Using market research to develop a product range
A Coca-Cola Great Britain case study

Page 0: Introduction

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's leading and best known drinks supplier. Its mission statement is:'The Coca-Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone who is touched by our business.'Primarily, consumers associate Coca-Cola with its best known drink. However, the Company also continually develops its product range to meet everyone's needs.A company has a portfolio of products; a...
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Page 1: The soft drinks category

Coca-Cola GBoperates in the non-alcoholic beverage market. How these beverages are supplied to consumers varies enormously, from vending machines that supply single units to supermarket multipacks. In soft drinks alone, Coca-Cola GB has a broad range of over 80 products.
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Page 2: Building the range

A business can enlarge its product range in two ways: internally, through new product development based on market research externally, by acquiring related companies, and if appropriate, building on their existing range. For example, in 1999 The Coca-Cola Company purchased, in various countries, soft drinks brands from Cadbury Schweppes plc, including Dr Pepper, Oasis, Kia-Ora and...
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Page 3: Organising around the consumer

This case study focuses on the activities of Coca-Cola GB, an organisation focused solely on meeting consumers' needs in line with the Company's mission statement. At the centre of Coca-Cola GB is its marketing department. Its primary purpose is to discover what consumers want and ensure the organisation delivers this.   Placing marketing at the heart of the organisation enables...
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Page 4: Category segmentation

By dividing a category into segments, businesses can identify different groups of consumer wants. It is then possible to design products to meet those requirements. Each segment within the overall range of Coca-Cola meets specific consumer wants. Coca-Cola GB carries out extensive market research to identify consumer wants in every segment of category in which it operates. For example, market...
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Page 5: Market research

Market research means systematically gathering, recording and analysing market data. Primary research involves going 'into the field' (e.g. house-to-house or street surveys). Secondary research involves using existing sources of information to research the market such as published reports or articles, or searching the Internet. There are two main approaches to 'primary' market...
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Page 6: Product development

Ansoff's matrix is a useful tool for examining a company's product range. This compares the alternatives of developing new products and new markets. There are four main options: Market penetration: selling more of the same types of product to the same types of people. Product development: building on existing relationships with consumers and on a creative ability to develop new products suited...
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Page 7: Developing the range

The company's Business Intelligence and Planning Department is responsible for collecting the research and presenting it to the Consumer Marketing Department. The following examples illustrate ways in which Coca-Cola GB has developed its product range. 1. Coca-Cola Vanilla There had not been flavour innovation involving Coca-Cola since 1986 when Coca-Cola Cherry was launched. However, recently...
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Page 8: Launch evaluation

For any new product launch, Coca-Cola GB evaluates its success, looking specifically at the various elements of the launch activity, including distribution, advertising, packaging and product taste. Data is collected from leading marketing research organisations, the company's consumer careline, Coca-Cola bottlers, and a consumer tracker report that measures consumers' brand awareness.
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Page 9: Conclusion

Coca-Cola GB seeks to develop intelligently its product range in order to 'benefit and refresh everyone'. Building the range involves developing existing and new products in existing and new markets. The key to maximising consumer satisfaction lies in doing the market research properly and getting the range right.
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