RE: Week 2 Collaboration
Coca Cola was convinced that the success it enjoyed in the United States of America, with the introduction of its bottled water under the brand name Dasani, could be repeated in the United Kingdom in much the same way. The ability to deliver value with soring profitability was envisioned. The company did not perceive the possibility of the brand being considered inferior to other preexisting selections on the market. Hence, their marketing strategy was consistent with the theoretical approach of initiating the value delivery process ahead of the product launch, by communicating specific product features before and during distribution (Kotler and Keller, 2012). The assumed homogeneity of opinion on pure or purified water, proved to be catastrophically misconstrued leading to a flawed value position.
WATER MARKET SEGMENTATION VARIABLES
“Market segment evaluation can help in targeting markets, thus improving the probability of success”, as quoted by Ou, C, Chou, S, & Chang, Y (n.d.). This has relevance to the topic because spring water in the United Kingdom is considered to be produced from natural sources, without artificial additives or chemical ingredients being introduced. This quality of water is considered pure and natural with specialized techniques being applied to prevent contamination.
Purified water is not considered to possess the same health benefits. The savvy United Kingdom consumer, considers filtering and adding mineral properties to alter the properties of water, to be analogous of a manufacturing process. The general consensus is that water bottled utilizing such methods, possess substandard properties and cannot be compared or classified inter alia with pure water.
Health conscious consumers were being targeted by Coca Cola in the United Kingdom. Great tasting water with added nutritional benefits, were the features identified to appease buyers. The company hoped to bench mark their marketing prowess that yielded exceptional results since it was accepted as a trusted brand by the American public. The logic applied by Coca Cola’s marketers, underestimated the concern of a new market to the water source. However, in the United Kingdom they considered Dasani to be a manufactured product and therefore not comparable to the brands that were being bottled from a natural aquatic reservoir. The body of information referenced by Ericson Johansson and Nergård (2015) as being the knowledge perspective needed for a complete formula when launching a product, was sorely absent from the development of an appropriate marketing strategy for Dasani.
The consumption of sparkling natural water in the United Kingdom, predates the introduction of bottled water in the United States by many years. Villages are known to produce bottled mineral water as an indigenous cottage industry. People who use natural mineral water would have acquired a taste for it and choose to be loyal to such brands, believing they were best for their health. Assuming that water from a tap that was artificially blended to substitute the benefits available from a pure source, was an erroneous assumption made by Coca Cola.
Using strong arm techniques to push aside a local brand and feature Dasani more dominantly on the shelves of retail outlets, was another folly of which Coca Cola was guilty. This was compounded by the conflicting descriptive message on the label of the bottles which offended the intelligence of consumers in the United Kingdom. The language to classify a product as pure or purified cannot be used interchangeably, since in essence drastic variances exist.
The market sensing process adopted by Coca Cola for the United Kingdom, produced misleading results. One can assume that much of their strategy was developed based on their successes in the market of the United States of America. Marketing purified water brought no competitive advantage over pure natural water. Instigating that the benefits were consistent could not support the delivery of value, when tap water was available virtually free.
Kotler, P. & Keller, K.L. (2012) Framework for marketing management. 5th edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Ericson, Å, Johansson, C, & Nergård, H (2015), ‘Manufacturing knowledge: Going from production of things to designing value in use’, Intelligent Decision Technologies, 9, 1, pp. 79-89, Computers & Applied Sciences Complete, EBSCOhost, http://web.a.ebscohost.com.liverpool.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=a2aee806-d187-4926-84f3-f128f7f0d9a4%40sessionmgr4007&vid=1&hid=4214 (Viewed 10 June 2017).
Ou, C, Chou, S, & Chang, Y n.d., ‘Using a strategy-aligned fuzzy competitive analysis approach for market segment evaluation and selection’, Expert Systems With Applications, 36, 1, pp. 527-541, Science Citation Index, EBSCOhost, http://www.sciencedirect.com.liverpool.idm.oclc.org/science/article/pii/S095741740700468X (Viewed 10 June 2017).