Coca-Cola is a world’s leading soft drink and the company has maintained a strong market position by successfully implementing changes over the years. It wasn’t easy for the soft drink brand to implement changes. But the company has gone through various changes of restructuring organizational culture and product diversification. Today, we’ll discuss Coca Cola change management case study; the company’s historical background; compelling factors, implemented changes, strategies, and challenges to the company.
Historical Background of Coca Cola
- 1892 – John Stith Pemberton invented the Coca-Cola drink and Asa Griggs Candler laid the foundation of Coca Cola Company
- 1919 – A trust company of Georgia “Ernest Woodruff” bought Coca Cola
- 1948 – The market share of Coca Cola was 60% in the soft drink industry
- 1960 – Coca Cola bought Minute Maid drink for an undisclosed amount
- 1984 – The company’s market share reduced to 21.8% because of new competitors in the soft drink industry
- 2001 – The soft drink brand bought bars, smoothies, and juices of Odwalla Brand for 181 million dollars
- 2022 – Coca Cola is offering 500 products; approximately 87000 employees are working for the company, and the brand is operating its business in more than 200 countries across the world
Factors Compelled Coca Cola Towards Change Management
Some of the main factors that compelled Coca Cola to implement changes are as follows;
Consumer interests and preferences have shifted from sugar drinks to healthy sugar-free drinks for the past few decades. In order to deal with the shifting consumer interests and preferences, Coca-Cola diversified its product portfolio and launched sugar-free products like;
- Coke Zero
- Diet Coke
The product and business diversification has allowed the company to change the supply chain and distribution network; change market and product development strategies.
The consumer market has become highly competitive in recent years. Nestle, PepsiCo, and others are some of the top competitors of Coca-Cola. They have got their own diversified product portfolio, product lines, and marketing strategies that pose a great threat to the market share of Coca-Cola. In order to deal with the competition, Coca Cola has taken the following steps;
- Streamlining the company’s operations to improve efficiency
- Employing technology
- Research and development
- Restructuring organizational culture
Changes Coca-Cola Implemented
Some of the key changes soft drink launched in the Coca Cola change management case study are as follows;
Coca Cola allocated a significant amount of resources for the research and development of improving the current product or developing a new one. It allowed the soft drink brand to remain competitive. However, the focus of investment is on developing the following;
- Sustainability initiative
- Packaging innovation
- New sweeteners
Coca Cola is employing the latest technology to streamline various processes and improve efficiency. Some of the technological changes the soft drink brand has launched are as follows;
- Employing data analytics to make informed decisions
- Launching digital marketing strategies
- Automation technology in the manufacturing processes
Coca Cola launched a global business unit system in 2007, and it focused on improving efficiency and streamlining various processes. Restructuring the organizational culture helped the company to quickly respond to market changes and meet the needs, demands, and wishes of customers.
Diversifying Product Line
Coca Cola amplified its product portfolio and product line by adding a variety of items in order to satisfy the needs and wishes of customers. They’re as follows;
- Low or no-sugar drinks
Strategies Coca Cola Launched
Some of the key strategies the company implemented in the Coca Cola change management case study are as follows;
Effective and efficient planning plays a significant role in managing and launching the change program. The soft drink company has established a well-detailed plan for launching the change program and it comprised of milestones, budget, and timeline. In fact, the company regularly reviews its plans and makes necessary adjustments to them to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
Stable and powerful leadership plays a key role in the success of the change program. Coca Cola has always acknowledged the significance of powerful leadership in bringing changes to the company. Visionary leadership sets clear goals and objectives for the change program and offers training and development programs for the company’s management and employees.
An effective and efficient communication plan is significant for dealing with the change program. Coca cola has always focused on open communication with employees, stakeholders, and customers. The communication plan comprises regular updates about the changes and progress you have made; discussing the benefits of the change program, and explaining why changes are significant to the company.
Evaluation & Monitoring
Monitoring and evaluating the growth and performance of the change program is significant for the success of the company. Coca Cola has established metrics and evaluation criteria to analyze the performance of the change program and make necessary adjustments in them to make sure everything goes on track in order to achieve the desired results.
Employee engagement plays a key role in the growth and success of the change program. In fact, the soft drink brand encourages its employees and team members to participate in the change program. The company collects their feedback, makes necessary changes in the change program, and involves employees in the planning, development, and execution process.
Challenges to Coca Cola Change Management
Some of the key challenges the company faced in the Coca Cola change management case study are as follows;
It was difficult for Coca Cola to introduce technological changes in the manufacturing process of the large and complicated organization of the soft drink brand. In order to deal with the technological implementation problem, Coca Cola has taken the following steps;
- Allocating resources for research and development to introduce new technology
- Partnering up with tech companies to launch the new system
- Offering training and development programs to employees to make sure they embrace the latest technology
Difficulty in Changing Culture
Coca-cola has got a large and complicated organizational structure, and it is difficult for the company to change its culture. The soft drink brand has dealt with the organizational culture problem in the following;
- Launching changes gradually
- Aligning the company’s values and vision
- Bringing employees on the same page to earn their trust and confidence
Employees won’t accept the changes easily; it is possible that you would face a lot of resistance and criticism. They may fear that the change program would kick them out of the job. Coca Cola dealt with employee resistance in the following ways;
- Engaging employees in the planning and execution process
- Offering them training and development to amplify their skills and expertise
- Focusing on the benefits of the change program for employees
Conclusion: Coca Cola Change Management Case Study
After an in-depth study of Coca Cola change management case study; we have realized that Coca Cola has successfully implemented changes over the years. If you are learning about the changes the soft drink brand implemented, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned strategies and challenges.
Ahsan is an accomplished researcher and has a deep insight in worldly life affairs. He goes Live 3 days a week on various social media platforms. Other than research writing, he’s a very interesting person.