Coca-Cola’s Website Review and Business Strategies

Introduction

The Coca-Cola Company has remained the leading beverage producer worldwide for many years. It’s a multinational incorporated in the US (Beyer, 2000; Giebelhaus, 2008). It manufactures, retails, as well as markets, nonalcoholic syrups along with concentrates. It has an extensive, franchised distribution network. It is NYSE-listed and it profitability has kept on growing since 2012 (Stock Analysis on Net, 2015). This essay relates the company’s corporate website to its business strategies.

Initial Impression of Coca Cola from Its Corporate Website’s Review

Coca Cola’s corporate website comes off as a digital magazine as opposed to a mere website presenting company information (Bodden, 2009; Isdell & Beasley, 2012). The content on the website includes viral trend articles, cute pet pictures, and light-hearted, recipe, entertainment, and sports lists. The content comes off as having marked relations influences, projecting the company as taking public relations as a key business consideration (Lopez, 2013). The website is linked to varied social media platforms, projecting the company as keen on marketing its products to especially young people and engaging with them continually.

Clearly, the company is keen on allowing its stakeholders a say regarding its brand, operations, products, and engagements via the varied social media platforms. The corporate website projects the company as keen on engaging readers on subjects that are of interest to them, presented in a light-hearted way. The light-hearted manner in which content is presented on the website matches the Coca Cola brand’s tone itself. Coca Cola’s operation, as presented in the website, shows that the company has the capacity to counter the traditional form of journalism effectively, especially in cases where the journalism appears bent on attacking it.

Coca Cola’s Vision, Mission and Goals 

Coca Cola is keen on aligning its competitive strategy, messaging, as well as branding, with own vision, goals, and mission. The alignment is geared towards enabling the company maximizes its profitability while ensuring that its lasting growth is sustainable. Notably, Coca Cola’s mission statement communicates its goals: ensuring that the world is refreshed, inspiring happiness along with optimism, and creating value as well as enhancing the localities of where its customers live. Clearly, these goals are the bedrock of the company’s competitive strategy, which is conducting its business operations in an exceptional manner that distinguishes it from competition.

Instead of employing direct marketing along with classical channels to its customers, the company uses diverse bottling partners to allow concentrate amply on beverage manufacturing along with marketing (Bodden, 2009; Isdell & Beasley, 2012). That way, the customers associate the brand with the company rather than the partners. In its marketing messaging, the company projects itself as the originator of the value that defines the brand, and business that keeps the world refreshed and inspires happiness along with optimism (Beyer, 2000; Giebelhaus, 2008). Notably, to retain the connection between itself and the brand rather than allowing customers associate the brand with the partners, Coca Cola has always retained the functions of marketing the brand and executing the related messaging. It markets its brand, or products, via print media, retail store displays, television, package designs, and contests.

Coca Cola’s vision statement spells out the stakeholders who are critical in bolstering its competitiveness and competitive strategy (Lopez, 2013). As well, the vision statement guides and describes what the company should do to realize its goals. For instance, in relation to the goal of enhancing the localities of where its customers live, the statement asserts that the company is keen on growing its profitability and shareholder value while remaining keen on its overall responsibilities to its operational environment.

Coca Cola’s Strategic Approaches

One of the principal Coca Cola’s concerns is globalization. Presently, Coca Cola is well in control of its cost pressures in relation to globalization. Consequently, the pressures are rather low. Hence, the company largely runs its operations under a multi-domestic strategy, ensuring a high local responsiveness in markets spread globally. Under the strategy, Coca Cola mutually customizes its marketing strategies and product offerings to suit particular markets, which are defined by specific conditions. Coca Cola has committed its operations to multiple operating groups: North America Group, Eurasia and Africa Group, McDonald’s Division, Latin America Group, Bottling Investments Group, Europe Group, and Pacific Group.

Each of the groups focuses on creating own activities aimed at value innovation. Each of the groups executes market, as well as product, researches in diverse potential market in their host regions and countries. Coca Cola makes out own threats, as well as opportunities, in given markets through the analysis of the external industry environment hosting its operations. It appears that the company is keen on selecting, as well as formulating, suitable strategic plans to address the environment’s dynamics since external factors impact on it in varied ways (Lopez, 2013).

Coca Cola’s business-level strategy is three-pronged. It comprises of three approaches aimed at creating particular competitive advantages: cost-leadership, focus on a narrowly defined competitive industry scope, and differentiation. Coca Cola has put in place measures to ensure that it remains a low-cost producer. It is keen on differentiating its product offerings to ensure that they are unique, as well as exclusive, in the beverage industry. Besides, it has settled on focusing on rather contracted competitive industry scopes (Bodden, 2009; Isdell & Beasley, 2012). At the corporate level, the company combines multiple steps in its distribution chains to lower own transaction frequencies, costs, and unreliability. The company has a diversification strategy aimed at ensuring that it continuously explores new beverage categories.

Regarding sustainability, Coca Cola strives for a high corporate sustainability performance. From its website, it comes of as dedicated towards making positive differences across the world and promoting business sustainability. The website shows that it has structured plans for ensuring energy efficiency, sustainable packing, water stewardship, active healthy living, and employment of sustainable partnerships in the development of economies (Beyer, 2000; Giebelhaus, 2008).

