Carbonated soft drinks have been a highly competitive market in recent decades, introducing new products, and refining established drinks in order to achieve a competitive advantage over other adversaries. With an increase in the demand for soft drinks over the past decades large businesses in the food industry have pushed everchanging drinks into consumers faces’ causing the market to be referred to as one of the most innovative markets. To be a competitive soft drink company requires a high level of innovation. Coca Cola is a well established product sold to consumers all around the world, ‘coke’ was first introduced in 1886 and have been distributed consistently ever since. With the rise in popularity in the 1900’s has caused many other brands to replicate a soft drink product similar to Coca Cola’s. The most significant products that are competing against Coca Cola include Pepsi and Redbull. Of all competitors, Coca Cola are most competitive with PepsiCo’s soft drink Pepsi as it is the product of closest resemblance to Coca Cola. Coca Cola have considered the impact competition has on their product, thus influencing their marketing objectives and strategies.
Impact of Competition
Competition is an external threat that every oligopolistic business is required to manage.
Of recent, Coca Cola has well managed their competition thanks to the effective use of Einstein Marketing, speed to market, competitiveness and research and development.
Research and Development
Over the recent years the soft drink industry have recognised a spike in consumer demands for healthier alternatives. Coca Cola have adapted to those demands by reducing the amount of sugar in their product and also offer smaller packaging as of 2013. Between 2013 and 2016, sales of Coca Cola small packs grew by 75% (Coca-Cola Amatil Submission 84, 2018) , showing that Coca Cola’s Research and Development have been effective in recognising trends in the market.
According to the graph above (Coca-Cola Amatil Submission 84, 2018), NARTD (Non Alcoholic Ready To Drink) beverages have increased in the desire for diet/low sugar/fat, opposed to regular NARTD closing the margin from 36% in 2008 to only 6% in 2017. Without this knowledge Coca Cola would see an increase in their competition as adversaries like Pepsi would penetrate the market, thus decreasing Coca Cola’s market share.
Speed To Market
Speed to market is a notable external influence impacting the distribution of Coca Cola. Speed of market ultimately enables a company to dominate the market. Taking advantage of opportunity leads to an innovative business, sweeping the market by storm. Having a slow speed to market in turn, gives adversaries the advantage in regards to innovation allowing them to reach consumers with new concepts and products readily available. Coca Cola is already a highly established brands, this can be because they lead the market in innovation and their speed in which they deliver a new product following trend of society. The competitiveness of other products marketing, like Pepsi, requires Coca Cola to ensure their research and development is efficient and also their speed of production, in attempt to get the newly established product out to consumers. Coca Cola released their ‘Diet Coke’ alternate in 1982 as market leaders, Pepsi soon followed suit, only 11 years too late. Evidently the effect of the speed to market has been a liability to Pepsi as Coca Cola are considered the innovative, market leaders.
Einstein Marketing is a concept based on Einstein’s theory of relativity, relativity refers to only knowing the location and velocity of an object, relative to other objects (Baumann, 2016). In relations to marketing it is based around the principle of competition and marketing within relativity of your competition. Coca Cola has a high level of competition globally which include both Pepsi, Redbull and many other drinks on the market. With this high level of competition requires Coca Cola to offer high market offering. In reaction to the competition Coca Cola have used Einstein Marketing to their advantage by increasing their advertising from $2.7 billion (2007) to almost $4 billion USD (2017), (The Coca-Cola Company, 2017).
Due to Coca Cola referring to Einstein Marketing, the company has catered for their product to be marketed relatively based on their high level of competition. This is evident in the graph above showing the increase in annual advertising budget.
Competition in the beverage industry over the recent years has grown dramatically, due to many contributing factors. One factor being health trends, health trends are a major part of modern Australia, many of these trends being a new beverage claiming to change lives. Through the rise in health beverages has increased the level of competitiveness in the market. As Coca Cola is considered unhealthy they have struggled with this spike in consumer demand for health beverages, attempting to adapt their product to the market by reducing sugar and supporting the World Health Organisation (WHO). These efforts performed by Coca Cola has been recognised globally in order to possess a positive public perception. Once the company gains its brand image, more units of Coca Cola are sold as they are seen as an ethically aware business. More obvious competition to Coca Cola is rival Pepsi, with their everlasting bout in the cola industry. Coca Cola, in order to remain competitive have needed to recognise their surroundings and where they stand on the market. A way of doing this is a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis determines a businesses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, doing so give Coca Cola an upper hand as they are aware of those influences that are external (competition) and internal (staff), and what their impact are on their company.
Through the use of statistic, fact and opinion, Coca Cola as a product are considered the epitome of the Soft Drink Industry and will continue to dominate the industry. Coca Cola is the well established product it is today because of their innovative marketing skills, competitiveness, extensive research and development and successfully recognising external influences that impact their marketing objectives and strategies.
...(download the rest of the essay above)