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Sample Coursework on Marketing: Coca Cola Company

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Sample Coursework on Marketing: Coca Cola Company
Executive Summary

The research proposal examines the Coca Cola Company and marketing strategies applied to ensure the firm grows, expands, and undertakes globalization. Market performances will also be discussed to affirm that, marketing approaches and strategies can break or make a firm. As a result, the Coca Cola Company marketing portfolio based on geographic, psychographic, and demographic segments will be reviewed. This will be coupled with management decision problems affecting marketing strategies within Coca Cola Company. A questionnaire comprising of ten questions will be applied among target groups. The results aim at affirming that, Coca Cola Company has achieved and sustained a competitive advantage. Consequently, sales, profit margins, and market shares are bound to increase and improve gradually. However, it is vital to affirm that, Coca Cola Company does not solely rely on low prices to achieve its marketing strategies. Thus, the company ensures high quality and standardized products are manufactured and supplied among willing consumers. This research proposal is therefore applicable among marketers, consumers, large, small, and multinational firms willing to grow, expand, and maintain a competitive advantage. Thus, the research questions and objectives will be addressed diversely within the proposal and the results revealed through the questionnaire.

Statement Problem

The Coca Cola Company has been manufacturing and supplying beverages across global markets since 1886. It has achieved and sustained competitive advantage against competitors including Pepsi. This research proposal therefore aims at examining the company’s operations. It will focus on its marketing strategies to research and examine the company has maintained the success. As a result, the research proposal will offer marketing tools and strategies other firms can rely on to grow and expand financially and non-financially.

Research Objectives
  1. Determine how marketing strategies have been utilized to grow the Coca Cola Company.
  2. Discuss how marketing performance levels have strengthened or weakened the company.
  3. Determine how the company’s marketing portfolio is diversified.
  4. Examine how marketing approaches have been utilized to sustain competitive advantage.
  5. Discuss marketing ethics, principles, and problems within Coca Cola Company.
Research Questions
  1. Where is Coca Cola Company located?
  2. What are the marketing approach, strategy, and mix utilized by the company?
  3. Do they influence consumer’s attitudes, behaviors, tastes and preferences?
  4. Should Coca Cola Company structure its marketing tools according to consumer needs?
  5. How can the company improve its marketing strategies?
Research Rationale/Justification

The Coca Cola Company acknowledged as global firm manufacturing, advertising, promoting, and supplying soft drinks is successful. This is despite majoring in manufacture of nonalcoholic beverages leaving an open gap in the market. Assessing the company’s position in the market is therefore vital in understanding how its strategies and approaches in sustaining a competitive advantage. This research proposal will therefore examine its internal and external environments. Consequently, challenges facing the company will be identified. As a result, the research will provide recommendations other manufacturing firms can rely on towards their efforts of being multinational companies such as the Coca Cola Company (CCC, 2012).

Target Population

The target population while authoring this research proposal is mainly manufacturing companies globally. However, consumers are also targeted as they are key in discussing how marketing strategies applied by Coca Cola Company influence their attitudes and behaviors. Since the research proposal is mainly about marketing, another target population includes marketers, advertisers, salespeople, and promoters. Major companies globally fail to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage due to poor marketing skills among these target persons. Emulating the skills, approaches, and strategies applied by the Coca Cola Company can therefore improve their business position in the market. Consequently, they can increase sales, improve on profitability, expand, and sustain a competitive advantage in individual field (Eva-Lena, Cecilie & Evelina, 2006).

 

Research Design and Method

The research approach applied in authoring this proposal will be descriptive. Descriptive research design is appropriate in authoring a research proposal within the Coca Cola Company as it allows integration of the firm’s facts. More so, it allows use of observations, case studies, and surveys to gather data. Thus, the most appropriate research method will be qualitative. It is also more applicable in undertaking academic marketing researches by gathering deep understanding of people and their behaviors. It will therefore allow application of questionnaires and interviews among the target populations to understand how Coca Cola Company influences its consumers. It will provide answers as to how and why the company undertakes various marketing strategies influencing consumers’ decisions, attitudes, behaviors, tastes, and preferences.

Sampling Process

            This research proposal will mainly rely on questionnaires, surveys, and case studies to collect and gather data. The questionnaires will be applied to seek consumer responses, identify their purchasing behaviors and attitudes with regards to Coca Cola Company products. Qualitative research method relies on various methods of gathering data. However, this research proposal will mainly rely on case studies. The sampled data will be reported as analyzed information gathered from journal articles, eBooks, and other reliable materials.

