Globalization and the Coca-Cola Company
Today, Coca-Cola is one of most well-known brands in the world. This company has continued to gain momentum and growth, capitalizing on the rapidly expanding beverage industry and ranking as the largest beverage company in the world. With its push for global market share, Coca-Cola now operates in over 200 countries with over 84,000 suppliers. Currently, over 70% of Coca Cola’s business income is generated from non-US sources (Coca-Cola Company, 2012). In over a century, Coca-Cola has grown the company into a multi-million dollar business.
However, the road to success has not always been easy for Coca-Cola. Many countries have banned the use of Coca-Cola products, claiming that these products are “threatening public health” and “encouraging obesity.” Many labor practice suits have been filed against the mega beverage company with accusations of “child labor sweatshops” and “discrimination in providing health care benefits to workers.” In addition, the beverage industry has been flooded with competitors introducing new soft drink products, such as Pepsi, along with soft drink alternatives, such as Gatorade, bottled water, fruit juice, and energy drinks. Coca-Cola has faced the challenge by introducing new beverage brands including Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid, Simply Orange, Fresca, Vitamin Water, Smart Water, Odwalla, and Powerade.
In light of the obstacles Coca-Cola has overcome, the company has remained true to its commitment to provide quality, refreshing, and satisfying products to consumers. In order to ensure each product tastes the same across the globe, Coca-Cola continues to keep the beverage recipes secret with tightly controlled manufacturing facilities. CocaCola has never lost sight of its goal to be the best beverage company in the world. Now, let us take a closer look at Coca Cola’s journey to globalization. Coca-Cola’s Journey to Globalization
Founded back in the 1880’s, Coca-Cola was developed by John Pemberton as an American iconic brand known for high quality and consistency. During this period in history, storekeepers demanded pre-packaged products with brand name recognition. Coca-Cola met these demands with its iconic red and white logo and brand marketing to instill confidence in the consumer that the Coca-Cola product would taste the same everywhere it was purchased. These strategies soon became the foundation for CocaCola’s plan to expand globally. In the early 1900’s, Coca-Cola started to globalize. Bottling plants were initially built in Cuba and Panama as the US military spread to these regions, causing a rise in demand for the Coca-Cola brand. These plants proved to be successful, reducing shipping and delivery costs typical in these regions. Soon after, additional bottling plants opened in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. These efforts launched Coca-Cola’s Saylor URL: www.saylor.org/bus208#2.5.6
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investment in testing foreign markets for future expansion opportunities. By 1926, CocaCola had established foreign relationships and plants around the world in support of its newly created center of global operations.
Coca-Cola continued on its path of mass production and rapid expansion for the next several decades. Local branches along with local partnerships to produce and distribute the signature Coca-Cola products were established throughout the world. The ending of World War II and the Cold War marked the signature period in which Coca-Cola had established itself as a true global corporation known for its efficiency and worldwide capabilities.
Next, let us take a look at three key strategies employed by Coca-Cola to support rapid growth and expansion across the globe: global marketing strategies, product differentiation, and technology.
Global Marketing Strategies
Coca-Cola’s marketing strategies played a significant role in successfully globalizing the company. The...
References: Coca-Cola Company (2012). Wikinvest. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
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