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Essay: Coca Cola’s Success: Examining Its Businesses, Ownership and Sectors

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In this report I will be working with officers who are responsible for publications, brochures and guides. I will be conducting research, collecting information on two contrasting businesses, and using this evidence to write a report on why these businesses are successful.

Coca Cola – business for profit

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Founded: 29 January 1892, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Coca-Cola, or Coke is a carbonated soft drink manufactured by The Coca-Cola Company. Originally intended as a medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton and was bought out by businessman Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century.

Features of the business

Ownership and liability

Coca cola is a publically limited company, as it trades its shares on the New York stock exchange. They claim to be owned by ‘thousands of people’ meaning their many shareholders and investors across the world. Coca Cola’s mission statement is ‘To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit and to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions.’ Coca Cola have limited liability as they are a public limited company. A limited company is owned by its shareholders. Coca Cola has no owners as such, and therefore can enter into contracts in its own name and is responsible for its own actions, finances and liabilities. The owners of a company (in this case the many shareholders) are protected by ‘limited liability’, meaning they are only responsible for business debts up to the value of their investments or what they guarantee to the company.

Business sector

The Coca Cola Company are part of the secondary business sector as they turn primary products into finished goods.

Scope of activities and size

According to ‘Business Insider’ the Coca Cola logo can be recognised by a staggering 94% of the world’s population. This enforces Coca Cola’s gigantic scope and worldwide dominance over not only the soft drink market but also the entire global consumer base. Furthermore Coca Cola operate in every country bar 3, not to mention their total equity in 2017 reaching a staggering $17.072 billion! In terms of the size of the business Coca Cola employed 61,800 in 2017, however this number is ever increasing due to the high demand for employment under the huge brand. Due to this the company has a low staff turnover which is useful from a financial, business and time management standpoint. To conclude Coca Cola is one of the biggest and most recognisable companies wherever you are on the planet.

Organisational structure

Coca Cola’s aim to maximize profits for shareholders by selling their products worldwide to a range of customers. They are able to do this by having a very vertically hierarchical organization that allows them to take advantage of a low cost strategy, limiting expenses and increasing revenues. Coca-Cola’s divisional structure allows the organization to react to changes in the environment while still maintaining a level of stability. Being split into different geographic regions enables the company’s operations to be tailored to individual markets in different areas. Coca Cola’s particular structure is based around the company’s customers. Their divisional geographic structure allows Coca-Cola’s divisional managers to handle daily operations, which enables corporate managers to focus on long-term planning.

While there are some problems associated with this type of structure, Coca-Cola’s geographic structure allows the company to cater to their customers more effectively. Coca-Cola is able to get closer to specific markets, enabling them to meet the tastes of consumers and tailor their advertising campaigns for certain regions. Taking these positive effects of their structure into consideration, I think Coca-Cola operates more efficiently and effectively through their current structure than they would if they were to change to a different structure.

Business objectives


Coca Cola’s mission statement is ‘To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions. To create value and make a difference.’ This suggests they want to impact mood through their products and promote happiness and a sense of freedom when people consume their drinks.


People: Inspiring each other to be the best we can be by providing a great place to work

Portfolio: Offering the world a portfolio of drinks brands that anticipate and satisfy people's desires and needs

Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty

Planet: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference by helping to build and support sustainable communities

Profit: Maximising long-term return to shareholders, while being mindful of our overall responsibilities

Productivity: Being a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organisation.


Leadership: The courage to shape a better future

Collaboration: Leverage collective genius

Integrity: Be real

Accountability: If it is to be, it's up to me

Passion: Committed in heart and mind

Diversity: As inclusive as our brands

Quality: What we do, we do well


As the main party in owning and managing Coca Cola, their stakeholders are key to their success. Coca Cola must make use of their large stakeholder influence by using them to inform decision making. Stakeholders have the power to change to entire business plan for the company.


Communication with stakeholders (good or bad)

Despite the huge size and vast number of stakeholders within Coca Cola, only 2 are internal to the business. These being arguably the most influential stakeholder, the owners or in this case Coca Cola’s shareholders. This large group of owners/inventors are the primary stakeholders of the business. They Have a direct stake in the firm because all activity revolves around their money which funds the company, furthermore they influence decision making and business processes of the company. The success of the business is very much their main concern as if the stocks gain or lose value, this is reflected in the owner’s financial loss or gain. The only other internal stakeholder of Coca Cola is the employees. The company can consider their staff as internal stakeholders however as soon as they purchase any of their products they are automatically customers, external stakeholders. Given the extreme popularity of Coca Cola it would be rare to find an employee that hasn’t consumed their products. Having said that the employees are a useful stakeholder as they can provide the company with results from conducted surveys in order to evaluate their working conditions and standards. All things considered both of Coca Cola’s internal stakeholders are both useful to the company in their own right, however I believe the shareholders are the most valuable and influential stakeholder to Coca Cola due to their large involvement and investments to improve the business.



The sole purpose of any company is to create customers and then to pleases those customers in order to gradually attract more consumers and grow in popularity. Without customers any company simply would not survive and therefor they must be put first in practically all situations. The consumer always has the choice to purchase from competitors so it’s essential coca cola aim to please and keep innovating to attract new customers but also to keep the loyal ones. The customers may not have as much of an interest into the success of the business but do have a huge impact on that success. The customers single handily control the either success or setbacks of the company based on whether or not they actually purchase Coca Cola’s products or not.


It is essential for any business to build long term relationships with a reliable and quality supplier in order to meet the customer demand and expectations. Suppliers are essential to the success of Coca Cola. Their customers consume their products 1.6 billion times each day meaning one slip up from the supplier could cost them potentially billions. Coca Colas supply must meet the high demand and high standards of their many customers around the globe as well as sourcing it at a price in which they can still make a profit and charge the market at a competitive rate.

Non – Governmental Organisations (NGO’s)

Coca Cola constantly relies on public – private and NGO partnerships to guide and inform their initiatives and policies. NGO’s also ensure Coca Cola abide by any legal or moral policies which would otherwise give them bad press and potentially hinder their sales. They also challenge the Coca Cola firm with complex world issues such as climate change to allow the business to be ethical and to keep up with new advances in making the world a better place. Some examples of Coca Cola’s public-private and NGO’s include the Carbon Trust, World Wildlife Fund and the World Resources Institute.

Communication with stakeholders

One of the reasons for Coca Cola’s huge success

Reasons for success

As a multi-billion-dollar company and the industry leader it’s no surprise that Coca Cola is an incredibly successful company, with the brand being recognisable to almost anyone worldwide. Boasting a recorded $35.410 billion revenue last year the company is undeniably successful. One possible reason for the success of Coca Cola is the organisational structure.


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