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The Importance of Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses: Case Study: Coca-Cola Company
In order for a business to be successful and prosper in the long-term, not only expanding regionally and nationally, but also internationally, then there are factors that need to be put into consideration.
It does not matter whether it is a small business or a multi-billion dollar company, without proper marketing strategies, the business or company will not realize its goals. This is brought out clearly by Demandmart which states, “In the end, some companies might find that their marketing strategy means life or death of their business. But, with the right strategy in hand, on paper, and in action, business of all types, sizes, and locations will experience the necessary success in order to hold a place in today’s competitive market.”
Not only does a business or company need to develop marketing strategies that work, it also needs to come up with marketing plan. It is from marketing plan that a business will be in a position to come up with the marketing techniques that work best.
It is from marketing strategy and marketing plan that a business will be able to know the needs and requirements of customers, thereby designing ways of meeting those needs.
When the plan has been designed, the marketing techniques are applied. “Marketing techniques are the tools used by the marketing department. The marketing department will set out to identify the most appropriate techniques to employ in order to make profits.” (The Times 100)
Case study of Coca-Cola Coca-Cola Company
Coca-Cola Company, a multi-billion dollar company is the largest producer of non-alcoholic beverages in the world. It is the most recognized trademark signifying it is a household name.
The following are the successful marketing techniques Coca-Cola has used to realize its success:
Advertising has a way of drawing the attention of a potential customer. It attracts the customers to want to know more about the products or services the business offers. Not only does content matter in ads, also how it is presented, that is, the design of the ads.
Generally, there are two types of advertisements: persuasive and information-only ads.
Coca-Cola has been able to use these two types of advertisements effectively and successfully.
Not only does advertisement persuade people as to why they need to buy its products, but it also informs them why the products are the best in the market.
The company has relied heavily on ads especially through television, radio and newspaper channels. This in turn has made many people recognize this company and its products.
Advertising is one way Coca-Cola has used to promote its products. The others are: competitions and sponsorships.
A company will boost its image or reputation through sponsorships. This includes sponsoring a sports event or a sports team. It can also include sponsoring a programme in television or radio. In return, the sales of the company will be boosted.
Sponsorship is another form of advertisement. Therefore, the image of the company will become ingrained in the viewers and spectator’s minds. When they step in the supermarket, the only brand of product they will remember most are the products and/or services of the company which has sponsored a particular event or programme.
It is a fact, customers of a particular company are always proud when the company is involved in charities or sponsoring events including sports teams.
Competition is another marketing technique Coca-Cola uses. One of the favorite competitions Coca-Cola uses in Eastern Africa is whereby people buy a product of their choice, and then look in the bottle-top. Whatever they find there is theirs legally. If none, they have to buy another to be lucky. If the picture there is a bottle, the person needs to go to the nearest distribution channel and he is given a free bottle of the product of his choice, Fanta or Coke? If the picture drawn is not a bottle but other drawings such as bags and bicycles, the person has to go to any of the collection points or the headquarter office in that region or country as detailed in the newspapers
Packaging refers to how a product is presented. This refers to the shape, size, appearance, color, the ease of using it and the design of the package. In the case of Coca-Cola, packaging refers to the way the concentrates and syrups are packaged. How have they been contained? In what form? In which type of package? It will be noted the packages of Coca-Cola products are in bottles or plastics. These bottles or plastics which contain the concentrates have a unique shape/design, and come in different sizes. The concentrates are of different colors. This is what has led to Coca-Cola having a large market of its products in Africa. Africans love sexy designs and colors.
Therefore, packaging is important as noted by Davidson who notes, “Even if you have created a useful product, convincing customers to buy the product often comes down to the way the packaging and product look on store shelves. Product packaging is often the most important feature in attracting potential customers to your product.”
Before understanding the importance of branding, it is imperative to know what a brand is. In trying to define what a brand is one will be met with different definitions of brand. A brand could be explained as a name or symbol that identifies a company and/or its products. Also brand includes the logo of the company.
Brickmarketing defines a brand as, “…the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with, by identifying the name, logo, slogan, or design of the company who owns the idea or image.” This is what has set aside Coca-Cola from many other companies. This has been achieved mainly through advertising. However, it has taken many years to develop the brand. In fact, showing a person an empty bottle and hiding the logo of Coca-Cola, a person can be able to tell it is the product of Coca-Cola. It is unique.
Branding as defined by Businessdictionary is “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.”
As noted by The Times 100, “A brand is well-recognised because it has been around for a long time. It takes years to develop a brand.”
The above are the successful marketing techniques the company has used over time, leading it to stand-out from the rest. And that is the success story of Coca-Cola Company.