Opinion
China leads Coca-Cola's global increase
Last Updated: 2014-07-25 13:32 | Global Times
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Global beverage giant Coca-Cola recently released its 2014 second quarter and year-to-date 2014 operating results. The company's second-quarter global unit case volume increased by 3 percent, as growth of sparkling beverages worldwide accelerated to 2 percent in volume. Despite relatively modest development in the worldwide beverage market, Coca-Cola has gained market value share in the nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages sector.

Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company said, "At the beginning of this year, we shared our strategic plan to restore the momentum of our global business. As we now reach the midpoint of the year, we have delivered sound financial performance year to date and demonstrated sequential improvement in our global volume growth."

According to Coca-Cola's financial reports, China and India once again brought strong momentum to global growth with their excellent performances. In China, unit case volume grew 9 percent in the second quarter as sparkling beverages outperformed the average with 10 percent. Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta were the key drivers behind the business performance. Thanks to the China strategy, organized at the beginning of 2014, the initiative to accelerate China business growth through product innovation and marketing innovation with solid infrastructure efforts is taking effect.

In product innovation, Coca-Cola launched Schweppes +C, a lemon-flavored sparkling beverage, in China this March. The beverage, designed particularly to suit Asian preferences, has quickly gained popularity among consumers due to its distinct branding and chic packaging design. Sales of Schweppes +C exceeded 10 million unit cases within three months after its launch, making it a new sparkling star targeting higher price points with vivid positioning. Meanwhile, Shui Dong Le flavored drink also demonstrated strong performance after its national launch early this year.

With a history of 128 years, Coca-Cola is well recognized in the marketing field. In an era of mobile communications and millennial consumers, the core of marketing has switched to stimulating consumer interactions and voluntary sharing. Experience marketing has become a hot topic in the world of marketing.

After the huge success of the "nickname bottle" campaign in 2013, Coca-Cola launched an upgraded "lyric bottle" campaign to further encourage sharing of happiness with family and friends. The campaign not only places lyrics from some of China's best loved songs on Coke labels, but also allows consumers to scan QR codes to listen to the songs. Launched in June, the "lyric bottle" campaign already helped boost sparkling beverage volume growth by 10 percent.

Recently, Minute Maid also took an innovative approach with the launch of a marketing campaign called "scan the code, enjoy a sunshine tour." By scanning the QR code on the label with mobile phones, participants are treated to a panoramic view of picturesque scenes in Brazil, Zimbabwe, the Maldives, Canada, the Vatican, Hungary and many other famous tourist locations. Consumers can also virtually enjoy the scenery while making and sharing photo collections. The campaign has already made many young people "shake their mobile phones to the extreme," and establish another success in experience marketing that caters to consumers in the mobile internet age.

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