Background Research

Coca Cola Company is a multinational soft drink manufacturing firm. It operates across more than two hundred global nations selling more than four hundred beverage brands. Thus, the company derives pleasure in supplying non-alcoholic beverages globally. Consequently, it is recognized as a successful firm since it was founded in 1886 due to its efforts in maintaining global peace and prosperity. Its efforts are however challenged by several issues including economic depression and global wars among nations. Although the company was originally established in Atlanta, it currently operates among developed and developing nations. Thus, the size of the firm is large on financial, asset, and operational levels. As a beverage manufacturing company, Coca Cola has faced stiff competition from various firms including Pepsi and Minute Maid. The competition has been coupled with internal and external weaknesses as well as threats affecting its manufacturing operations. However, through local and international marketing, the company has maintained a competitive advantage. More so, it acquired Minute Maid eliminating competition (Molina, 2011).

The Coca Cola Company target markets are deeply rooted among local communities. It therefore ensures beverage brands manufactured to honor the distinctive local identity, culture, and heritage. The company’s portfolio on beverage brands indicates various segments applied in manufacturing distinctive products. Currently, Coca Cola Company is licensed to own more than five hundred beverages. The portfolio indicates more than three thousand five hundred beverages are manufactured by the company. The products include sports, energy, and soft drinks as well as coffee and tea (CCC, 2012).

Coca Cola Company Market Segmentation

Market segments refer to portions or groups of customers with similar wants, needs, and desires characterized by a company based on their exhibited purchasing behaviors. Coca Cola Company analyzes and understands its market segments by identifying opportunities, consumer tastes and preferences, purchasing attitudes and behaviors as well as a competitive edge for maximum capitalization. The company’s market segments are divided into four based on the company’s world top beverages. These beverages are namely Coca Cola, Fanta, Diet Coke, and Sprite (Porter, 2011).

With regards to geographic coverage, Coca Cola Company operates across worldwide markets. There are various geographical divisions across the globe headed by the parent company. This ensures more autonomy is awarded per division in order to run business operations effectively and efficiently. Among the major geographical divisions, Coca Cola Company operates in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, North America and United Kingdom. Consumption of a beverage among the divisions often takes place on various premises. These premises include restaurants, cinemas, railway stations, religious institutions, colleges, universities, high schools, and also residential homes (CCC, 2012).

 With regards to psychographics and demographics, the Company estimates every individual consumes at least eighty nine bottles of Coca Cola beverages annually. The company does not manufacture or supply alcoholic beverages. Thus, the age is neither set nor limited. More so, any consumer within lower, middle, and upper income group can afford the company’s products. The estimated consumption levels among individuals within diverse age and income groups are based on the annual report released by Coca Cola Company in 2010. However, preferences, choices, and behavioral patterns among consumers in recent times might have led to increase in worldwide consumption (Tsang, Chan Ho, Fung, Chan, Yuen, Chan & Yan, 2011).

For example, the company has been targeting the primary market segment consisting of young consumers aged between ten and twenty five years old. Consumers aged between twenty five and forty years old comprise the secondary market. The young primary market consumers demand strong flavored soft drinks. They rarely pay attention on their healthcare requirements compared to secondary market. This is because consumers within the secondary market prefer diet Coke soft drinks due to health consciousness. Thus, sprite is preferred among teenagers while Limca is mainly consumed by working persons with healthcare issues to address or prevent (Christopher, Romita & Li, 2014).

Annually, the company estimates nations such as Spain, South Africa, Canada, and Mexico are bound to increase consumption rates at an average of one hundred bottles. The Coca Cola Company is recognized for various benefits as sought by users. For example, consumers acknowledge the company’s efforts to manufacture healthier beverages such as diet Coke and Dasani water. As a result, the user status improves increasing the firm’s manufacturing and operations globally. Coca Cola Company’s performance levels have therefore been improving since it was founded. This is based on the firm’s key indicators such as sales, market share, and profitability, market share (CCC, 2012).

