As a Marketing Consultant I have been asked by a client company Coca-cola LTD who wish to enter the developing market with a new product to compile a report on their new product in the adult soft drink industry. I will be including an analysis of the coca cola market in terms of their product brand width and depth, brand leadership, market segmentation, price positioning and distribution channels. In order to find out what customers want and if the product would be a success I will be compiling a questionnaire which will help us understand what the customer wants.
I will then be discussing the new brand, what our target market will be, product positioning and market strategies.
2.0 History of coca cola
Coca-Cola is the most popular and biggest-selling soft drink in history, as well as the best-known product in the world.
On the 8th May 1886 Coca-Cola was invented in a pharmacy in Atlanta Georgia, USA by Dr. John Styth Pemberton.
It was marketed as a “brain and nerve tonic” in drugstores. Sales averaged nine drinks per day. The first year’s gross sales were $50 and advertising costs were $73.
Coca-Cola was first offered as a fountain beverage by mixing Coca-Cola syrup with carbonated water. Coca-Cola was registered as a trademark in 1887 and by 1895 Coca-Cola was being sold in every state and territory in the United States. In 1899, the company began franchised bottling operations in the United States. Today, you can find Coca-Cola in virtually every part of the world.
3.0 Analysis of the Market
The first step in doing market research is to decide what you really need to find out.
The kind of information you are seeking should determine the type of research you will do.
Do you need to obtain a general feel for how key target buyers think about your product category and its various types of items, brands, and buying occasions? If so, interviewing groups of target buyers in focus groups may be the way to go, even though this type of research indicates only directional trends and may not be statistically reliable. Or is the confirmation of general trends in your industry sufficient? In that case, reading information from outside information services, industry trade associations, and industry experts may be all that you need to do.
3.1 Product Brand width and depth
Coca cola has extended their range of products extensively, in the last few years. Coca cola have products which some people do not even know exists, the following are products that coca cola have launched, Coca cola cans and bottles both plastic and glass, diet coca cola, lemon coca cola, cherry , fanta, lilt and a vast amount of other soft drinks and fruit drinks.
Coca cola have also launched a clothes range, which include jeans, t-shirts, caps, bags, scarves and many more accessories.
Coca cola always aim to bring out as much merchandise as they possibly can in order to gain money not only from the coca cola drink and other coca cola drinks which I mentioned above, but to make a profit from merchandise as well. Coca-cola will not run out of ideas, every year they bring out a new form of accessories or merchandise which attracts customers to them.
Coca-cola has a wide variety of clients and so must make sure that they are catering for all ages, genders and generally all the public.
3.2 Brand leadership
Brand leadership is very important for companies to have, in order to gain a high place in the market. In order for companies to do so they must make sure that they satisfy their customers to their highest standards, this will lead to them having a successful product in the market and gaining brand leadership.
Coca-cola is the most recognized trademark, recognized by 94% of the world’s population and is the most widely recognized word after “OK”. Coca-cola is the only brand in the soft drinks industry that has gained such high brand leadership.
Coca-cola has more than 500 brands available around the world including diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite and there are more than 1200 bottling plants around the world. There are nearly 10,450 soft drinks from the Coca-Cola Company consumed every second of every day.
By the facts given above it is obvious that coca cola has high standards for their product and always aims to please the customer as much as they can, by producing their product at high standards, but at the same time bringing out new products which attract their existing customers.
Coca-cola is very successful as they always look to have the highest standards for not only the drink but for the label to be well known, therefore they make their branding totally different to other soft drinks in order to be distinguished from its competitors.
3.3 Market segmentation
Market segmentation is the selection of groups of people who will be most receptive to a product. The most frequent methods of segmenting include demographic variables such as age, sex, race, income, occupation, education, household status, and geographic location; psychographic variables such as life-style, activities, interests, and opinions; product use patterns; and product benefits. Much segmentation involves combinations of these methods. No matter how segments are defined, however, they are characterized by considerable change over time.
Large companies segment their markets by conducting extensive market research projects, consisting of several rounds of exploratory research:
1. Customer and product data collection: Researchers gather data from users of similar products on:
* number and timing of brand purchases
* reasons for purchases
* consumers’ attitudes about various product attributes
* importance of the product to the lifestyle of consumer
* category user information (demographics, psychographics, media habits, etc.)
