The type of branding pursued by Coca Cola Company
The Coca Cola Company has been in existence since 1886 and has managed to survive numerous economic changes and competition from rival companies such as Pepsi and 7Up. The Company established itself as the largest producer of soft drinks in the world through a combination of strong branding strategies, maintaining networks with distributors and suppliers and involving consumers in the production process. Apart from their main soft drink Coke, the Coca Cola Company also manufactures non-carbonated beverages and natural spring waters. The company engaged in a notable program in 1995 to lower their expenditure and increase their income.
Coca Cola has created a well-known and valued brand that is unique and has contributed greatly to their success. The continuous development of the brand positioning and packaging ensured that other companies could not quickly evolve at their pace and were left behind. A common factor in nearly all of Coca Cola’s branding campaigns has been the involvement of the feeling of joy and togetherness. The company therefore focuses on activities using one or a combination of the following means: sports, happiness, families, music and cultures. A recent successful branding project was the 2010 FIFA World Cup where Coca Cola launched the Waving flag theme song that greatly boosted their sales volumes (Vardar & Paliwoda, 2006).
The Coca Cola Company has also embraced social networking as a channel through which their branding strategy could be of use to them. Coca Cola has launched viral videos on the social medial platforms such as Twitter and Facebook where it has over 40 million fans who translate into eventual consumers of Coke products. Fans of Coca Cola are more likely to consume soft drinks than non-fans. Other attempts at improving their brand value include the promise to recycle the waste from the London 2012 Olympics as well as promoting the conservation of the Arctic Circle.
The position of Coca Cola brand
The Coca Cola Company attempts to constantly improve their existing brands and produce new brands for the market. The company has a Total Product Management division that is charged with the responsibility of stressing on the quality in every stage of the operations that ensures that the brand position is maintained at the top of the soft drink and non-carbonated industry. The mission for the company is to become the number one beverage company in the world. Their position is also maintained at the top by the wide range of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages that satisfy all the needs of their customers. Coca Cola manufactures natural spring water such as Dasani, carbonated drinks such as Coke and Fanta, iced teas such as Nestea, energy drinks such as Burn, juices such as Minute Maid and other drinks (Shenge, 2006).
Brand loyalty has been an important part in maintaining the first position and Coca Cola ensures this by constantly restructuring their policies that focus on price values, pervasive penetration and preference. To this extent, Coca Cola tests over 30 brand attributes among 4, 000 plus customers on a regular basis to ensure that all Coke products are up to par with the customers’ demands. The Coca Cola brand also manages to connect and instill a sense of brand loyalty among its customers. The advertising strategies adopted by Coca Cola are very innovative, personal and effective as they use prominent celebrities for their advertisements.
Coca Cola has a variety of drinks that are healthy, contribute toward a balanced diet, and are therefore preferred by many consumers (Kjellberg & Danmark, 2010). The company knows that healthy lifestyles is a top priority for most consumers and have therefore focused on zero sugar and calorie drinks such as Coke Zero and Coke Diet. Coca Cola have also engaged regional youth groups and other sporting organization such as FIFA in programs that seek to bring out talents among young people. Coca Cola is also a major sponsor of most sporting tournaments and competitions. All these attempts are aimed toward strengthening their brand position by constantly exposing consumers to the advantages of using Coke products (Marcos & Evaristo, 2000).
Theories on brand growth
Most of the literature on brand theory has focused on the design aspect of the brand building equation. The focus does not necessarily involve the success of the design but also on the need for reinvention and differentiation. These literatures also stress the power that customers have in determining how a brand will be launched. Lastly, there is an increase in the usage of scientific techniques in interpreting the influence and rationale behind brands among the unconscious consumers such as behavioral economics.
The theory of multidimensional brand loyalty that has been forwarded by Jagdish N. Sheth and other scholars attempts to explain the aspect of brand loyalty and consumer thinking. The theory has two major assumptions. One of them is that brand loyalty which is perceived, as a multidimensional element that is controlled by several other psychological processes and two, brand loyalty has been misinterpreted. According to this theory, the definition of brand loyalty is not limited to situations where consumers prefer to buy one brand, as buyers may be loyal to a brand even though they do have never consumed the product (Haig, 2003).
The theory also attempts to separate the roles of the loyal buyer as either being a loyal customer, a decision maker or as a buyer. The conclusion from this interpretation is that as a hypothetical construct, brand loyalty has more to give than the traditional definition that was limited. The description of the theory contains the explanation of what makes up loyalty as being emotional attachment to one brand in the market. These emotive tendencies are learnt from previous experiences and information from other people. People then develop an evaluative tendency that acts as a bias against other products. In the case of Coca Cola, people developed a positive attitude when evaluating their products because the company spent a lot of time and resources in building a good image. Thus, consumers are loyal to the brand and prefer it than any other product (Choi, 2008).
Coca Cola brand cycle
The Coca Cola Company has invested greatly in new technology and innovative methods of production of beverages, information and communication systems and logistics that have all contributed toward positively increasing the sales volumes and level of operations for Coca Cola. The vast distribution networks have ensured that Coke is readily available to all consumers in a variety that can meet their needs. In terms of their brand, Coca Cola has maintained a strong brand through marketing and legal means to ensure that their competitors cannot access the advantage that they have in numbers and sales. The proper use of information technology especially social networking sites has also improved the Coca Cola brand.
Choi, J. A. (2008). Coca-Cola China’s Virtual Olympic Torch Relay programme at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games: adding interactivity to a traditional offline Olympic activation Use of internet and digital technologies to provide rare Olympic experiences for brand interaction with current and future consumers in China. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 9, 4, 246-255.
Haig, M. (2003). Brand failures: The truth about the 100 biggest branding mistakes of all time. London: Kogan Page
Kjellberg, J. K., Copenhagen Business School. CBS. & Danmark. (2010). The marketing of functional foods on the Danish market: Coca Cola Light Plus. Frederiksberg
Marcos Fava Neves & Evaristo Marzabal Neves. (2000). The Orange Juice Distribution Channel: Some Characteristics, Opportunities and Threats. Journal of Food Technology in Africa; Vol 5, No 2 (2000); 52-58. Journal of Food Technology in Africa
Shenge NA. (2006). Product’s promotion patterns and their effects on consumers’ purchase intentions, brand loyalty and attitude. African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social Issues; Vol 9, No 2 (2006); 249-256. African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Vardar, N., & Paliwoda, S.J. (2006) Coca Cola – the Enduring Heritage Brand in Britain and Turkey. Advertising Express, Vi (1). Pp. 49-60. Issn 1749-740x