Coca Cola Company Performance Levels

The company has expanded through organic growth and acquisitions. More so, it increases investments across major emerging markets through small scale acquisitions to enrich its portfolio on financial wellness and health. In order to improve on sales, the company relies on re-franchising and re-organization of bottling operations. For example, the company ensured Pepsi did not attain a competitive advantage in 1960s and 1970s by hiring advertisement agencies to create, market, and promote its products. The adverts targeted young Hispanic and African American consumers. This led to increase of sales among the targeted markets. Consequently, market shares improved as well as profitability levels. Global advertisement commercials have ensured Coca Cola Company is recognized on a worldwide platform. As a result, the company’s brands acquire consumers’ attention. More so, the firm is able to differentiate from competitors by promoting high quality, genuine, and identifiable beverages. Consequently, sales increase allowing the firm to utilize a bottling system able to meet global demands for beverage drinks. Distribution systems coupled with financial growth have therefore maintained the company’s long term sales, profits, and market share growth and expansions (Tsang, Chan Ho, Fung, Chan, Yuen, Chan & Yan, 2011).

However, Coca Cola Company also suffers from management decision problem. For example, the firm’s operations suffered adversely in 1985 after the company changed its formula of manufacturing Coke products. The management believed the new Coca Cola Classic formula would attract new consumers. However, target markets and segments of consumers protested the new formula after nine days. The products produced using the formula had to be recalled and withdrawn from the market. This incurred the company production, marketing, and promotion losses. Sale records for the period of nine decreased drastically as consumers protested the formula. However, a statement from the company confirmed that manufacturing operations would resume use of the original formula (Christopher, Romita & Li, 2014).

A Survey of the Coca Cola Company: Questionnaire

This questionnaire will be applicable in affirming that, the Coca Cola Company utilizes effective and efficient marketing strategies. It will also seek to confirm the company is capable of sustaining the competitive advantage for a longer period of time. Answers will be provided by fellow students while remaining anonymous by ticking their most preferred choice. Some questions may require more than one answer. Participants are requested to answer truthfully without feeling restricted. Consequently, students willing to link their answers and names are allowed. In order for the survey to be relevant and valid, the questionnaire will compare Coca Cola Company and Pepsi beverages.

  1. Do you drink a soft beverage?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

  1. Which company do you prefer purchasing your soft beverage from?

[ ] Coca Cola Company

[ ] Pepsi Company

  1. Which is your favorite soft drink? (Select as many as possible)

[ ] Coca Cola

[ ] Fanta

[ ] Sprite

[ ] Diet Coke

[ ] Minute Maid Juice

[ ] Pepsi

[ ] None of the Above/Not Listed

  1. How often do you purchase a beverage drink?

Daily

[ ] Weekly

[ ] Once a month

 [ ] Never

[ ] Always

  1. Why is it your favorite beverage? Because of the (Select as many as possible)

[ ] Taste

[ ] Packaging

[ ] Pricing

[ ] Promotion Strategy

[ ] Don’t Know

  1. What influences your desires, wants, and needs to purchase your preferred beverage drink? (Select as many as possible)

[ ] Taste

[ ] Brand Loyalty

[ ] Brand Image

[ ] Brand Availability

[ ] Advertisement

[ ] Prices

[ ] Don’t drink beverages

  1. At your local shop, from which company are most of the beverage drinks manufactured and supplied from?

[ ] Pepsi Company

[ ] Coca Cola Company

  1. Which company applies the most preferred marketing approach?

[ ] Pepsi Company

[ ] Coca Cola Company

  1. Which media channels have you watched Coca Cola Company air advertisements and promotions? (Select as many as appropriate)

[ ] Internet/Social Media

[ ] Radio

[ ] Television

[ ] Magazines

[ ] Posters

[ ] None of the above

[ ] Not Listed (Specify)

  1. What do you think about Coca Cola Company’s marketing strategies and approaches? (Select as many as possible)

[ ] Commercial

[ ] Traditional

[ ] Provocative

[ ] Trendy

[ ] Enjoyable

[ ] Controversial

Data Analysis Method and Findings

The data gathered from the questionnaire ought to range two hundred and three hundred results. This includes valid replies from market segments consuming Coca Cola products as well as Pepsi beverage brands. Course supervisors, fellow students, and employees allowed to answer the questionnaire online are the target populations in gathering the data. The aim of this research is to assert Coca Cola products are properly marketed, advertised, and promoted. As a result, buying and consuming the products among the market segments is higher in comparison to Pepsi Company as well as other competitors. Consequently, the company records high profit margins, increasing consumer loyalty, improved bottling designs and systems, and brand imaging. A survey was conducted to affirm future Coca Cola products will record higher sales, profit margins, consumer loyalty, and brand recognition than Pepsi Company. However, the Coca Cola Company affirms low product pricing cannot affirm these future predictions can be achieved and sustained. The company believes sustaining manufacture of high quality products, designing recognizable packaging materials, improved promotion strategies, and consumer loyalty can achieve and sustain a bright future for the company (Scott & Gerald, 2010). 