2. Factor and cluster analysis: Researchers analyse the data collected in (1) to find correlations between product purchases and other factors, as a basis for identifying actionable consumer target “clusters.” Clusters are defined as “niche markets,” where there are identifiable numbers of buyers or users who share the same characteristics and who thus can be reached by adept advertising and promotion.
3. Cluster identification and importance ranking: Researchers then determine
* whether clusters are large and viable enough to spend marketing funds on them
* whether potential marketing niche clusters fit strategic company objectives; i.e., does marketing to this group fit your existing image and long-term goals
Coca-cola aim to please their customers and therefore always look to the future and how they can make coca cola better, who they should be attracting and why.
Coca-cola have not really segmented in any way, but their advertising and promotional campaigns do aim at the younger generation. Their advertising appeals to young children but also to young adults 18-25-year-olds as their advertising is trendy and catchy.
Saying this, older generations do drink coca cola just not as much as the younger. However, coca cola seems to be segmenting and targeting the age group of the younger generation as they are most likely to drink more coca cola and since they will be getting more sales from the younger generation, they make sure that their advertising is going to attract all ages, but mostly 15-30 year olds.
However coca cola segment their market, it will always have success in the soft drinks industry as it is the leading brand and will remain the leading brand in the industry for years to come, if they continue to operate as they are.
3.4 Price positioning
Positioning is adding brand value to this collection of differences in the mind of the buyer. In other words, you must solve the problem of how to communicate a meaningful difference about your business idea to the people who are most interested in buying it.
Meaningful differences in your product or service, compared to that of your competitors, should be created and communicated to your target buyer via packaging, pricing, features and benefits, product design, colours, advertising and promotion mediums, public relations events, and even spokespersons. Everything should work together to promote a consistent image for your product or service.
The ideal price for any product or service is one that is acceptable to both buyer and seller.
From the buyer’s standpoint, the right price is a function of product purchase value and other competitive choices in the marketplace. From the seller’s viewpoint, there are many potential pricing objectives. But the basic concern for almost all small businesses is to price products to maximize both sales and profits, while providing enough margin to take care of applicable marketing and overhead expenses.
In order to determine the product pricing for any business size the following steps must be taken:
* Analyse the size and composition of your target market.
* Research price elasticity for your product.
* Evaluate your product’s uniqueness.
* Select your channels of distribution.
* Consider product life cycles.
* Analyse your costs and overhead.
* Estimate sales at different prices.
* Consider secondary pricing strategies.
* Select final pricing levels.
Coca cola makes sure that the price in which their products are at stays according to their competitors changes in price. Coca cola have promotions nearly all year round in order to boost sales.
Coca cola are careful not to overprice their product as the younger generation may prefer to go somewhere else for a cheaper and similar product, however there are still those customers who will pay as much as it takes to but this product, but in both cases coca cola must be aware that if they over price they will lose some customers but if they overprice their product they will not make as much profit as they do now.
However the price that coca cola has here in the United Kingdom is different to other countries who have less disposable income.
Coca cola have many competitors in supermarkets, such as the supermarkets own brand cola which is priced a lot lower than coca cola, however coca cola still gets more sales than an own supermarket brand cola does.
3.5 Distribution Channels
Once you have selected and developed a unique product or business idea, correctly positioned and targeted it to buyers, and developed your packaging and pricing, the selection of distribution channels and sales representation is key to successful marketing.
It’s fairly easy to change many of your marketing tactics and strategies on a periodic basis; pricing, packaging, and product mix are among these flexible choices. However, distribution and sales decisions, once made, are much more difficult to change.
There is a wide variety of possible distribution channels, including:
* retail outlets owned by your company or by an independent merchant or chain
* wholesale outlets of your own or those of independent distributors or brokers
* sales force compensated by salary, commission, or both
* direct mail via your own catalog or flyers
* telemarketing on your own or through a contract firm
* cyber marketing, surfing the newest frontier
* TV and cable direct marketing and home shopping channels
Coca cola have a large variety of distribution methods available to them and use them to their advantage. They have distributed their product in all possible places, for example you can find coca cola on an airplane or in a vending machine, off licences, supermarkets, and newsagents there are too many places in order to list.
