The Coca-Cola Company is the first mover of the soft drink industry. It has recognized a reputable brand image, and it is the largest investor in the soft drink industry. The most popular Coca-Cola product is the most 'classic Coca-Cola' because most consumers admire the taste and the packaging bottle style.
The company's innovation and brand equity increase from time to time because of the company's excellent communication system within the company accompanies by product differentiation. The company spends 20% of the annual budget, boosting communication, and maintaining a differentiation strategy (Fetisova, 2015, p.15). The company is so reliable financially that it could spend more money on differential strategies to stabilize the market as the leader in the soft drink industry across the world.
Coca-Cola uses various media platforms, including radio channels, the Internet, and social media such as Twitter and Facebook, to reach the target audience. The main media is social networking sites as well as the Internet. The Companycompany was aware that social networking sites are the most trending and famous sources today.
Critical Analysis of the Problem
By 2012, one of the world's favorite beverages; coca-cola, had decided to do something different- something they had never tried before. The multi-billion global organization decided to start a digital marketing campaign dubbed ‘share a coke’ in most of the main states in Australia.
This decision was reached upon the organization’s realization that the consumption of the beverage was going down in most of the states within Australia. They realized by September 2012 that they had surged to about 50%. Therefore, the organization decided to make their innovation to move. From the 'share a coke' digital campaign, the Companycompany obtained a 7 % increase in the consumption rate of the coca-cola soft drink.
Global trends of Coca Cola’s External Environment
At the initial stages, Coca-cola had only launched the campaign in Australia in the year 2012. Upon the big achievement observed from the digital campaign in Australia, the company decided to spread it to other countries and continents, among which were countries in the UK and the United States.
At that time, Coca-Cola used the digital platform and social media power to attract many of its new customers during the campaign. For instance, when people got onto some of the malls in Australia, they were often surprised to find their names on some of the coca-cola bottles. The customers were really excited by their names being tagged on the bottles; thus, customers could be seen having selfies with the coke bottles bearing their names and posting on various social media platforms such as Twitter with a tag #ShareCoke.
Therefore, Coca Cola became immensely successful in using some of the great features of the social networks and social sharing platforms. #ShareCoke became one of the most trending tags on various media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, as well as other social media websites. The campaign had resulted in over 239000 tweets and about 100000 responses from then social media users. As a result of the digital campaign, Coca-cola had sold over 150 million personalized bottles in the United Kingdom, The United States, as well as Australia.
Coca-Cola Positioning Strategy
The ‘share a coke ‘digital marketing campaign will always be remembered for its most innovative, influential, and affordable marketing strategy. Coca-cola was aware of the role of social media in marketing and advertisements. They were aware that if a brand could indulge each person personally during the brand campaign, it could go viral and that the consumers themselves would become promoters of the good through social media.
Coca- Cola had beguiled the various consumers into making the ‘share a coke’ campaign viral through messaging and tweeting their messages and selfies over various social media platforms and channels. When they acted by messaging and tweeting over the social medic, the customers were oblivious of the fact that they were advertising the product on behalf of Coca-Cola. They only thought they were doing it to make themselves more famous among their friends’ circles.
It is also essential to note that during the campaign, some of the Coca-cola selfie images featured in videos, billboards, company websites, offices, and news, etc. such a move had an inspiring effect on the consumers to message the images over the Internet as well as tweet as much as possible. Through the initiative, coca-cola had made a place within the hearts of various consumers, and the sales of the brand multiplied in folds.
Coca-Cola used various media platforms, including radio channels, the Internet, and social media such as Twitter and Facebook, to reach the target audience. The main media in the campaign was social networking sites as well as the internets. The company was conscious of the fact that social networking sites are the most trending and famous sources today.
Competition Analysis of Coca-Cola
The main significant rival of Coca Cola Company is the PepsiCo. Pepsico has been recorded as the world's second-largest beverage manufacturing company, with its presence in over 200 countries around the globe. The company has been providing excellent coca-cola competition by launching the same kinds of products launched by coca-cola over the years. For instance, when Coca-cola launched the ‘Minute Maid’ – a natural fruit juice version to increase the sales of fruit juice to consumers, PepsiCo also launched its fruit juice version branded Tropicana to counter outcompete the Minute Maid brand by Coca Cola Company. PepsiCo has always tried to cannibalize the Coca-cola business.
