herk, 2009, p.102). Though with no apparent disadvantages of it, the company has initially difficulties in establishing multiple ventures and only limited numbers of ventures are possible to roll out there. The most recommended market entry mode for the company in UK is to build distribution network with bottling companies for making sure that Coca-cola zero are available everywhere facilitating easy access by customers. It is more prudent for the company to concentrate on market segmentation for deciding potential customers who are likely to be regular customer of the soft drinks (Zhou, Wu and Barnes, 2012, p. 28).

 

 

Perceived quality is a factor that has influence on product and its selling possibility. Considering this, advertisements in large numbers about the products can help the company to improve perception about products among potential customers.

Application of effective marketing mix strategies for successful outcomes – Coca-cola has huge brand recognition making it a familiar brand to everyone. In UK market, marketing strategies including marketing mix holds significance for the firm. The functional aspects of marketing mix if properly applied can ensure better outcomes for Coca-cola zero in UK market. 

Product- The product of coca-cola is part of the widest portfolio. Among the large product lines, products like water, energy drinks, fruit juices, diet category drinks are most popular. Coca cola zero has the trait to make customers feel a sense of refreshment. Success of soft drinks depend on four facts like availability, visibility, cooling and ranges and these are always are in the priority of the coca-cola company. These also hold importance for Coca-cola zero. The product lines of the company justify the popularity of the products across the global markets and UK.  It is also expected that Coca-cola zero will be also popular among the customers as the product has zero sugar content without affecting taste of the drink (Zhou, Wu and Barnes, 2012, p.32).

Price- Pricing is decided on the basis of geographic segment and competitors’ pricing so that customers are willing to purchase the soft drinks and sales do not drop. The company faces tough competition from Pepsi which is its leading competitor and pricing therefore requires a careful planning while launching Coca-cola zero (Turnbull and Valla, 2013).

Place- Constant focus on availability of products can pay off if market demands and growth are obvious indicators of success.. Strong distribution network and FMCG pattern of distribution is most ideal for the company to make Coca-cola zero available at urban and rural location of United Kingdom.

Promotion- Taking into view the UK market, the company finds value based advertisements linking life style and behaviour of potential customers and this becomes more effective and creates perception about products like Coca-cola Zero.

 

Implementation strategies in the new marketplace addressed

Marketing strategies of coca-cola requires proper implementation in the context of UK soft drinks and beverage industry. This will offer support to the company to make entry with Co-cola zero in UK. Internal strengths like organisational capacity and brand reputation need to be retained. External environments like policies of UK government, regulatory requirements pertaining to beverage industry require compliance (Tan and Sousa, 2013, p. 725). Customers’ behaviour being an indicator of products’ acceptance requires the organisation to be watchful on every aspect from strategy formation, product development and positioning, advertisement. As relevant to UK market, coca-cola’s adoption of market entry mode by means of Joint ventures with bottling companies and distribution link in UK requires relationship development and can fetch more profit for business depending on Coca-cola zero’s availability everywhere on time. Also it is to be looked after by the company, that it has direct engagement with the business operation in UK market even though association between bottling companies is important (Powers and Loyka, 2010, p.70). The important aspects like visibility, availability, cooling and range is ensured by the company, keeping in view the expectations from customers. These activities are complemented by each other in which market segmentation as most vital marketing strategy offers help to the overall marketing performance of the company.  Target population are divided as per their age and income which are in the ambit of demographic segmentation. The company targets to sell Coca-cola zero to everyone irrespective of age and locality in rural and urban sector. Behavioural segmentation keeps focus on the responsiveness of customers to Coca-cola zero. The company observes that UK people in large numbers suffer from obesity and diabetes which make them shun soft drinks (Papadopoulos and Heslop, 2014). It is important for Coca-cola to concentrate on soft drinks with low sugar contents and Coca-cola zero remains ideal according to demands in market. This awareness on the part of Coca cola is helpful to justify the vital first metric that is product among marketing mix. Pricing needs also attention and the company needs to keep products accessible in terms of financial capacity of every target customer. Availability of soft drinks to meet demands of customers remain vital priority  and this can be more reinforced by proper advertising which are value based and reach out to target customers within least possible time with a possibility of rise in acceptance of Coca-cola zero (Papadopoulos  and Martín Martín, 2011, p.140).  

Conclusion

No company can survive if their products are not accepted by their customers. Thus a company like Coca cola eyeing for making entry into foreign market like UK invariably depends on effective strategies of marketing. There are several stages on which market entry is largely dependent and these are situational analysis, decision on market entry mode, marketing remix and strategy implementation. Coca cola has huge brand familiarity among its customers and this popularity of brand always remains most effective strength for the company for getting Coca-cola zero accepted in UK market.

 

References

Chandra, Y., Styles, C. and Wilkinson, I., 2009. The recognition of first time international entrepreneurial opportunities: Evidence from firms in knowledge-based industries. International Marketing Review, 26(1), pp.30-61.

Czinkota, M.R. and Ronkainen, I.A., 2013. International marketing. Cengage Learning.

Dow, D. and Larimo, J., 2009. Challenging the conceptualization and measurement of distance and international experience in entry mode choice research. Journal of International Marketing, 17(2), pp.74-98.

Fletcher, R. and Crawford, H., 2013. International marketing: an Asia-Pacific perspective. Pearson Higher Education AU.

Joshi, R.M., 2009. International business. OUP Catalogue.

Leonidou, L.C., Barnes, B.R., Spyropoulou, S. and Katsikeas, C.S., 2010. Assessing the contribution of leading mainstream marketing journals to the international marketing discipline. International Marketing Review, 27(5), pp.491-518.

Murphy, P.E., 2010. Marketing, Ethics of. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management.

Nijssen, E.J. and Herk, H.V., 2009. Conjoining international marketing and relationship marketing: exploring consumers' cross-border service relationships. Journal of International Marketing, 17(1), pp.91-115.

Papadopoulos, N. and Heslop, L.A., 2014. Product-country images: Impact and role in international marketing. Routledge.

Papadopoulos, N. and Martín Martín, O., 2011. International market selection and segmentation: perspectives and challenges. International Marketing Review, 28(2),pp.132-149.

Powers, T.L. and Loyka, J.J., 2010. Adaptation of marketing mix elements in international markets. Journal of global marketing, 23(1), pp.65-79.

Tan, Q. and Sousa, C.M., 2013. International marketing standardization. Management international review, 53(5), pp.711-739.

Turnbull, P.W. and Valla, J.P. eds., 2013. Strategies for international industrial marketing. Routledge.

Zhou, L., Wu, A. and Barnes, B.R., 2012. The effects of early internationalization on performance outcomes in young international ventures: the mediating role of marketing capabilities. Journal of International Marketing, 20(4), pp.25-45.

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