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Business & Marketing
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Topic:

Consumer Behavior (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

The task was to analyze how coca-cola company has used consumer behavior to have a competitive advantage over its rivals

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Content:

CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
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Date of Submission
Contents
 TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u  HYPERLINK \l "_Toc357937860" Introduction  PAGEREF _Toc357937860 \h 3
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc357937861" Background  PAGEREF _Toc357937861 \h 3
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc357937862" Cognitive Responses  PAGEREF _Toc357937862 \h 4
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc357937863" Affective response  PAGEREF _Toc357937863 \h 7
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc357937864" Behavioural response  PAGEREF _Toc357937864 \h 10
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc357937865" Conclusion  PAGEREF _Toc357937865 \h 12
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc357937866" References  PAGEREF _Toc357937866 \h 14

Introduction
Customer behaviour is an extremely essential spot for marketers. The current globalisation and increased competition have forced many businesses to invest in understanding the needs of the customers (Peter & Olson, 2008, p. 13). This is so because the customer is a major driving force in the market. Globalisation as a business concept was developed to ensure standardisation of the products. This concept was developed to speed up the process of attracting customers to a product or a service (Evans et al, 2010, p. 34). The process of standardisation of products in the global market has given rise to global brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike, and Calvin Klein.
This paper intends to analyse the marketing mix of Coca-Cola and how it is used to influence consumers' cognitive, affective, and behavioural responses. Marketing mix is a combination of effective ways in which a product can be marketed to various customers. The Coca-Cola company has mostly been using promotions to attract and maintain customers. This has been done through road shows and free products for huge purchases. The brand has been improved to increase the quality of the products offered by the company. The marketing mix used by this company can be termed as unique, owing to the positive effect it has brought in the attraction of customers across the globe.
Background
The Coca-Cola company (TCCC) has been in existence since 1886. It is the world’s prevalent beverage company. TCCC sells its products in over 200 countries (Hays, 2012, p. 12). Coca-Cola is the oldest brand produced by this company. It is still ranked as the best global brand. Coca-Cola was first sold to the public in 1886 in Atlanta, United States. The Coca-Cola brand was registered in 1893 (The Coca-Cola Company, 2013). It is currently a global brand with the huge market among the beverage brands. The analysis of this brand will be based on how it is designed or marketed to meet the cognitive responses, affective responses, and behavioural responses of the customers.
Cognitive Responses
This deals with marketing incentives that are targeted on influencing the customer in terms of the knowledge, beliefs and meanings (Peter & Olson, 2008, p. 26). Coca-Cola has developed one of the best cognitive responses marketing stimuli. Coca-Cola has positioned itself in the market as a refreshing, fun and fizzy to keep customers on the product (Hays, 2012, p. 30). This has been the major slogan that ensures Coca-Cola retains its customers. To avert the increasing competition from global brands such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola has initiated a new approach targeting the youth who are the major consumers of the beverages. It has rebranded its image to display itself to consumers as energetic and youthful based on the new “Coke Side of Life” promotion.
The success of the Coca-Cola brand can best be analysed based on Atkinson–Shiffrin memory model. That has identified the three parts of the human memory structure. This structure is based on the short-term memory, long-term memory and sensory memory (Boyd, 2010, p. 24). The most important part of the three is the short-term memory that responds to the stimuli in this case the Coke products. Coca-Cola triggers a strong stimulus for the memory by good advertisements and distinct and colourful product packaging. The advert showing how consumers of Coke soda are electrified is a stimulus that is strong enough to trigger propulsion of the information. This perception is maintained by the production of other adverts that related youthfulness and strength with Coke. Such information is very crucial to the customer and he/she develops an interest in the product and hence heads to the shop to pick it. In the shops, the customers meet varieties that are specifically designed for different needs. Coca-Cola goes further and ensures its products are refrigerated by offering free fringes to sellers. The customer meets a quality product and test described in the advert, but the product is maintained in that state for many years to the extent that the information is memorable and is moved to the sensory memory, resulting to customer loyalty (East et al, 2008, p.11).
Coke marketing stimulus ensures that all the major human senses are utilised in developing a cognitive response – the sense of sight and ears in adverts and displays, the sense of touch of the distinct packaging, the sense of smell and taste in the distinct taste of the Coke drinks (Boyd, 2010, p. 34). This ensures that a strong stimulus that will last the longest in the memory is developed.
In managing the consumers’ knowledge, the Coca-Cola brand has redefined itself as a brand that produces products that are healthy. The introduction of the Diet Coke enabled this brand to deal with customers who were health conscious and that prefer consuming products that are low in calories. This helps in attracting and retaining of such customers (Blackwell et al, 2006, p. 14). The increasing numbers of overweight people and health consciousness and awareness has been effectively handled by the release of this product in the market. The image below shows an advert for a diet coke with images of young people who have kept their body physically healthy but still enjoying the great taste of coke soda.
Figure 1: Diet coke Advertisement

