Our previous infographic revealed that there are only three countries where Coca-Cola is not (officially) sold as of August 2022—North Korea, Cuba, and Russia. Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite, and many other Coca Cola products prevail in the rest of the world. Why are Coca Cola products so widely available across the globe? Yes, the taste can be one of the reasons, but there should be more to it. The infographic above focuses on the unique selling proposition of Coca Cola in an attempt to better understand why Coca Cola is so successful.
What Is the Unique Selling Proposition?
For any businesses—no matter their size—marketing is an essential tool to promote their goods and services. Understanding the market, advertising, and communicating are all integral part of marketing.
Especially, differentiating their goods and services from their competitors is crucial because, ultimately, the goods/services need to be chosen by consumers over others. The business has to exhibit what is special about their goods/services—and a unique selling proposition is just that. In other words, the unique selling proposition is the defining factor that makes the goods/services stand out in the market.
Many companies describe their unique selling propositions in one or two bold and clear sentences. A unique selling proposition is a catchy, easy-to-understand statement that describes what the business sells.
The Unique Selling Proposition of Coca Cola
Refresh the world. Make a difference.
The Coca Cola Company’s unique selling proposition can be found on their website’s Our Company page. It consists of two short sentences; these sentences are crisp and clear. Their vision stated on the same page further underpins the selling point.
LOVED BRANDS, DONE SUSTAINABLY, FOR A BETTER SHARED FUTURE.
Our vision is to craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body & spirit. And done in ways that create a more sustainable business and better shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, communities and our planet.
Additionally, the company elaborates how they aim to realize their vision around the three pillars: LOVED BRANDS, DONE SUSTAINABLY, FOR A BETTER SHARED FUTURE. Each pillar of the vision has concrete action plans. For instance, LOVED BRANDS includes “passion for people and their lives.” DONE SUSTAINABLY includes to “start with facts, based in science.” And FOR A BETTER SHARED FUTURE includes to “invest in employees’ personal growth and talent.”
Messages Are Conveyed through USP
The genius of Coca Cola’s unique selling proposition is that consumers can receive meaningful messages on how the company aims to counter its weaknesses. The Coca Cola Company, being one of the most prestigious brands, has faced criticism over the course of its history. Now, let’s pick up some action plans from Coca Cola’s purpose and vision to examine what messages a consumer may receive from its unique selling proposition.
Coca-Colonization? | Act Globally and Locally
The term Coca-colonization emerged in Europe as early as in the 1940s and gained momentum in the 1990s after the Cold War. As the word illustrates, it refers to the globalization of the American culture through American products such as Coca Cola. In this context, Coca Cola is sometimes described as a flagship of Americanization—or even US imperialism, in a harsh expression—that disrupts local cultures.
However, despite criticism, The Coca Cola Company operates in more than 200 countries and regions today. Its global success can be partly by virtue of Coca Cola’s localization strategy, which is described in the LOVED BRANDS pillar: “Act globally and locally.”
Indeed, The Coca Cola Company is a global company that operates locally. For example, the company takes partnership with local bottling companies. Local bottling companies manufacture, package, merchandise and distribute beverages branded as Coca Cola. The Coca Cola Company manufactures concentrates, beverage base and syrups and sells them to the bottling companies. The Coca Cola Company is responsible for the brands and marketing initiatives. However, the bottling companies are able to localize strategies in partnership with The Coca Cola Company.
In addition to the local bottling partnership, Coca Cola is aware of the importance of localization. For instance, the company introduced FOSHU concept in Japan which stands for Food for Specified Health Uses. In 2017, the company launched a Coca Cola variant with added fiber exclusively for the Japanese market in an effort to meet the country’s health conscious consumers’ demand.
Unhealthy Drink? | Grow Our Business While Reducing Our Sugar
This action plan is more specific—reducing sugar is critical for any soft drink makers today as most people know excessive sugar intake can cause health issues. Shockingly, a 12 oz Coca Cola can contains 39 grams of sugar, equivalent to almost 10 teaspoons of sugar.
From time to time, Coca Cola has been criticized for sugarcoating consumers, contributing to lifestyle diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Mexico, one of Coca Cola’s biggest markets, suffers from a higher mortality rate from diabetes. Moreover, Coca Cola is more easily available than potable water in some places, which as a result makes people consume more sugary fizzy drink than water. Even these examples may be extreme, today’s consumers are increasingly trying to reduce or avoid sugar.
The Coca Cola Company acknowledges the reduced sugar trend and responds promptly, which the company states in DONE SUSTAINABILITY pillar: “Grow our business while reducing our sugar.” Furthermore, the company honestly mentions “we completely agree that too much sugar isn’t good for anyone” on their website.
The honest acknowledgement is accompanied by visible actions; The Coca Cola Company removed more than 900,000 tons of added sugar from its beverages from 2017 to 2021. The company also looks to increase low sugar products and offer nutritional beverages including juices, teas, waters and non-sparkling beverages.
A unique selling proposition is a marketing strategy that a business uses to differentiate its goods/services from the competitors. Many businesses describe the unique selling proposition in simple and bold words that convey defining messages.
The unique selling proposition of Coca Cola is: “Refresh the world. Make a difference.” In these two straightforward sentences, The Coca Cola Company embeds their visions and action plans that make Coca Cola stand out in the fizzy drink market.