The Coca-Cola Company is an international manufacturer, marketer, and seller of soft beverages and syrups based in Atlanta, US. Founded in 1886, the company has since expanded to cover more than 200 countries and given rise to brands such as Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Powerade, and others. Coca-Cola is a household name and a highly recognizable product, with as many as 5.7 billion beverages being served across the world on a daily basis. It is argued that the Coca-Cola company owes its success not only to the quality of its products but also to wise and thoughtful marketing decisions. This paper provides a piece of communication analysis of The Coca-Cola Company’s communication strategies, evaluates their efficiency, and considers the ethical side of things.
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Communication with Internal Employees
The Coca-Cola Company ranks among the world’s biggest private employers providing jobs to more than 700,000 people. On its official website, the Coca-Cola company highlights how accepting it is of workplace diversity. This strategy is well-aligned with the new paradigm of equality that promotes equal access to employment for people of all races, genders, and nationalities. The company does not merely make claims – it enlists its achievements and accolades. Some examples include: “The Coca-Cola Company is ranked on the list of top organizations for multicultural business opportunities,” “Named again on Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises (“Who we are,” 2018).” It is readily imaginable how such information could eliminate doubt in potential employees belonging to minorities about whether they are welcome to join.
Another way in which the Coca-Cola Company communicates with its internal employees is by showing them the prospects of working there. Like many other industry giants, the Coca-Cola Company is trying to tell the employees that their presence in the workplace is not confined to their job duties. The company creates an extra layer of meaning by using such slogans as “Together, we can change our future.” At the same time, the organization is showing its commitment to taking care of employees by dedicating a separate webpage to the work-life balance at Coca-Cola. Lastly, another interesting feature of verbal communication is calling the training and development problem CCU – Coca-Cola university. By doing so, the company increases the prestige of becoming an associate and learning from the experts.
Communication with Customers
When communicating with customers, the Coca-Cola Company uses different marketing strategies. One of them is audience outreach through personalization. The company is trying its best to make the brand more than its product and turn consumption into a wholesome experience. For example, on its official website, the company calls Coca-Cola products “a symbol of friendship (“Who we are,” 2018).” It gets its point across by using emotional elements in its advertisements – both texts and videos. In 2016, the company launched the “Taste the Feeling” campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to show the variety of situations in which Coca-Cola products helped to make consumers’ lives better. On top of that, the ads showed people around the world enjoying the same product, conveying the message that regardless of your background, you choose Coca-Cola. Through adding emotions and representation of different demographics, the Coca-Cola Company succeeded in making a connection between the product and pleasant memories and situations.
Another highly efficient campaign was created in 2011 when the company prompted consumers to design bottles with their own names. It was made possible through a Facebook app. Statistics have shown that throughout the campaign, the Coca-Cola company was able to boost its sales by 7%. At the same time, the traffic on the official website grew by 870%, while the Facebook page started receiving 139% more likes (“Who we are,” 2018). Consumers liked personalized bottles – they actively participated in the campaign, took pictures for social media, and gave bottles to their friends as a present.
For all its successful communication cases. The Coca-Cola Company has generated quite an amount of controversy due to its environmental claims. For example, in the reports available on the official website, the company claims that sustainability is the backbone of its business operations. It expresses its commitment to fight plastic pollution by making all of its bottles recyclable by 2020 and reducing plastic waste by 50%. Expert opinions differ from what the Coca-Cola Company wants its customers and employees to believe. According to Gabbatis (2018), it remains one of the worst plastic pollutants in the world, and the situation is not likely to resolve itself in the years to come.
Over the last decades, the company has launched tens of advertisement campaigns, striking a chord with the general public. Apart from that, the Coca-Cola Company has communicated the message about its mission and vision attractive to both customers and employees. When attracting new talent and retaining the existing employees, the company relies on written and verbal materials to send the message about its work philosophy and system of values. With customers, the Coca-Cola Company uses personalization to assign positive emotions to the product and leadership marketing to assert its expertise. The Coca-Cola Company is no stranger to controversy: on many occasions, they made bogus claims about their environmental impact.
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The Coca-Cola Company. (2018). Who we are. Web.
Gabbatiss, J. (2018). Coca-Cola and Nestle among worst plastic polluters based on global clean-ups. Web.