Coca Cola Company: Cross-cultural Business Behavior

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Topic: Business & Economics
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Coca Cola is one of the most recognizable brands and products in the world. It has a long history, and its expansion to all of the continents is remarkable. It is necessary to note that different companies employ quite different strategies to market their products in multiple countries.

Thus, some products are changed slightly (or significantly) to make them more attractive to customers having different cultural backgrounds (Southerton, 2011). For instance, McDonald’s provides menus (and even particular products) that differ in flavor or ingredients (Southerton, 2011). Coca Cola has its own approach to the marketing of its major product (Coca Cola soft drink) in different countries.

The company does not change its best-known product significantly. There is only some difference in the degree of sweetness. Thus, Coca Cola is sweeter in countries where people prefer sweet products (Gesteland, 2012). At the same time, the product sold in the US and some other western countries is sugar-free as people living there are more concerned with healthy lifestyles and consuming less sugar.

In other respects, the soft drink is absolutely the same with no differences in flavors. The company’s philosophy is to bring its core product with no modifications, as Coca Cola is a drink that is loved because of its recognizable taste and because of its history/philosophy/value.

Nonetheless, there are certain differences in the way the product is marketed. Clearly, this is mainly manifested in advertisements. It is possible to analyze some of the advertisements used in different regions briefly. Importantly, there are certain concepts all of the commercials share in common. Thus, Coca Cola always means fun, recreation, and socializing. However, in each country, there are certain peculiarities.

For instance, in an Argentinian commercial Coca Cola is seen as a common soft drink that appears during meals and during a day (Heartwarming Coca-Cola life commercial, 2013). Coca Cola is always there when the most important events in people’s life take place. In a Chinese commercial, the focus is made on socializing.

The soft drink is a way to break the ice and meet new people (Coca Cola Chinese Commercial Funny, 2013). At the same time, an Indian commercial shows that Coca Cola is the thing that unites people and makes their life more cheerful (Classic Indian Commercials, 2011). It is clear that there are slightly different expectations and values in different markets. The company is ready to respond to that.

Apart from commercials, Coca Cola also utilizes quite different marketing approaches. For instance, in Bangkok, instead of a large truck, small tuk-tuks are used to make sure that the product will be distributed properly (Gesteland, 2012). In China, on the contrary, large trucks are employed, as it enables the company to distribute the product evenly across the country.

In conclusion, it is possible to state that Coca Cola has chosen to market the core product that has the same (or almost the same) flavor in different countries. Thus, Coca Cola is always recognizable in any part of the world. At the same time, the company uses different marketing strategies to promote its core product.

Different distribution strategies are employed, and commercials are also quite different in various regions. This shows that some products are valued for their taste, and the only thing that can change is the way the product appeals to people coming from different cultural backgrounds.

Reference List

Classic Indian commercials – Coke AD. (2011). Web.

Coca Cola Chinese commercial funny. (2013). Web.

Gesteland, R. R. (2012). Cross-cultural business behavior: A guide for global management. Portland, OR: Copenhagen Business School Press DK.

Heartwarming Coca-Cola life commercial from Argentina showing trials tribulations parenting – kids. (2013). Web.

Southerton, D. (2011). Encyclopedia of consumer culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.