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Coca-Cola Company: Strategic Management Process

Executive Summary

The paper at hand is devoted to the analysis of the process of strategic management basing on the Coca-Cola case study. In the framework of the relevant study, such aspects as a mission statement, a vision statement and values were examined.

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The principle aim of this analysis resided in identifying the key advantages and disadvantages of the company’s strategic concept. A particular focus was put on the aspect of the strategy aligning with the interests of the company’s stakeholders. The study was carried out basing on the data that the company offers on its official website.

The analysis has shown that the key flaw in the company’s strategic planning is the lack of clarity in its values positioning. In addition, Coca-Cola seems to have a poor mission statement that does not reflect the core company values and purposes. As a result, it is suggested that the strategic concept is improved in order to ensure that the company’s message is communicated to the targeted audience in an efficient manner.


A company’s mission and vision serve to be an effective tool to communicate their strategy to its stakeholders. In addition, they are an integral part of strategic planning as they help to work out a detailed and well-organized outline for both short-term and long-term targets. Moreover, they are a certain kind of a company’s image reflection so that the way they are posed has a critical impact on the audience’s perception of the brand.

The paper at hand is aimed at analyzing the core components of Coca-Cola’s strategic concept and their interconnection with the stakeholder’s interests. A particular focus is put on identifying the key drawbacks in the current strategic concept and suggesting the ways of their elimination.

Company’s Mission Statement and Analysis

Coca-Cola’s official web page offers the following mission statement: “To refresh the world…To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…To create value and make a difference…” (The Coca-Cola Company, 2016). Generally speaking, Coca-Cola’s mission statement expresses its core ideology that resides in bringing in a positive change. From this perspective, the company’s mission statement is most general – it does not provide a direct link to the stakeholders or the product aspect.

In the meantime, it has a hint at the company’s ambition to maintain its competitive advantage in the relevant market – “make a difference” might be interpreted as the company’s determination to offer better products than those of its rivals.

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It is assumed that a consistent mission statement should comprise the core values, the core purpose and the visionary goals of the firm. In the meantime, it is supposed to be universal so that it can fit the demands of the changing environment (QuickMBA, 2010). From this perspective, Coca-Cola’s mission statement is concise and yet flexible. In other words, the company will not have to reshape it in response to the challenges that might appear on its way.

However, it might seem that the company has mixed its mission statement with the vision statement. The current statement does not reveal the reason for being; instead, it offers some framework for the organization’s future. According to the experts’ opinion, the vision statement should comprise the prospects that the company targets, whereas the mission statement is expected to explain the existing concept of the company (Heathfield, 2015).

Company’s Vision and Analysis

The company’s vision is based on the so-called “focused decisions”. Hence, the general target is sustainability and consistent growth, though the vision also addresses six dimensions: people, portfolio, partners, planet, profit, and productivity. For each of the enlisted aspects, Coca-Cola’s vision provides a relatively specific framework. Thus, for instance, the company is determined to make a “highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization” in terms of productivity and so on (The Coca-Cola Company, 2016).

Coca-Cola’s vision has both advantages and drawbacks. On the one hand, the vision is posed in such a way that it can be simply transformed into actions. Some experts believe that the practical side of the vision is of high importance – the employees are supposed to receive a particular guideline to implement the targeted ideology. It is also assumed that a good vision should not be too long so that one can easily memorize its catchy slogans and stick to them in his or her activity (Heathfield, 2015). From this standpoint, Coca-Cola’s vision is rather beneficial – it is brief and specific.

On the other hand, there is an opinion that modern vision is expected to be creative and unconventional (McNamara, n.d.). Otherwise speaking, a vision is no more a mere action plan but a powerful motivation tool. From this perspective, the company’s vision is rather ordinary – it is unlikely that it can inspire Coca-Cola’s employees the way it is currently proposed.

Company’s Values and Analysis

Coca-Cola points out the seven core values that it shares: leadership, collaboration, integrity, accountability, passion, diversity, and quality. For each of the values the company offers a brief interpretation to make it more illegible. Hence, for example, they explain that they understand leadership as “the courage to shape a better future” and so on (The Coca-Cola Company, 2016). At this point, the way that they put their values makes one think that the company has mixed the values and the vision. Hence, their values offer short and catchy slogans that look more like motivators and are uninformative from the practical point of view. Thus, for instance, the integrity value is accompanied by a short explanation “be real” that looks like an encouraging appeal, though it gives no idea of what is actually meant.

