University of Phoenix
Coca-Cola owns four of the world's top five nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands (The Coca-Cola Company, 2008b). A large company like Coca-Cola can only find success like this through careful planning and strategic management. In preparation for a future of continued success, Coca-Cola periodically needs to reassess its strategic plan. This entails a thorough review of its vision, mission, values and an environmental analysis followed by a strategic analysis and choice of a strategy. Then the company can define long-term objectives, determine plan goals and identify steps for implementation as well as critical success factors. From there Coca-Cola can use controls and evaluations to adjust and improve the plan during its implementation process. A reassessment of Coca-Cola’s strategic plan follows. Company Background
Coca-Cola was introduced on May 8, 1886 when a pharmacist, Dr. John Stith Pemberton took the syrup he had developed to a local Atlanta pharmacy where it was mixed with carbonated water and sold for five cents a glass (The Coca-Cola Company, 2008e). His partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, thinking the two Cs would look good on advertisements, suggested they name the beverage Coca-Cola and in his own script penned what would become the company’s famous trademark. The beverage was advertised in local papers and on signs as a new and popular fountain drink but during its first year only sold an average of 9 glasses per day (The Coca-Cola Company, 2008e). Without realizing the potential of this new product, Dr. Pemberton sold off portions of his business to various partners and eventually all of his remaining interest in Coca-Cola to Asa Candler. Over time, Asa Candler was able to buy additional rights and acquire complete control of Coca-Cola. Soon after, Asa Candler formed a corporation called The Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola) and patented the Coca-Cola trademark. Asa Candler heavily promoted his product through the distribution of coupons for complimentary glasses of Coca-Cola and the distribution of souvenirs depicting the company trademark. Within three years of incorporation, Asa Candler announced the beverage was being drunk in every state and territory in the United States (The Coca-Cola Company, 2008e). By 2008, Coca-Cola employed over 92,000 individuals across the globe and reported over $31 billion in revenue (AOL money & finance, 2009). While Coca-Cola initially consisted of just one flavor of soft drink, today the company maintains a portfolio of over 3,000 beverages. Included in this portfolio are diet and regular sparkling drinks, still drinks such as fruit drinks and 100% juices, water, sports and energy drinks, teas and coffees, and even milk-based and soy-based beverages. Coca-Cola owns brands such as A&W, Cherry Coke, Canada Dry, Dasani, Minute Maid, Powerade and Sprite, just to name a few (The Coca-Cola Company, 2008h). With such a wide range of beverages, Coca-Cola serves customers around the world and in all walks of life. Its products are consumed globally in restaurants, purchased in grocery stores and convenience stores, drank during sporting events by both athletes and spectators and are available for a relatively inexpensive price. To oversee long-term health, overall company success and its financial strength, Coca-Cola has a 14-member board of directors. The current chairman of the board is Muhtar Kent who is also the chief executive officer (CEO). Other board members include Robert Allen, President of the Board and CEO of Delta Airlines, James Williams, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sun Trust Banks, and Cathleen Black, President of Hearst Magazines. None of the Coca-Cola board members serves on more than four other boards at this time (Coca-Cola Company, 2008f).