Coca-Cola is a universally well-known brand. The parent company based in Atlanta Georgia produces a concentrate, which it supplies to bottlers all over the world.
The company’s threefold mission is, “to refresh the world, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness and to create value and make a difference” (The Coca-Cola Company).
These elements of the stated vision embrace the whole world in Coca-Cola’s worldview and as such is a strong indicator of Coca-Cola’s interest in the promotion of diversity.
The explicit goals of Coca-Cola’s marketing campaign are to increase market share and in the process to serve more customers. The expected results are a healthier bottom line for the company. The slogan currently in use by Coca-Cola is “Open happiness.”
This slogan seeks to point out that an open bottle of Coke brings happiness. Other views on it include the promotion of an open society as opposed to a closed one since a closed bottle cannot refresh.
The Coca-Cola Company introduced a program to achieve diversity in its human resource outlay. This program has achieved some commendable results in increasing the number of minorities and women in the company’s ranks.
The question now is, does the company’s marketing reflect this same interest? Is there a sound business case for using diversity as a marketing philosophy?
To expand its market share, Coca-Cola finds itself in a tight spot. In almost all the markets, it has to contend with serious competition. Through the open happiness campaign, Coca-Cola can rope in more of the potential clients and retain the traditional ones.
Diversity is a sound basis for this campaign since Coca-Cola was trying to reach a very wide global audience with its products.
Dalic (4) describes globalization as “the convergence of cultures” Coca-Cola slogan evokes the universally desired emotion by all cultures of happiness; hence it portrays Coca-Cola as the drink for a diverse and happy world.
In actual terms, the campaign must aim at increasing Coca-Cola’s shelf space in all retail outlets selling Coca-Cola. It will create the impression of an increasing level of happiness.
Since Coca-Cola already exists in as many markets as imaginable, its major need is to retain its market and to expand its market share by increasing the saturation of its products.
For Coke to use diversity as a marketing strategy, it needs to develop a new marketing strategy that feeds into this concept, in the same way, that the Coca-Cola Company has implemented empowerment programs to diversify its staff to include more women and minorities within its ranks.
There are lessons on diversity from the 1971 slogan, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke.” For this approach to succeed, it needs to have a direct message to all people in the world that Coke is the drink that brings the world together, recognizing and celebrating their differences.
An option is to introduce a new drink that will reach a more diverse audience with a name like Universal Coke.
The world is dealing with myriad issues such as war and global warming threatening international cooperation and cohesion. Universal Coke will plug into this global sense of despair with a message of happiness.
For a successful launch of Universal Coke, several elements are required. This includes a product design that meets the aspirations of a diverse world.
This will consist of a new design for points of sale, worldwide promotions of the new product, utilization of digital media and social networking to attract customers and expanding current loyalty programs to include a worldwide audience. Diversity is a promising route for Coke.
If taken it will promote a cohesive world that will also ensure that the Coca-Cola company attains and retains a healthy bottom line.
Dalic, Tomislaw. Globalisation of Marketing strategies in light of Segmantation and cultural diversity. Norderstedt: GRIN Verlag, 2007.
The Coca-Cola Company. Mission Vision & Values. 15 Feb 2011. 15 Feb 2011 <http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/ourcompany/mission_vision_values.html>.