Coca-Cola’s international strategy in Africa

The article, “Painting South Africa Red” by Ron Irwin is about Coca-Cola and its global business strategies. According to the article Coca-Cola is consumed all over the world, and its strength has been its ability to supersaturate first world markets and to break into foreign markets, providing rough competition to established foreign brands. Coca-Cola has a business strategy that has been taking place for the last 115 years. There strategy is quite simple- to get the familiar red and white logo firmly imprinted in peoples minds all across the globe. There strategy has been very successful; Coke is sold in over 200 countries.

The article states that in this millennium, coke is focusing a lot of its attention on promoting itself in less-developed markets and Asia. Africa has served as a model of branding success in the third world for Coca-Cola. It has helped compare the sales to the Asia-Pacific Group. Asia’s target group is about 3.2 billion potential customers whereas Africa’s is 1.2 billion. The average African drinks two servings of the company’s products per month, twice as much as the average Asian. Despite the poverty in Africa, raging civil wars and major health problems, Coke is sold throughout the continent with the exception of Libya, Morocco and the Sudan. The major places Coke is sold is Rwanda, Burundi, Angola and Zimbabwe.

Coke has been very successful in Africa according to the article. It has been successful because it is a much admired brand name. People walk miles down dirt roads to reach a place to buy Coke. The reason it is admired and successful is because of its advertising as well as its involvement in community life. Coke has helped the community by initiating sports scholarships, sports development, entrepreneurial development, scholarships and education projects. The article explains that Coca-Cola has found many ways to get its products trucked into even the most remote corners of Africa and has cultivated reputation for corporate honesty and openness that has won the respect of African businesspeople from Cape Town to Madagascar. The author state, “If Coke can succeed here, Asia ought to be a snap.”

Coke has been very successful with its local advertising campaigns which is a great business strategy since it is linking its products to people’s aspirations and passions. For example, Coke did an advertisement that was linked to Soccer (a great African obsession). These great advertising strategies have helped Coke become an “enduring” symbol of Africa and its number one brand. They also prevented Coke’s rival, Pepsi, from gaining any market share in South Africa at all.

Coca-Cola has done very well with its international strategies. It is a globally known brand and is being consumed almost everywhere. They use great strategies such as their unique ad campaigns and their ways of helping the community. A questions that I have is does Coca-Cola have set strategies incase they start declining in sales. If this would happen I think they could suggest new advertisements or try to expand the number of places Coca-Cola is being sold.

Rachel Wilhelm

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