Coca Cola Myths Using Means Ends Chain

Topics: Coca-Cola, Soft drink, Caffeine Pages: 5 (1348 words) Published: March 25, 2011
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The scope of this report is to find out how the attributes, benefits and values people have towards Coca cola leads to the creation of myths, which contributes towards the purchase of the product. By using the means end chain we are able to link consumer’s knowledge of the product characteristics and their needs. This allows us to understand how consumers perceive the self-relevant outcomes of the product use and consumption. This indeed helps to explain the answer to the question: “What can this product do for me?” The knowledge about a product can lead to certain beliefs through the cognitive system followed by the creation of different attitudes towards the product which will either make us consume the product or abstain from purchasing it. The behavior towards purchase can be influenced through the creation of myths since tension reduction is the basis for motivation.

Attributes are but means through which consumers achieve their ultimate values and ends, via the positive consequences or benefits accruing from the attributes. In other words, products are seen as means to satisfy needs that are conscious to a varying degree. This can be a motivating factor for the purchase of Coca cola. The two types of attributes are concrete and abstract (Peter & Olson, 1999).

Concrete Attributes This deals with the question, “what are the tangible aspects of the product? “ This means their physical product characteristics like the colour, thickness (Peter & Olson, 1999). These are attributes that the consumers can experience directly. Coca cola has the concrete attributes of the can (its shape and material) being easy to hold and carry and also that the drink is fizzy.

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Here there is a very low involvement of interest but this too directs a person to buy the product or not to buy the product. There are certain myths like the Aluminum from the soft drink can lead to Alzheimer disease. But soft drinks canned in aluminum actually contain only trace amounts of the metal because the inner surface of the can is lacquered, which minimizes the chance of any aluminum from the can dissolving into the beverage (“Rumors”, 2010). The number of people who believes in this myth is very limited because of their attitudes formed towards the product even through its physical attributes. Abstract Attributes Abstract attributes are the intangible aspects of the product. Abstract Attributes of products are assumed to lead to various consequences of product use or consumption which in turn satisfy consumers’ values (Peter & Olson, 1999). Coca cola has certain abstract attributes like the drink being Acidic and also it being delicious. However there is a common misconception about the sweeteners that are added to soft drinks. Even then, people are willing to go out of their way to get something sweet (“Rumors”, 2010). Comparative to Pepsi, Coca cola is not sweet; however in reality it was proven that a two liter bottle of coke has approximately thirty tea spoons of sugar (Seitz, 2009).

The consequences the purchase of Coca Cola is a reason for the myths to be created. Similar to the attributes, this carries an impact towards the motivation of a purchase. The consumers can have knowledge on two types of outcomes – functional and psychological benefits (Peter & Olson, 1999).

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Functional Benefits These are the immediate, tangible consequences of the purchase of the product. Coca Cola will possess the functional benefit of quenching thirst or a method to cool off on a hot day. These consequences are derived owing to the drive theory of motivation where an unpleasant state of arousal (Solomon, 2009) motivates the purchase of Coco Cola. However a possible myth surrounding it is that 75 per cent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, despite the disclaimer by the Coca Cola Company. This is for the reason that most Americans rely on soft drinks such as Coca Cola as their daily...

References: Peter J.P., & Olson, J.C. (1999). Means End Chain.[Handout]. (Available from Australian College of Business and Technology, Colombo 3). Buchli, V. (2005). The material culture reader. New York, United States of America: Oxford International Publisher Ltd. Solomon, M.R. (2009). Consumer Behavior. (8th Ed.). New Dehli, India: Pearson Education. Rumors. (2010). Retrieved August 28, 2010, from Coca Cola Company website: Seitz, P. (2009). Sugar Stacks. Retrieved September 1, 2010, from
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