Management Essay

1227 words - 5 pages

Coca-Cola Global Business and Marketing Strategy Introduction As domestic markets mature, it is becoming more and more fashionable for organisations to seek growth through opportunities in foreign countries. Faster communication, new technologies and improved transport links are making international markets more accessible and businesses pursuing a global position can experience an upsurge in brand awareness and cost effectiveness. Global marketing is a relatively new concept linked to these developments. In the main, it is concerned with decisions for integrating or standardizing marketing actions across a number of geographic markets. This does not rule out any customization of the ...view middle of the document...

This paves the way for the building of global brand identities where companies are able to export their domestic brands to mass markets abroad and consumers will react to them in similar ways. In this sense, standardized marketing with a universal product and message can be an integrating force across national borders. To send out different communication messages across countries could lead to customer confusion and even dilution of the brand. In keeping with this, Coca-Cola sells virtually the same Coke beverage worldwide. The design of Coca-Cola soft drinks has changed little in its history, from the logo to the distinctive glass bottle. These unique and consistent characteristics evoke a strong brand image which has cross-cultural appeal. Economies of scale/experience In many industries, companies can reap cost advantages by operating on a global scale and ultimately improve their all-round competitiveness. Using a centralized structure, a firm can draw economies from bulk purchase discounts or by sharing functions such as product development, marketing, production and managerial resources among different markets. In Coca-Cola's example, economies are gained through the competent running of a large-scale franchising system for its bottling operations.
Technological viability In sectors where technological and production processes are homogeneous, extra weight is placed on standardization of products as a prerequisite for success. As part of its vision that Coke should taste the same around the world, Coca-Cola has chosen to standardize its product and manufacturing process. The knock on effects of this are more streamlined procedures and greater cost efficiencies. It is worth noting Levitt's argument that companies' which opt to produce an assortment of products serving different customer segments would be unable to survive globalization due to inefficiencies in their operation. Arguments for Adaptation Consumer Diversity Supporters of the adaptation view contend that, regardless of globalization, consumers in different countries continue to vary dramatically in their geographic, demographic, economic and cultural characteristics. It is sensible to imply that, where there are differences in product preferences, product uses, attitudes, shopping patterns, income levels and education, a business will need to adapt its product offering or communication programme in some shape or form. By carefully singling out the most significant differences, organisations can tailor products to suit local tastes and conditions. Dennis and Harris pronounced that global branding strategy should actually be a local plan for each component market, as to apply a standard approach worldwide without considering local preferences and cultural differences is doomed to failure. Food and beverage organisations in particular, can easily fall prey to obstacles such as regional taste and category development issues. On the other hand, organisations that market...

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