Coca-Cola Corporation is one of the most popular and biggest soft selling company in the world as well as the most popular brand in the world in 1886 in Atlanta Georgia state of USA by Pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton, whose idea was to have a mixture that would relieve tiredness and headache. The customers reacted enthusiastically and at this point he named it Coca-Cola, selling nine glasses in the first year. Dr. Pemberton sold the Coca-Cola Company in 1888 to a businessman who was patented it in 1887and given a trademark on 1893 and by 1895 it had spread to all states of America and states. In 1940, product diversification was rolled out, Fanta Orange that is second largest brand consumed more than 130 million times a day. Lemon-lime flavored drink, Sprite is sold in more than 190 countries and introduction in the market on 1961. Germany. It sells nearly 400 beverage brands.
Ethical dilemma occurs when a company faces a selection from highly undesirable alternatives. The major ethical issue that Coca-Cola Company faced was related to the sale of a hazardous product that was harmful to the health of the consumers, 30 Belgian children were hospitalized. The company faced competition issue at industrial level trying to embark on discriminating ways and practices of increasing its market share and dominance. This discouraged fair competition and promoted monopoly which is against international laws. Racial discrimination was lodged against the company by 2000 African Americans, and the public had strong feedbacks to the case. EU countries enforced strict antitrust laws against such behaviors of market share. All this ethical issues hurt the company financial ability and also the customer's confidence in the products. The negative reputation takes time to heal, and this is apparent in the annual sales turnover. Ethical issues have a direct consequence to the Customers, Competition and the Company itself (3 C's) as well as the product and the promotion. Customer's confidence in the product is pertinent for market penetration and retention but these unethical parameters acts as an obstructing force towards the company's effort to market its products
Global challenges such as natural resource management have also impacted on the company. Water is a global challenge for Coca-Cola especially in the emerging markets such as in India and china. The company reported water quantity and quality as a material risk to the business. Bottling plant in Karalee, India, lost its license in 2004 when it accusations of using unfair proportion of community water were raised. In china, a key market for international growth. Water scarcity hinders the efforts of creating new markets and expansion of existing markets.
Customer loyalty and social media can be used inclusively to address these marketing challenges. Social media will help in collaborating with the customer I day to day to in running of the company and brand development. Customer involvement and taking their views helps to create a trust and inclusiveness that helps to heal trust lost due to ethical issues that affect the company. Customer engagement helps to avoid the conflicts of interests, and this may be an essential tool in areas where scarce natural resources are a major problem .Customers engagement through social networks helps in achieving inclusive decision making to avoid any conflict. Social media has been on the forefront in the proactive customer service delivery, on boarding programs and loyalty reward programs. Customer involvement in policy making and setting standards by combining the law, business principles and local cultural values fulfills the ethical requirements in a company .Through this means, Coca-Cola will be able to avoid ethical backlashes, this will also guide the Manager in sound business decisions making.
Nikolaev, Alexander G. Ethical Issues in International Communication. New York: Palgrave. Macmillan, 2011. Print.