Coca Cola

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Coca-Cola

Market research

Link to case study here

Overview: a case study of the Coca-Cola portfolio of products and an examination of new product development.

Learning objectives:
➢ to identify the existing portfolio of products owned by Coca-Cola ➢ to understand the type of market research undertaken by Coca-Cola ➢ to understand the Ansoff matrix in relation to Coca-Cola ➢ to examine new product development at Coca-Cola.

Introduction (9 minutes)

Introduce the lesson: you will look at the range of products that Coca-Cola produces and examine the factors involved in new product development. This will involve an analysis of the market research it might use to develop new products.

The Coca-Cola company is the world’s leading and best known drinks supplier. Its mission statement is: “The Coca-Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone who is touched by our business.” The company has a portfolio of products, these are at different stages in the product life cycle. The aim of Coca-Cola is to ensure the product range offers something for every occasion.

Student task: explain the advantages and disadvantages of having a portfolio of products.

Answer: Can meet a variety of needs and serve several segments; may be able to meet needs more precisely and tailor make marketing accordingly BUT may be more difficult to manage and mean shorter production runs and less economies of scale.

Market research (20 minutes)

To increase its range of products Coca-Cola has:

a) developed its own products internally
b) acquired other brands e.g. Dr Pepper, Oasis and Malvern.

To develop products Coca-Cola must undertake market research and understand the needs of different segments.

What part does market research play in the marketing process?

How can market research help a company to develop a customer rather than product based approach?

How can market research help companies like Coca-Cola to develop an appropriate product range?

How will market research help Coca-Cola to develop an appropriate marketing mix for one of its products e.g. Powerade?

Student task: working in teams, students to consider the different brands produced by Coca-Cola and try to identify the different segments the company serves. Collect ideas in and compare these. Students then to read section 3 and make notes on market segments and the way in which Coca-Cola respond to these.

Qualitative and quantitative market research (20 minutes)

Ask students to suggest ways in which Coca-Cola might research its market. Collect these ideas and then try to categorise them e.g. primary (first hand) and secondary (using existing data); quantitative and qualitative.

Why does Coca-Cola sometimes use quantitative market research rather than qualitative research?

Why does Coca-Cola sometimes use qualitative market research rather than quantitative research?

What are the benefits of carrying out a simulated test market before going for a full launch?

Coca-Cola Vanilla was already an established successful product in the US. Why then was it necessary to research the feelings of the market about Coca-Cola Vanilla before launching the product in the UK?

Product development (10 minutes)

When developing new products, firms such as Coca-Cola must consider how the new products fit with the existing ones. This can be analysed using the Ansoff Matrix. Explain the nature of the matrix using the examples for Coca-Cola in section 7. Student task: working in teams students to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of the four strategies in the Ansoff Matrix. (e.g. consider risk element and link to managerial experience, diversification involves moving into completely new areas and so have high risk in terms of controlling this new business or planning for it).

Review (1 minute) Coca-Cola has a portfolio of products enabling it to meet the needs of different segments. Before launching a new...
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