Demetris Vrontis1 and Iain Sharp2
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and Legal and General
The Strategic Positioning of Coca-Cola in their
Global Marketing Operation
Examines how Coca-Cola has strategically positioned it self within the world’s soft drinks market. Given that they operate in over 200 countries, they are faced with a clear choice of whether to standardise their product offerings globally and reap the potential benefits of economies of scale, adapt their offerings to a particular market (which may facilitate increased market specific penetration), or adopt an integrated approach utilising both approaches simultaneously (Vrontis’ AdaptStand approach). There has been much literature written regarding the external and often uncontrollable factors which may impact upon a firms positioning strategy; this paper looks at these externalities and the internal controllables in order to derive a ‘best fit’ strategic and tactical approach. Moreover, this paper looks at the strategic international positioning of Coca-Cola by utilising a number of models.
Keywords: Coca-Cola, global, international, strategy, positioning, adaptation, standardisation, AdaptStand, AdaptStandation, international, marketing, Introduction
If we consider business to be akin to war, then perhaps there is no better starting point than the writings of Sun Tzu [circa 400-320 B.C.]. ‘The Art of
War’ is the oldest formalised writing focusing on the concepts and principles of warfare and military strategy. Written over two millennia ago, it is still valid in the modern world, not only in military terms, but also in business.
“Generally, he who occupies the field of battle first and awaits his enemy is at ease, and he who comes later to the scene and rushes into the fight is weary. And, therefore, those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought
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