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    Strategic Choices

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    Step One: Which of the four strategies discussed in this module (see background materials) does The Coca-Cola Company follow? How do you know?
    Step Two: Using the process you learned in the SLP, integrate this strategy with the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you identified in modules 2 and 3. This should give you some specific actions the company is taking relative to their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These actions are referred to as "strategic choices." Do The Coca-Cola Company's strategic choices align with the firm's generic strategy? If not, what are the points of disconnect? You need to think critically about this step, no company achieves perfect alignment of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with its chosen strategy. It is your job to uncover the discrepancies and problems.
    Step Three: Identify any specific sustained competitive advantages conferred on The Coca-Cola Company by virtue of its strategic choices.
    Step Three:
    1) Discuss the effectiveness of The Coca-Cola Company's strategy in the light of its internal strengths and weaknesses, and external threats and opportunities.

    2) Has the company created any sustained competitive advantages?

    3) Identify any unaddressed threats or missed opportunities.

    4) What can The Coca-Cola Company do to build on its strengths and shore up its weaknesses by altering its strategic choices?

    5) Complete the paper by commenting on how your view of The Coca-Cola Company's vision and mission has changed or has been reconfirmed by this process of strategic analysis. Would you make any suggestions to revise the strategy, mission or vision?

    Step Four: Consider the Case as a formal business report that you are developing for the Board of Directors and CEO as The Coca-Cola Company's consultant. This is a professional document. Follow the format below:
    Executive summary: a synopsis of the main points, conclusions and recommendations made in the longer report. If you have never written an executive summary before, or would like a refresher, check this website: http://www.highendfinance.com/CommercialLoans/Docs/07-4%20ES%20Guidelines.doc
    Introduction: State the main purpose of the paper (thesis statement), what you hope to accomplish, and how you will go about doing it.
    Main Body: The "meat" of the paper. Emphasize analysis, not just description. Delineate separate topics or sections with headings.
    Conclusion: Summarize your paper in light of your thesis statement.

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    Solution Preview

    1. Which of the four strategies discussed in this module (see background materials) does The Coca-Cola Company follow? How do you know?
    The strategy that the Coca-Cola Company follows is that of differentiation. I know this because Coca-Cola Company uses its brand name to enter, and grow in markets all over the world. The differentiation is provided by its unique brand and widespread brand recognition.
    1) Discuss the effectiveness of The Coca-Cola Company's strategy in the light of its internal strengths and weaknesses, and external threats and opportunities.
    Coca-Cola Company's strategy is that of differentiation. It differentiates its products in a way to compete successfully. The Coca-Cola Company uses the differentiation in its main product Coca-Cola. It sells the concentrate all over the world but it does not disclose its recipe. The result is that other companies are not able to copy or duplicate it. The differentiation strategy works when the target segment is not price sensitive. The Coca-Cola Company has unique resources and capabilities which satisfy its target segment. The needs of the customers are for the drink Coca-Cola and at the same time it is for the image that Coca-Cola has developed through global advertising. Coca-Cola is a unique case of successful brand management. There is a perceived uniqueness in Coca-Cola that other companies fail to copy. Image differentiation is very important for Coca-Cola.
    The strategy of Coca-Cola Company is very well aligned with its strengths. Its strength is its well recognized brand and large scale of operations. Global operations have enabled Coca-Cola Company to differentiate its product on a global scale. Further, this strategy has been supported by its strong revenue growth over the years.
    The strategy of Coca-Cola Company is not aligned with its weakness. The negative publicity it has received creates a perception that there are harmful pesticides in Coca-Cola. In addition, the decline of its sales in the USA casts doubts about the appeal of the product. Further, the emergence of health-consciousness has also taken a toll on the ...

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