Coca Cola’s Financials

A close examination of Coca Cola’s 2014 annual report and its latest corporate profit margin statement shows that the profitability of the company, hence shareholder value, has been on the rise since 2012. The percentages of the revenue available to the company to meet own operational expenditure, gross profit margins, improved consistently between 2012 and 2014. Even then, the company’s operating profit margins deteriorated consistently between 2012 and 2014. Besides the company’s net profit margins deteriorated consistently between 2013 and 2014. These conclusions are supported by Stock Analysis on Net (2015).

Coca Cola’s Corporate Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

            The principal expectation that one develops when going through Coca Cola’s Corporate Ethics Policy and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Policy is that its people, or employees, are motivated enough to meet the company’s high standards consistently at every level. One expects the company to have each of its operations guided by the standards expressed in the policies. As wee, one gets the expectation that the operations are benchmarked with global best practices with respect to accountability and transparency (Lopez, 2013). The policies are tangible in terms of the measurability of the standards it sets out.

The CSR Policy for the company is managed and implemented by its Public Policy and Corporate Reputation Council (Bodden, 2009; Isdell & Beasley, 2012). The council is a multi-functional team comprising of the company’s senior managers and senior representatives of its bottling partners. The tangibility of the policy is as well clear from the actuality that the council regularly makes out the risks, as well opportunities, faced by the company, it business, and its communities. Some of the CSR activities that the company engages in include rainwater harvesting, sustainable packaging along with waste recycling, greening environments, restoration of groundwater resources, and putting up communities’ social amenities (Lopez, 2013).

Coca Cola’s Corporate Ethics Policy is titled “Code of Business Conduct”. It guides how the company executes its business, obligating its staff, directors, and associates to express integrity and honesty in all every activity within its workplaces and within its host communities. Unlike the CSR Policy, the Corporate Ethics Policy is enforced by the company’s Ethics and Compliance Committee. The committee is a multi-functional team comprising of the company’s senior managers. Essentially, the committee is charged with overseeing the company’s compliance and ethics programs and determining ethics code breaches and discipline.

The company has put in place measures to ensure that ethical violations are promptly and effectively reported to the committee. Especially, the company has provided avenues for its customers, suppliers, bottling partners, and associates to have their concerns regarding the two policies addressed and to report possible violations (Bodden, 2009; Isdell & Beasley, 2012). The avenues include a telephone reporting and information service and a web platform christened EthicsLine. Notably, the service is toll-free and the platform can be accessed anytime.

Organizational SWOT Assessment

Coca Cola has various strengths, including that it is a brand that is globally renowned with respect to value, it has the largest beverage market share worldwide, and it has marked advertising and marketing wherewithal for enhancing brand recognition. It has an extensive network for distributing its product offerings and a large and loyal customer base. The bargaining power that it wields over suppliers is remarkable and its CSR programs are sound and effective in enhancing its competitive advantages.

Coca Cola’s weaknesses include that its product portfolio is largely undiversified. It suffers a high level of debt owing to its sustained acquisitions. In some areas, it is highly criticized for using water resources imprudently. Besides, the sales realized from hundreds of its product lines show make them appear as typifying brand failures (Beyer, 2000; Giebelhaus, 2008).

Coca Cola’s opportunities include that it can venture into the bottled water industry and that there is a growing demand for healthy beverages and food, which it can start producing. The company can grow further through acquisitions to take advantage of the heightening consumption of beverages especially in emerging economies. The company faces a number of threats (Pendergrast, 2013). First, changing consumer tastes may lead to declines in the demand for its various products. Second, water is becoming scarcer and scarcer. Notably, water is one of the raw materials used by the company. Lastly, the competition faced by the company continues to grow.

Coca Cola’s Capacity to Fulfill Strategic Missions

The company has the capacity to realize its strategic missions. The capacity has different facets. First, the company distribution and inventory systems are effective in enabling it manage available resources effectively (Lopez, 2013). The systems are improved continuously to make certain that the distributors of its products receive suitable beverage quantities and replenish their stocks in timely ways. Second, the company has the necessary intangible, as well as tangible, resources for creating value. It organizes the resources effectively to ensure that its business’ internal organization structure is efficient as well as effective. Third, the company’s external, as well as internal, stakeholders engage in continued dialogue with it. That ensures that they execute their functional activities as per emerging company needs as communicated to them by the company’s management (Beyer, 2000; Giebelhaus, 2008).

Summary Statement

Coca Cola’s corporate website is linked to varied social media platforms, projecting the company as keen on marketing its products to especially young people and engaging with them continually. The company is keen on aligning its competitive strategy, messaging, as well as branding, with own vision, goals, and mission. The alignment is geared towards enabling the company maximizes its profitability while ensuring that its lasting growth is sustainable. It largely runs its operations under a multi-domestic strategy, ensuring a high local responsiveness in markets spread globally.

A close examination of Coca Cola’s 2014 annual report and its latest corporate profit margin statement shows that the profitability of the company, hence shareholder value, has been on the rise since 2012. From its Corporate Ethics Policy and CSR Policy, one gets the perception that its people, or employees, are motivated enough to meet the company’s high standards consistently at every level. The company has provided avenues for its customers, suppliers, bottling partners, and associates to have their concerns regarding the two policies addressed and to report possible violations.  The company has the capacity to realize its strategic missions.

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