Chapter Eight Case Study - Coke Zero
Coca Cola has been the leader in the soft drink market for decades, consistently besting their nearest competitor, Pepsi. The struggle for the top spot has been on-going for over one hundred years, and at times has been fairly interesting. Both companies have been trying new strategies, flavors; can designs and even recipe changes in order to gain market share, niche competitive advantage as well as a sustainable competitive advantage. (Lamb, Hair Jr., & McDaniel, 2013, p. 26) Both companies constantly change their products and their marketing techniques in order to secure an advantage over one another.
Coca Cola over the years has used ...view middle of the document...
It appears that Coca Cola did a SWOT analysis (Lamb, Hair Jr., & McDaniel, 2013, p. 24), and reacted with a new strategy.
SWOT analysis is the study of a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. When using SWOT analysis, a company can focus on organizational resources like production costs, marketing skills, financial resources, employee capabilities, etc. It is a tool that is to be used for continuous improvement by providing you the data needed to determine areas of potential future growth. It appears that Coca Cola determined if they made a product that tasted like their competitors, they thought that they could lure those customers to their product. The problem with that is that they did not leave original Coke on the market; this means they abandoned their original formula, in lieu of the number two formula. That made no sense at all, other than they were trying to create “hype”, and in that, they were wildly successful. They also angered their customer base in the process, but they were so happy to see the original formula come back, the entire episode was soon forgotten, for the most part. It was not to be their last experiment, by a long-shot. Coca Cola continues to put out new flavors, and Coke Zero has been a big hit for those who do not like the taste of Diet Coke.
Coca Cola originally launched Coke zero in 2005, but it had dismal results. Coke Zero was not a hit in the United States until they changed the can design. Originally it came out resembling Diet Coke too much, with the familiar silver and white packaging. When introduced in Australia, with a new black can, it stood out and commanded attention and it got it. The US marketing team realized their mistake, corrected it with a new can design in 2007 and it has been selling well ever since. Coke had an interesting re-launch marketing strategy for its product in 2007. They had hidden camera meetings with attorneys, and presented them with a “taste infringement” and “discrimination” scenarios for its soft drink lines. In the commercial, Coke Classic “actors” wanted to sue Coke Zero, for “infringing on our taste.” They made it seem that the Coca Cola Classic would soon be discriminated against because the new Coke Zero has the same taste, without the calories. The actors seemed serious about it, and the attorneys would get frustrated and finally tell the Coke executives that Coca Cola is not a person and is not entitled to the rights of humans. It made for a humorous commercial and was enough to get me to try it, so it was effective. In 2009 sales of Coke Zero reached over 600 million cases.
One thing that Cola companies excel at is seeking out and gaining a Niche Competitive Advantage. (Lamb, Hair Jr., & McDaniel, 2013, p. 26) The Case Study asks in question one, to describe the type of consumers for these coke products.
* Diet Coke – This has traditionally been marketed to the weight conscious individual, and mostly to women.
* Coke Zero –...