Coca cola is found literally everywhere you go, you could be waiting for a train and be able to purchase coca cola on the platform. By distributing coca cola in all these different places and in services coca cola get an edge as it is preferred above other soft drinks.
Around the United Kingdom you can find over 60,000 automatic vending machines, so there is no limitation in finding coca cola at anytime, this is a very good method of distributing the product as coca cola can sell their product day or night when shops are closed.
4.0 Consumer Questionnaire
1. What gender are you?
2. What age group do you fall under?
3. Do you drink alcohol?
4. Where do you drink alcohol?
Bars? At home?
5. Do you drink Alco pops?
6. What alcohol do you drink with coca cola?
Jack Daniels? Vodka?
Brandy ? other?
7. Would you like to see coca cola with your favourite alcoholic beverage in a bottle?
8. How much are you prepared to pay for this product?
The questionnaire on the previous page can be improved although we did test it and got our results we feel that it still needs improvement. Improvement is needed in many aspects, there are no open questions allowing the public to answer freely they are all closed questions.
There was no question asking if the public actually drink coca cola, which is the main product.
There was no opportunity for the public to write down their other comments and thoughts on this new product.
No question asking about how they would like the appearance of our new product to be and what sort of promotional activities they feel would attract the general public.
Another good improvement would be to ask the public whether they would like any further information sent to them by e-mail.
Following on the next page is a new and improved questionnaire.
4.1 Improved questionnaire
1. What gender are you?
2. What age group do you fall under?
18-22? 23-26? 27-30? ?34-31
3. Do you drink coca cola?
4. Do you drink alcohol?
5. Where do you drink alcohol?
Clubs? Pubs? Bars? At home?
6. Do you drink Alco pops?
7. What alcohol do you drink with coca cola?
Jack Daniels? Vodka? Malibu? Bacardi?
Brandy ? other?
8. Would you like to see coca cola with your favourite alcoholic beverage in a bottle?
9. How much are you prepared to pay for this product?
ï¿½1.80? ï¿½2.00? ï¿½2.40? ï¿½2.80?
10. What is your opinion on this new product?
11. What would you like the appearance of the bottled drink to be?
12. Would you prefer to have these drinks in bottled form? Comments
13. Would you consider trying this product?
14. Do you think that this is a good idea?
15. Would you like us to send you information on this product? If so please leave us your e-mail address and we shall contact you with all details of this product.
Thank you for your time!!!
5.0 New brand
The new brand in which we will be bringing in to the soft drinks market is an adult alcoholic bottled drink. This alcoholic beverage is based on other bottled alcoholic products such as the drink “Smirnoff Ice” which is a mixture of vodka and lemonade in a glass bottle.
Our new product however will be a mixture of an alcoholic beverage and coca cola, the questionnaire will help us establish which alcoholic beverages customers would like to drink with coca cola in a bottle, and if this new product will be successful in this market.
5.1 Main target market
Coca cola is drunk throughout the world by all ages, it is the leading soft drink in the soft drinks industry, however Alco pop drinks are mainly drunk by young adults, from ages 18 to 26, so in order to be a success we will be aiming our target market to be between 18 and 26.
When going out to pubs, bars and clubs young adults tend to drink a lot of bottled drinks, however as coca cola do not have a bottled alcoholic drink young adults are forced to have their alcoholic drink in a glass with coca cola. So in order to make it simpler for young adults, they will be able to buy their favourite drink in a bottle.
We have compiled a questionnaire in which we will find out which alcoholic beverages are drunk with coca cola, in order to approach these leading alcoholic brands and tell them our idea. The alcoholic brands in which young adults prefer to drink coca cola with are as follows:
By combining these alcoholic beverages we are aiming to please our customers and introduce a product which many people have thought about and wished would at some point be launched in the market.
As coca cola is an extremely successful brand we are confident that this new product will be a success when targeted at 18 to 26 year olds. Also as coca cola is drunk by the older generation too they may want to try it and therefore we might have some older generations in out market too, but we cannot make our target market this wide, we must focus on a certain age group in order to make this product up to our highest standards therefore pleasing our customers in this age group, as with the older generation we feel that this product will not be a huge success.