Apart from PepsiCo, there are other Coca Cola competitors in the world of beverages. Some of the essential beverage brands include Vimito and IrnBru in the United Kingdom. The company has thrived in the UK since most of the consumers there do not like the sweetened flavored taste in most of their drinks, which is exist in coca-cola and Pepsi brands. Instead, they would prefer to have lemonade flavored soft drinks of Vimito and IrnBru.
Engagement of the Target Audience in the Campaign
The most crucial target audience for the coca-cola company are the teenagers and the mature college students, thus aged 13- 25. Most of these youths would love to pass the time in the college canteens, cafes, and other restaurants while gossiping with other friends and family members.
Furthermore, the age bracket enjoys the sweetened taste of the Coca-cola soft drinks, and they have to be included while eating their burger, pizza, and other kinds of fast foods. The main reason for launching the 'share a coke' was because the company was aware that teenagers form a better part of the active social networking users.
As Such, they would like to have selfies and post them over the social media platforms (Dhar et al., 2005, p.905). Therefore, the coca-cola company targeted the teenagers and the college-going students as well as organized country tours to connect the 'share a coke' campaign, especially with the students living in the vicinity.
Through the digital campaign, the company allowed the teenagers to customize the Coca- Cola can help themselves as well as share it on their social media sites. Such youths and teenagers were fascinated, and within minutes, the campaign had gone viral over various social media platforms.
The Goals and Problems
In early September 2012, the Coca-Cola Company was losing its impacts within the Australian market as the other famous soft drink providers and the sales of company products were declining. Therefore, Coca Cola Company decides to launch the digital marketing campaign that would be affordable effective through surveying to discover the 250 most common famous and common names within Australia.
The company then manufactured their branded soft drinks bearing the names on the bottles. Coca-cola branded this campaign as 'share a coke.' The most significant motivation for this campaign by Coca-Cola was basically o increase the revenue from sales. The company sales had trickled down by almost 50 percent during the September month, and that is what informed the launching of the ‘share a coke’ campaign (McDarby et al. 2018, p.50). Another important reason that spurred the campaign was to rebuild the company's brand value, especially among the customers.
The company had realized that they had begun to lose the brand value from the hearts of the customers; thus, the campaign would play a key role. The final reason for the campaign was to create a distinct place in the hearts of various consumers in Australia.
The Main Idea Behind the Digital ‘Share Coke’ Campaign
The main idea that existed behind the ‘share coke’ campaign was to promote a psychological impact on the minds of the various consumers through the provision of a chance of becoming part of the coke brand bottle. The company was aware of the fact that if people see bottle bearing their names, then it would put more psychological attractions in their mind so that they would be able to react by having some selfies with the bottles as well as sharing the images through the digital platforms such as the social media.
People tend to like things that are related to their behaviors or nature. As such, the company adopted the Roman Jacobson's Strategy of 'Function of Language' that implores the fact that people tend to be attracted to the uniqueness of a product's visual appearance, primarily through a feeling of emotional attachment or connectedness to the product.
The names adopted for the campaign were chosen from a survey that had indicated the most famous names within Australia. Based on Jacobson's arguments, the inspirational message that was on the bottle played some cognitive function and became successful in creating a personal product for the customer, which the customer is likely to love buying and sharing with friends.
Fig 1a. 'Share a Coke' brand.
Through the digital campaign, the company allowed the teenagers to customize the Coca- Cola can help themselves as well as share it on their social media sites. Such youths and teenagers were fascinated, and within minutes the campaign had gone viral over various social media platforms.
The Advertisement Approaches
The essential advertisement execution that was adopted by the company during the campaign was the value creation through various social media platforms (Liu and Lopez, 2016, p.4). Through the analysis of the impacts of the campaign, it is essential to underscore the distinct role played by the senders as well as receivers. Through the campaign, the company sold 250million customized coke bottles within just a population of 24 million people, which was to their amazement.
The company had an in-depth thought, especially from the Australian people's perspectives, by fitting into their shoes. The Australian people egalitarian and introvert people and are sometimes referred to as 'tall poppy syndrome.' As such, they tend to reject things that they feel do not fit into their shoes. The campaign dubbed 'share a coke' had given them a sense of thinking from their perspectives, consequently resulting in the huge purchases.
Figure 1b. Example of ‘Share a Coke' advertisement.
How the Campaign Strategy Helped the Company in Achieving Its Goals
The digital marketing campaign of 'share a coke' enabled the company to have active participation of the users to the consumers and the creation of a valuation of the company product and brand. The company used the consumers as a tool for sharing brand content through social media platforms (Eri...
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