In addition, the core values of a company are normally not very numerous as they are supposed to comprise only the general points and avoid specificity. Some experts believe that the most rational value limit is five and below (QuickMBA, 2010). Coca-Cola, in its turn, offers seven core values, some of them, such as “passion,” for instance, look rather vague.

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Nevertheless, the values have the strengths that should not be overlooked. Hence, for example, the targeted values are rather long-lasting. In other words, the company can rely on them in any circumstances and notwithstanding the products it sells. Supposing that Coca-Cola decides to change its profile, it might still adopt the values described above.

Alignment of Company’s Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals with Stakeholders’ Interests

On the face of it, the company looks highly concerned about engaging its stakeholders in the strategy planning. Thus, they claim that the stakeholders’ interests have a diverse effect on the corporate decision making (Stakeholder Engagement, 2015). A more profound analysis yet shows that not all the components of the strategic concept are aligned with stakeholders’ interests directly.

The mission statement, for instance, addresses some communities that are promised to receive a “refreshed world.” In the meantime, the addressees of the “optimism and happiness” are not very clear – they might be the product’s consumers as well as the employees or both.

From this perspective, the company’s value statement is more precise. It addresses at least four groups of stakeholders: suppliers, employees, partners, and communities. Meanwhile, it seems paradoxical that the values have no direct link to the customers. Thus, there are some connotations for satisfying consumers’ needs and demands, although one will have to read between the lines to indicate the appeal to consumers.

The company’s values seem to be aligned with stakeholders’ interests best of all. Thus, they cover all the critical groups of stakeholders. Thus, for instance, the customers are ensured that they receive a high-quality product, the employees are welcomed to make effective leaders, the communities are promised to get a “better future” and the partners are encouraged to “leverage collective genius” (The Coca-Cola Company, 2016).

The only disadvantage that might be pointed out is the vagueness of some implications for the stakeholders’ interests. In other words, it is not always clear what kind of stakeholders’ group is addressed by this or that statement. Hence, for example, when the company claims that it is determined to “be real,” it is problematic to identify the group that is welcomed to share this value as well as to think of the action that can help to achieve this target.

Recommended Changes

The key flaw of the strategic concept that is recommended to be eliminated is the confused notions of mission and vision. Thus, instead of explaining the reason to be in the mission statement, the company focuses on the future-oriented aspiration. In addition, according to the basic principles of marketing, a mission statement is supposed to be longer that a vision one; in fact, it should include an explicit description of the company’s strategic concept (Marketing Principles, 2012). In Coca-Cola’s case, the mission statement is short, and it evidently lacks some critical facts about the corporate ideology.

The company’s vision is rather efficient from the practical standpoint. In other words, it can be used as a precise guideline for the necessary actions. It can still be recommended that the company reshapes the vision in order to make it sound more motivating and inspiring. At the current point, it evidently lacks an encouraging appeal to the stakeholders. The company’s values, on the contrary, are highly inspiring and excessively vague. Otherwise stated, the company can try to put them more concisely so that the audience has a clear idea of what it is welcomed to share.

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The analysis of the strategic concept of the Coca-Cola Company has shown that the company offers catchy slogans that are likely to attract the consumers. In addition, its mission, vision, and values are universal. Otherwise stated, Coca-Cola can rely on them regardless of the changes in the environment. Furthermore, all the strategic components are, to a larger or smaller extent, aligned with particular groups of the stakeholders.

Nevertheless, Coca-Cola seems to confuse some of the components. Thus, its mission statement sounds more like a vision. Moreover, such critical component as values evidently lacks clarity. Therefore, it is recommended that the strategic concept is slightly reshaped in order to make it more concise and informative.

Reference List

Heathfield, S.M. (2015). Build a Strategic Framework Through Strategic Planning. Web.

Marketing Principles. (2012). Web.

McNamara, C. (n.d.). Basics of Developing Mission, Vision and Values Statements. Web.

QuickMBA. (2010). The Business Mission and Company Mission Statement. Web.

Stakeholder Engagement. (2015). Web.

The Coca-Cola Company. (2016). Mission, Vision & Values. Web.

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