These analyses were confirmed by Sun Jianfei who asserted that, low prices do not guarantee consumer loyalty. Although low prices attract consumers due to injection of higher financial assets in marketing, it does not guarantee consumer loyalty. More so, the firm does not utilize finances towards either brand quality or improvement. The most crucial marketing strategy involves consistent increment of sales. Thus, the Coca Cola Company should continue improving advertisement approaches to attract more consumers. Consumer marketing ensures market segments recognize the brand, quality, services offered, and indulge their ideas and opinions on ways to improve and expand it. Consequently, the firm should utilize these findings towards improving product qualities, pricing, packaging, marketing, and loyalty among consumes. However, low prices can also attract negative consumer response. For example, consumers can doubt product quality leading to decreasing sales and profit margins. Thus, brand quality and association with Coca Cola Company products is either directly or indirectly based on consumer thoughts, perceptions, desires, wants, and needs from a product. Consumers either ‘very much ’or ‘very little’ want to acknowledge Coca Cola Company advertises products to influence consumers’ tastes, preferences, wants, and desires, as well as choices, needs, and wants coupled with brand advertisement and promotion. These changes diversely change consumers’ decisions to either purchase or hire a product for use consciously to effectively and efficiently market decisions, tastes and preferences (Sun, 2010).

Timescale

            The timescale therefore allowed for future investigations to ascertain company perspectives were equally positive towards growth and development. Consequently, it allowed for marketers to affirm gender equality was equally important towards achievement of social and economic balance. As a result, marketers ought to have tailored and advertised employment campaigns among different age and income groups.

Research Limitations

The main limitation is based on the timeline. The timeline provided to conduct a thorough qualitative research was therefore small and constrained. As a result, it was challenging to gather reliable, accurate, and relevant insights in order to provide valid results. For example, gathering insights with regards to consumer attitudes and behaviors was constrained due to lack of time and resources. The second limitation was based on lack of direct contact and collaboration with the Coca Cola Company. The insights reported though this research proposal therefore is solely based on observations, and surveys reported in other case studies. Lastly, financial abilities were also constrained. It was challenging to gather enough financial resources to conduct interviews and questionnaires among consumers with regards to the Coca Cola Company. Thus, drafting a complete marketing plan utilized by the Coca Cola Company will be based on reports, facts, and presumptions reported and authored by other researchers. In conclusion, the research proposal affirmed consumers ought to be aware Coca Cola Company manufactures high quality and quantity products. As a result, consumers ought to align brand loyalty based on quality and quantity factors. Consequently, the company can record higher sales, improved sales, and increasing profit margins.


References

Christopher, H., Romita,  S. & Li, Z., 2014. The Coca-Cola Company: Case Synopsis, Sheppard School Report. 

Coca-Cola Company (CCC)., 2012. GRI Report: A Companion to the 2011/2012 Sustainability Coca-Cola Company, Coca Cola Annual Report, 1(18): 1-122.

Eva-Lena, A., Cecilie, L. & Evelina, A., 2006. Coca-Cola or Pepsi? That is the Question: A Study about Different Factors Affecting Consumer Preferences, School of Management and Economics. Accessed on 12th Jan 2015 from:  

Molina, I., 2011. Marketing Business Case: Coca-Cola Company, New Mexico Highlands University. Accessed on 12th Jan 2015 from: 

Porter, M. E., 2011. The Coca Cola Company: Marketing Strategy, Harvard Business Review, Cambridge: Harvard Press. Accessed on 12th Jan 2015 from: 

Scott, M. S. & Gerald, S. A., 2010.  An Introduction to Marketing Research, Marketing News, Oxford University Press. Accessed on 12th Jan 2015 from:

Sun, J., 2010. Brand Image in Cola Drinks; Case: Future Cola of Wahaha Group Co. Ltd, China, Business Management, Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Accessed on 12th Jan 2015 from: Tsang, H., Chan Ho, Y., Fung, T.., Chan, P., Yuen, W., Chan., H. & Yan, K., 2011. Group Case Study Project: The Coca-Cola Company, Chu Hai College of Higher Education. Accessed on 12th Jan 2015 from:

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