This paper discusses the current strategies employed by Coke (Australia) currently and further recommends new strategies that will aim in the formulation of an international strategy.
Coke (Australia) employs different levels of strategy to enable it be successful in the midst of its many competitors. Strategy refers to the planned coordination of the company’s goals and actions, in space and time that constantly co-align the company with its environment. Different levels of strategy include functional, business and corporate levels (Weigl, 2008, 21). Functional strategies refer to the approaches that a functional area employ to achieve business and corporate unit objectives so as to maximize resource productivity. Functional strategies develop and nurture a company’s distinctive competence to enhance its competitive advantage. Coke’s current functional strategies include:
- Marketing and sales strategies that emphasize on the distribution channel to use advertising to increase customer demand
- R&D/product strategies that focus on product innovation and process improvement with either leading to overall low cost or product differentiation
- Finance strategies that involve forecasting, planning, budgeting and capital investment all aimed at gaining strategic advantage
- Human resource strategies that emphasize the hiring and training of highly skilled personnel leading to increased quality and productivity in addition to employee satisfaction and commitment (Ahlstrom & Bruton, 2010, 375).
Coke’s corporate strategy aims at developing a strategic direction supported by essential reallocation of resources along with coordinated business unit plans and designing a sustainable development process. Strategies include:
- Strategic alliances by operating a joint venture with other smaller but influential companies and enjoy the benefits associated with the Coke brand
- Acquisitions and restructuring of other major companies that will contribute resources that will see to the achievement of organizational goals
- Diversification and international strategies by venturing into other markets across the globe as well as continue to invest in product diversification to attract new markets (Ahlstrom & Bruton, 2010, 375-378).
Business strategies involve means by which the coke company set out to realize their objectives. It entails
- Cost leadership that describes ways to establish competitive advantage by minimizing costs of operations,
- Focused cost leadership strategy whereby the company aims to narrow the competitive scope by serving an exclusive segment of the population in this case introducing diet coke to diabetic consumers
- Differentiation or focused differentiation strategy concerned with what products to allocate major resources and differentiate it from its competitors for example, through labeling and packaging.
Functional strategies: the financial strategies could also incorporate credit and liquidity strategies as well as other decisions such as capital budget and stock dividend to ensure a strong strategic advantage over other refreshment producing companies. The human resource department could ensure a higher degree of diverse workforce to ensure higher productivity. The R&D strategy should ensure the company remains a technological leader as its one internal factor that influences productivity (Hill & Jones, 2007, 6). The marketing strategy could also maintain the line extension brand name to market new products for the existing markets as well as new market.
Corporate strategies: the strategies should be improved based on the number of challenges encountered when proposing and implementing. The company’s current mix of assets, capabilities and aspirations should be used to produce an optimal portfolio mix that will ensure growth in the middle of the evolving market place. The strategic decision making process should be assigned to a capable individual to craft and implement successful strategies.
Business strategies: coke’s cost leadership strategy could be improved by employing a strategic mix to acquire market leadership. A successful strategic mix is obtained by evaluating the company’s efficiency, scope and cumulative experience. The company could also explore the target segment of buyers with unusual needs such as cost behavior to introduce a cheaper product and suits them.
Implementation of the recommended strategies should involve all stake holders and use a scorecard to evaluate the overall performance of the business and progress towards the set objectives. It is important for the selected strategy to first fulfill the stakeholder’s expectations and involve them all
Ahlstrom, D., & Bruton, G. D. (2010). International management: Strategy and culture in the emerging world. Australia: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Hill, C. W. L., & Jones, G. R. (2007). Strategic management: An integrated approach. Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin.
Weigl, T. (2008). Strategy, Structure and Performance in a Transition Economy: An Institutional Perspective on Configurations in Russia. Wiesbaden: Betriebswirtschaftlicher Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler / GWV Fachverlage.