Source:  HYPERLINK "http://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_1119/11199655/file/coca-cola-zero-explosion-1-small-26378.jpg" http://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_1119/11199655/file/coca-cola-zero-explosion-1-small-26378.jpg
Beliefs vary from community to community. This is quite challenging for a global brand such as Coca-Cola (Evans et al, 2010, p. 33). Different social classes have different beliefs. All these groups form different market niches that need to be targeted by Coca-Cola. The belief of Coca-Cola drinks having chemicals that are harmful to one’s health has been completely neutralised by the intensive marketing that demonstrates advertisements that show very healthy people taking the drink in a way that it revitalises the use. This has made Coke consumers acknowledge that it is a good drink that is needed by their body for them to be as healthy as those in the advertisements (Lopez, 2012, p. 22).
The continuous launching of new products, displaying them as advancement of their desire to satisfy customers physical and health needs, has boosted the ability of Coke to deal with developing a belief that Coke company has a concern about their health (Hays, 2012, p. 32). For instance, Coca-Cola brand has products such as Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Diet Coke, and Fanta Lemon. All these drinks are given different advertisements to ensure the attraction of different customers based on their needs. The Sprite is best known for its “quench your thirst” advert and the Diet Coke are well known as a calorie-free drink for the health-conscious consumers (Evans et al, 2010, p. 26).
Coke applies psychographic segmentation in dealing with the market trends (Lopez, 2012, p.43). Coke has segmented the market on the basis of income. It has packaged its products to the convenience and pocket size of the customer. Coke uses small renewable glass bottling for low-income earners, and for the high income earners, the company uses the non-returnable bottles and tin.
To ensure people believe in what it preaches, togetherness, Coke sponsors major sporting events that bring millions of people together. Other than this approach providing effective promotion of its products, it ensures the customers believe in what it communicates through its adverts. Sporting events such as football, basketball and athletic are associated with Coke. This enables it to relate with people who love sports. For instance, football is one of the major global sporting events with the largest number of fans. The Coke brand has for many years been associated with football. It is almost impossible to imagine another beverage company displaying itself through the togetherness campaign using football (Blackwell et al, 2006, p. 17). It will seem awkward to the many football fans that are used to the brand, Coke.
For many years, Coke has always been known to be served while cold. It can be seen as a strategy of focussing on hot areas of the world. Examining the general geography of the world, a considerable size of the human population occupies the hot areas – Africa, Middle East, the Americas and many other places that are hot. However, this does not mean that it cannot sell in the cold parts of the world. Summer is the longest season in colder places. Therefore, sales are bound to increase during the summer. During hot days, humans naturally desire anything cold to consume. Coke and Pepsi supply the cold products. To deal with the similarity of the products of Coke and Pepsi in the market, especially for customers seeking cold beverage, Coca-Cola opted to push for the availability of its products in the market by providing cost-free freezers and coolers in the market (Blackwell et al, 2006, p. 25). These freezers ensure customers are served with chilled Coke. The exact taste of what t...
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