Authored by Lucius Lu and Sophia Tiwana
According to official statistics, an amazing 1.9 billion products of Coca-Cola are sold around the world everyday.
The Coca-Cola Company is a global business that operates on a local scale, in every community where they do business. The term is second most well known after okay, making it recognisable in nearly all communities and cultures across the globe. The Company is able to create a global a global reach with local focus because of the strength of its system, which comprises the Coca-Cola Company and their more than 250 bottling partners worldwide.
The system has numerous legal and managerial departments and sections,all independent of each other, and it does not own or control all of it bottling partners worldwide.
While it is generally perceived that Coca-Cola runs all its operations globally it, this process it done through various local channels. The Company manufactures and sells concentrates, beverage bases and syrups to bottling operators. It still however, owns the brand and is responsible for consumer brand marketing initiative. The bottling partners manufacture, package and distribute the final branded beverages to customers and vending partners, who then sell products to consumers.
All bottling partners work closely with suppliers- grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores, amongst many others- to execute localised strategies developed in partnership with Coca-Cola. More precisely, although Coca-Cola is a global company, its products never have to travel far to reach the final consumer, making the product more local than you may think, the product is made local to the market where it is sold.
Their business is a local business, typically products aren’t shipped more than a few hundred miles; it’s all about being responsive to the customers needs and the local tastes of the consumers in every market. The Coca-Cola Company sells its products to bottling and canning operations, distributers, fountain wholesalers and some fountain retailers. They then distribute them to retail outlets, corner stores, restaurants, petrol stations and many more.
Arrays of points of sales that Coca-Cola products can roughly be categorised into are:
– Wholesalers/ distributers
– Retail/ corner stores/ super markets
– Restaurants/ cafes/ night clubs
– Petrol stations
– Automated teller machines (AMTs)
The firms distribution system is one of the most well planned and executed compared to all other drinks of the same category. It has such an impact on consumers and is so successful that even wholesalers and distributers need the product for their business’ success. Coke’s position on consumer’s mind makes it essential to retailers and wholesalers. They have achieved their goal due to this high visibility, and to the availability of their products all over the world, even remote places.
Here is a video showing Coke’s innovation in its distribution system:
Coca-Cola’s vending machines are also a way the brand stays true to its identity of #sharinghappiness. Innovations in this channel are numerous, but we have selected a lovely one for you: the hug machine!