Coke Vs. Pepsi Case Study Control of market share is the key issue in this case study. The situation is both Coke and Pepsi are trying to gain market share in this beverage market, which is valued at over $30 billion a year (98). Just how is this done in such a competitive market is the underlying issue. The facts are that each company is coming up with new products and ideas in order to increase their market share.
The creativity and effectiveness of each company’s marketing strategy will ultimately determine the winner with respect to sales, profits, and customer loyalty (98). Not only are these two companies constructing new ways to sell Coke and Pepsi, but they are also thinking of ways in which to increase market share in other beverage categories. Although the goal of both companies are exactly the same, the two companies rely on somewhat different marketing strategies (98). Pepsi has always taken the lead in developing new products, but Coke soon learned their lesson and started to do the same. Coke hired marketing executives with good track records (98).
Coke also implemented cross training of managers so it would be more difficult for cliques to form within the company (98). On the other hand, Pepsi has always taken more risks, acted rapidly, and was always developing new advertising ideas. Both companies have also relied on finding new markets, especially in foreign countries. In the foreign markets, Coke has been more successful than Pepsi. For example, in Eastern Europe, Pepsi has relied on a barter system that proved to fail. However, in certain countries that allow direct comparison, Pepsi has beat Coke.
In foreign markets, both companies have followed the marketing concept by offering products that meet consumer needs (99) in order to gain market share. For instance, in certain countries, consumers wanted a soft drink that was low in sugar, yet did not have a diet taste or image (99). Pepsi responded by developing Pepsi Max. These companies in trying to capture market share have relied on the development of new products. In some cases the products have been successful. However, at other times the new products have failed.
For Coke, changing their original formula and introducing it as New Coke was a major failure. The new formula hurt Coke as consumers requested Classic Cokes return. Pepsi has also had its share of failures. Some of their failures included: Pepsi Light, Pepsi Free, Pepsi AM, and Crystal Pepsi. One solution to increasing market share is to carefully follow consumer wants in each country. The next step is to take fast action to develop a product that meets the requirements for that particular region. Both companies cannot just sell one product; if they do they will not succeed. They have to always be creating and updating their marketing plans and products.
The companies must be willing to accommodate their target markets. Gaining market share occurs when a company stays one-step ahead of the competition by knowing what the consumer wants. My recommendation is to make sure the company is always doing market research. This way they are able to get as much feedback as possible from consumers. Next, analyze this data as fast as possible, and then develop the new product based upon this data. Once the product is developed, get it to the marketplace quickly. Time is a very critical factor.
In my opinion, with all of these factors taken into consideration any company should give any company a good jump on market share.