Researched Analysis Assignment
For all practical purposes, it is next to impossible to tell the difference between Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola. Maybe they each have a unique taste or scent but a large number of the respondents who take part in the experiments to determine the difference failed to notice any difference. However, undoubtedly, all consumers of these products are sure of their preferred brand. These deep-seated brand loyalties between Coke and Pepsi have constantly featured in their marketing efforts in America and other markets. Currently, the global preference for each product is resolutely divided by demographics such as education, race, wealth and social status. However, Coca Cola has emerged as a company that can transcend and influence the cultural identities of different states in a way that Pepsi cannot match.
The effect of Coca Cola on the cultural identities of different host countries in which they operate. This influence is largely perpetrated by their aggressive cultural globalization efforts that form a major part of their overall approach in foreign markets (Spencer 2). In definition, cultural globalization can be defined as the diffusion of concepts, denotations and values across country borders with the aim of introducing a new culture in that environment (Spencer 2). Cultural globalization has been strongly evident in cuisine, languages, sports, religions and business. This variety in cultural preferences is clearly outlined in their international differentiation strategy that enables Coca Cola to have a strong identity in all the markets they occupy. A common example is Coca Cola’s differentiation strategy that has produced regular soda, diet soda and decaffeinated soda under one umbrella. This type of differentiation has enabled Coke to capture the largest number of consumers in different cultures that subscribe to different preferences, religious beliefs and lifestyles (Miller 66).
Coca Cola has also embarked on a unique different strategy that involves cost leadership. Coca Cola’s main aim when implementing this strategy is to offer the lowest prices for their products in that particular industry. Using these two main approaches, Coca Cola has managed to make inroads into most of the cultures globally and reaped massive profits from them. The issue of having an effect on the cultural identity of a country stems from the fact that these two major soft drinks producers have engaged in aggressive marketing, promotion and innovation in several continents (Einhorn & Byrnes 45). Their persistent and persuasive attempts to capture every consumer has driven these companies to the brink of their innovation and forced them to create deep-seated loyalties among the people in different cultures. It is obvious that introducing such aggressive marketing and rivalry will definitely result in the focused loyalty and implied preference for one product over another. Over the years, Coca Cola has usually won these battles but in America, there is an exception where Pepsi Co. dominates over 70% of the market (Miller 45). Using the rare exemption mentioned in the section above, it is possible to formulate an explanation for the massive effect that Coca Cola products have on many countries and cultures.
Bothe Pepsi and Coca Cola have ventured into different markets in the Middle East, Asia and Easter Europe. Slovakia, China and Brazil stand out as areas that have been infiltrated by these two companies. In an article titled ‘Coke vs. Pepsi or the Taste of Apathy’ by Juno Parrenas, she states that the efforts of these two global soft drink companies has slowly transformed from economic relevance and adopted political and social significance (Parrenas 2). When describing her childhood experience in America, she noted that Coca Cola was the popular drink for Democrats. Coca Cola was also perceived as largely attracting fundamentalists (Parrenas 1). Its operations were also understood to be overt in nature. While this sheds some light on the nature of Coke’s fashion of operation, other factors in the foreign countries are also considered (Banutu-Gomez & Rohrer 29).
Coca Cola has experienced minimal challenges and problems when entering new cultures but its strong global position always contribute towards its success. For instance, in Brazil, Coca Cola experienced initial setbacks when introducing its products to rival the Guarana Antarctica brand that was deeply entrenched in the country’s culture. Eventually, Coca Cola developed tailor-made solutions to the marketing needs for Latin Americans that involved advertisements in their native language, Portuguese. Gradually, Coke replaced the local soft drink as the preferred drink in Brazil. In this way, Coca Cola strategically influenced the cultural identity of Brazilians and transformed their perception towards soft drinks (Banutu-Gomez & Rohrer 34).
Several common strategies have emerged in all of Coca Cola’s global efforts. The company has efficiently become accustomed to the local products and their advertisements. Having standard methods contained in their operational documents, Coca-Cola adjusts its product to suit domestic preferences and spends heavily in locally stimulated advertisements to complement its global look (Miller 17). When assessing the countries hosting Coca Cola branches, there exist strong connections between operations for many years in that market and increased number of consumers who consider the products as part of their culture. As Coca Cola products continue circulating in different countries, people gradually come to accept them as part of their cultures. Food, food retail, beverages, household cleaning and personal care products are highly subject to the influence of culture because they are rooted in local taste, traditions, and needs.
Banutu-Gomez M. & Rohrer W. G. Coca-Cola: International Business Strategy for Globalization. International Trade & Academic Research Conference (ITARC). 2012. 7-13. Print.
Einhorn, Bruce & Byrnes, Nanette. Coke vs. Pepsi: the slugfest in China. Bloomberg Bussinessweek. 2009. Print.
Miller, Keith. Coke vs. Pepsi ‘cola war’ loses fizz on Slovak turf. Slovak Spectator. 2000. 6(33). Print.
Parrenas, Juno. Coke vs. Pepsi or the Taste of Apathy. Lesbian News. 2004, 29(11). 29. Print.
Spencer, Lee. The Drive to Dominate. Sporting News. 2012. 2-3. Print.