Young adults are more prone to introducing themselves to new drinks, and in general spending a lot of disposable income on alcohol, so through our market research questionnaires we have come to the conclusion that our main target market will be 18 to 26 year olds so we musty make sure all aspects of this Alco pop drink, such as the packaging, advertising and taste is aimed to attract the young adults.
5.2 Product positioning
In order to position our product appropriately we must leave it in the customer’s hand, and not take too much control. We must create an image for this product in the minds of our targeted customers. We must ensure that this product has a distinct image and position in the market. Advertising must be catchy and attractive and the product must stand out and have a good position in the market.
There are many competitors in the Alco pop market therefore we must make sure that our product stands out from the others, which will not be a problem because of the background coca cola has already. Product positioning is affected by the reputation and image of the company so I do not feel that we will have a problem in this sector as I mentioned above coca cola is a well known brand all over the world and is the leading soft drink in the industry.
Although the role of the customer plays a big part in product positioning is is crucial that we play our role right too in order to be successful, in order to do this we must follow some simple steps they are as follows.
1. Define the segments in a particular market
2. Decide which segment to target
3. Understand what the target consumers expect from us
4. Develop a product that caters especially for their needs
5. Evaluate the positioning and images as perceived by the target customers
6. Select an image that sets the product apart from competitors
7. Inform target customers about the product
5.3 Marketing mix strategies
In order for this product to be a success we must take in to account the marketing mix, which include product, price, place and promotion.
The product in which will be going on to the market is a new Alco pop drink in which is called Alco coke, there are many other Alco pops on the market, therefore Alco coke must do their best to male this product up to their highest standards.
The main thing to remember about our packaging is that it communicates to the person buying it right up until they make the decision to put down their money and buy it. If it’s sitting on a shelf with eight similar products, it can’t just look nice, it has to scream its message out in order to get noticed. Packaging should be noticeable within three seconds in a store-shelf situation, therefore it must be bright and attractive.
The convenience of the product is important as well, as the coca cola bottle is much more convenient than holding a glass in a club, as push and shove half of your drink from the glass is all over you, whereas the bottle will not spill as easily.
The price plays a very big role in this situation as there are many competitors in this market who have already priced their Alco pops at a reasonable price, we must aim to price ours at a similar but slightly lower price to start with, in order to save money for the consumer.
However we have an advantage as coca cola is a very well know brand and so money will be paid in order to buy this drink as the consumers know that coca cola is a leading brand and in most cases they drink coca cola.
People may pay more for a similar product if they think they will get more out of it. However as coca cola is a leading brand this is not necessarily a problem as when a customer sees coca cola they will not be weary about the quality of the product.
A price has been given to Alco coke at ï¿½2.40, as we found our competitors have prices at ï¿½2.50 or higher, we also got this price from the questionnaire we had produced and piloted.
We have the price, however to launch this product, coupons will be given out reducing the price by 50p for the first few times a drink is purchased by a consumer.
The strategy behind how we sell and distribute the product is a very important element of the marketing mix. Alco coke will be sold in a variety of places, clubs, bars, pubs, off licences, supermarkets, petrol stations, student unions in universities. This product will be sold in all places in which sell alcoholic beverages in the United Kingdom.
In time as we see how the product sells it will be sold abroad in many different countries, mostly the countries where coca cola is consumed the most.
In order for this Alco pop to be a success we must promote it in the right way.
Attractive and eye catching posters must be placed in student prone areas, clubs, pubs and bars.
A way in which will be a success to promote this new drink is through giving out promotional vouchers and coupons in which give a discount on the drink, which at least gets the customer to try the new drink, once they have tried it there hopefully will be no going back.
The idea is to get them to try the drink once they have tried it they will know what it tastes like and maybe continue drinking it. Another advantage of this is that word of mouth will get around as the person who has tried the beverage will recommend it to a friend.
Advertising on the radio will be a very successful breakthrough as young adults always listen to the radio, this is a very good way to put the drink across.
Leaflets and money off coupons will be distributed outside universities and colleges, which will give them recognition of the product and at the same time a chance to try it for less money.
Magazines, newspapers, billboards, Web banners, radio spots, TV spots, sponsored TV and radio programs, product packaging and inserts, movie trailers, posters and flyers, directory listings, and in-store displays are all ways in which this product can be put across to the public.