Within an arm's reach of desire
A Coca-Cola Great Britain case study

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Page 1: Introduction

Coca Cola Great Britain 5 Image 1Global marketing has become a reality, the product most representative of this process is Coca-Cola's Robert Woodruff, former chairman of The Coca-Cola Company stated in 1923, that Coca-Cola should always be 'Within an arm's reach of desire'.

This study examines how this mission has continued to drive the Company's marketing strategy, enabling Coca-Cola to build a strong global presence in a world in which citizens on all continents are seeking to purchase leading 'brands'.

Coca-Cola is the most recognised brand name in the world with 94 per cent recognition. This profile has spread with increasing rapidity in recent years as evidenced for example in China, where Coca-Cola became the most recognised trademark in the late 1990s. Today you can buy a Coke almost anywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires, from Moscow to Mexico City. The Coca-Cola Company sells half of all soft drinks consumed throughout the world.

New opportunities

A developing business organisation will forever seek new opportunities to renew itself. A successful global business will seek to penetrate new markets and new countries while building on improving its presence in existing markets and in this  way it will continue to grow.

The Coca-Cola Company has come a long way since the product was invented in 1886 by Dr John Styth Pemberton in a back yard in Atlanta, Georgia. Today the Company is selling over one billion servings a day. To many business people such results would indicate that the Company has arrived but key decision makers at Coca-Cola do not see it like that, they believe that the Company is in its infancy. The Company is acutely aware that, although one billion servings of Coca-Cola are consumed each day, there are 47 billion servings of other beverages.

Coca Cola Great Britain 5 Diagram 1The Company prefers to look forward rather than back and it sees there are enough opportunities in the market to keep it going for a very long time. The average person drinks The Coca-Cola Company’s beverages about once a week. Four billion consumers live in countries where the average is even less. The reality is that countries with about 20% of the world’s population account for 80% of Coca-Cola’s volume. Clearly this presents a challenge for a global company and its marketing strategy if it is going to tap into virgin territories.
Coca-Cola is focusing on the next billion servings. 70% of the world’s population live in countries where per capita consumption of Coca-Cola products is less than 50 servings per person per year - this means that they are drinking Coca-Cola products less than once a week. Even in developed countries like the United States there are many opportunities to raise sales.

Coca-Cola Great Britain | Within an arm's reach of desire