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The Profile and History of Coca Cola Company
Coca Cola is one of the most famous companies worldwide. It has been a symbol of the American life for decades. The company has managed to produce and promote its products all over the world. It is estimated that over one billion servings of Coca Cola are drunk a day (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell 408).
The beverage is sold in almost all countries in the world. Remarkably, Coca Cola is in the market for more than a century. The company is one of the leaders in the market of soft drinks with its only rival, PepsiCo. Though the company has faced a number of difficulties, it reports about significant growth (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell 409). The company intends to invest into its development.
The company was founded in 1886 in the USA. It is a well-known fact that the beverage was introduced as a kind of medicine. However, it became a popular product soon. The company was growing fast as the product was really popular in the United States. Nonetheless, Coca Cola Company started operating internationally in the middle of the twentieth century (during and right after the World War II). The company acknowledged possible opportunities of the global market.
The 1990s can be regarded as the golden age of international sales as the company entered such markets as China, India, Latin America and former Soviet countries. Geopolitical situation was highly favourable for the company’s products as that was the period when drinking Coke stood for being free and fashionable. It was a matter of ideology rather than a matter of particular qualities of the product.
However, in the late 1990s, the company started facing a variety of problems as the company was accused of being involved in “racial discrimination, misrepresentations of market tests, manipulation of earnings”, etc. (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell 408). The company has been dealing with these problems quite successfully, though there are still a lot of issues to be addressed.
Major Changes in the Company
One of the major changes in the company took place in the middle of the twentieth century. Robert Woodruff, then-president of the company, made the decision to distribute the product around the world “to sell to members of the armed services for a nickel a bottle” (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell 409).
This helped American soldiers feel more comfortable in other countries and this also contributed greatly to the spread of the product all over the world. This decision was of paramount importance as it was the beginning of the product’s certain hegemony. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it affected the development of many other countries and dramatically changed geopolitical situation in the world. The company managed to recognise the potential of these changes and initiated a successful advertising campaign.
Nonetheless, in the late 1990s and 2000s, the company faced a number of ethical and financial crises. Several CEOs were replaced, but the company has not managed to solve the problems. The company has not diversified its products and it has not changed the major strategies used. Coca Cola Company has introduced a variety of offers for different markets (lower prices and some changes of the product’s design). The company has always focused on peculiarities of the markets, but remained faithful to its core values.
It is necessary to note, that the company has not changed its ways in terms of ethical conduct. It is still being accused of unethical conduct and it has to defend itself in the court. Admittedly, these ethical crises negatively affect the company’s reputation and development.
The Impact of the Changes Made
As has been mentioned above, one of the crucial changes made by the company was the decision to operate globally. The company was one of the first American companies that understood the importance of entering the global market. This change has made the company one of the global leaders in the industry. The brand is recognisable and popular in almost all countries of the world as the company has managed to provide successful advertising campaigns. Coca Cola has created a symbol rather than a mere product.
In my opinion, this change was really important and beneficial for the company as it grew into a leader in the global market. However, it is also necessary to note that the changes, the company has not made, had a negative impact. The company has not recognised the importance of operating ethically. Operating globally presupposes ethical conduct as the global market is governed by certain rules. Coca Cola has ignored this trend and it is the reason why the company is struggling with a variety of constraints at the moment.
On balance, it is possible to state that Coca Cola is one of the most famous and recognisable brands in the world. The company has been operating globally for several decades and it is one of the leaders. Nevertheless, the company is now witnessing a number of difficulties. These difficulties are mainly caused by the company’s inability to introduce the necessary changes which could help Coca Cola’s strategies reconcile with the principles of global marketing.
Ferrell, O.C., John Fraedrich and Linda Ferrell. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.