The Coca-Cola Company was the first foreign fast-moving consumer goods company to enter the Chinese market. At first, the company was only allowed to sell to tourists but later managed to penetrate the Chinese market. Though the company faced a number of challenges from regulations to competition, it stood out with its management and marketing strategies.
Globally, there has been a campaign for people to be health-conscious. The Chinese market has not been left behind. Plant-based drinks are the new category of drinks in China. The product has an annual growth rate of 20%. Any company entering the beverage market in china needs to adapt the plant-based products. Coca-cola has done this by acquiring Xiamen Culiangwang Beverage Technology Co, a Chinese company that sells plant-based protein and wholegrain drinks (Silk Initiative, 2015).
Entering the Chinese marker requires one to behave in a manner that benefits China. When Coca-cola built its first production facility in China, it was fully owned by China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) (Silk Initiative, 2015). By allowing COFCO to own the facility, Coca-Cola was just acting in a way of showing that it was ready to collaborate with the Chinese people in developing their country.
Just recently, the Coca-Cola Company started the share a coke campaign. The campaign centered on customizing bottles by inserting names on the labels. When the idea got to china, it tapped into Chinese social media culture and adapted popular nicknames such as dreamer and superstar. The company considered the Chinese culture and instead of using the names of people adapted nicknames (Doland, 2015). Culture plays a major role in marketing. One has to integrate their products with the cultural values just as Coca-cola has done.
The Coca-Cola Company has faced many setbacks in the Chinese market. This is mainly because of the centralized structure adapted by the company. All merged brands are managed from American headquarters. Brands outside America should have an operational independence to be able to manage the market at a local level. Managing a local brand overseas creates inefficiencies.
Doland, A. (2015, June 5). Coca-Cola Tries New Twist on ‘Share a Coke’ in China. Retrieved February 27, 2016, from http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/coca-cola-a-twist-share-a-coke-china/298884/
Silk Initiative. (2015). Understanding Brand Building in China: Lessons from the Rise of Coca-Cola – China Briefing News. Retrieved February 27, 2016, from http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2015/08/05/understanding-brand-building-in-china-lessons-from-the-rise-of-coca-cola.html
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