Coca-Cola Company in the UAE

Description of the Target Market

The Coca-Cola Company is the second largest soft drinks company in the UAE after Pepsi Cola. The company had entered the market earlier, but it faced low sales volume and discrimination from the buyers for its perceived association and support for Israel. As one of the countries in the Middle East, the United Arabs Emirates market for soda is not as saturated as the counterparts in the United States and Europe (“Coca-Cola UAE among”, 2010).

In fact, the majority of the population in this region is Muslims, meaning they do not consume alcoholic drinks. It implies that they offer a great market for soft drinks and beverage companies. However, most Arabs still consider Coca-Cola and its competitor Pepsi as symbols of the American culture. While there are other local brands like ZamZam and Mecca Cola, these brands are not as popular in taste, advertising, and branding as that of Coke (“Coca-Cola UAE among”, 2010). In effect, local markets are willing to purchase Coca-Cola’s products if they are presented with the best local strategies.

Market Segmentation and Relevant Segmentations

The company serves most of its UAE customers through mass marketing. This mass marketing technique is undifferentiated in nature. However, there are some pointers that the company utilizes to reach its customers. These are:

Geographic segmentation

Coca-Cola tends to segment its markets depending on the location. One thing that the company does in the United Arab Emirates is to target the urban areas first before they can enter the rural markets, as urban dwellers have the ability to purchase.

The second segmentation is through climate. The company understands the change in seasons in the UAE. Therefore, Coca-Cola intensifies sales during the summer season when it is hot. Also, the city of Dubai is a hub of activities during the summer. In effect, marketing during these times creates better chances for the company to make sales.

Demographic segmentation

Coca-Cola has a line of products that suits people of different ages. However, the company places more emphasis on the young people than the older adults. Further segmentation by income is done through packing. High-class people buy canned soda, middle-class people buy bottled soda, and the lower-class people buy soda on the go in bottles (Langlois, Langlois, & Havens, 2012).

Other demographic features are socioeconomic status and income levels of the people. Among the target populations of the company’s products are the lower class and the middle class. One advert of Coke in the UAE shows that the company targets low-income earners who make less than six dollars a day.

Segmentation is also done based on behavioral characteristics of the people. The company takes advantage of the various festivities and occasions that take place in the country. These include the Ramadan and Id, among other festivities. Thus, people are sure of celebration when they consume Coca-Cola.

Target Market of Coca-Cola in the UAE

The Coca-Cola Company does not target any specific customer in the UAE. The target market for Coca- Cola’s products is every potential person that would serve as a customer (Langlois et al., 2012). However, the most potential population of buyers is in the ages 18-25, as this covers the majority of the population.

Most of the audience that follows the company’s product is the youth. The brand is associated with a sense of fun and being cool; thus, the youth’s desire to be associated with the brand. Further, while the target of the company is not aligned with any specific gender, both the male and female genders find Coca-Cola products likeable.

Another target characteristic that the company utilizes is the lifestyle of the people. A key group that is involved in the purchase of this product is people who lead fast lives. These people do not have the time to go home and eat healthily. Thus, when they enter into fast food joints, they also order beverages like Coca-Cola (“McDonald’s UAE unveils”, 2013).

The fourth target market is the size of the family and occupation of the family members. One of the characteristics of families in the UAE is large families. Thus, people tend to look for products that can accommodate their family needs, although at an affordable price. Thus, Coke’s family pack offers value for the entire family.

There is also market target depending on the personality of the people. Coca-Cola markets its products to people who are outgoing, fun-loving, and adventurous. Coca-Cola has positioned its brand to appear fun and free.

Coca- Cola’s Positioning Strategy

One of the ways that the company has positioned itself is through maintaining Coke as its core product. However, the company also tries to adapt to the local needs of the people (Deichert, Ellenbecker, Pesarchick, Klehr, & Ziegler, 2006). In effect, Coca-Cola applies strategic positioning to ensure that it has a uniform image worldwide. Further, the company positions itself as emotionally sensitive to the needs of the people (Langlois et al., 2012).

Some adverts portray the products as fun and infuse a happy spirit among people. In Dubai, one way that Coke is playing the sensitive, emotional card is through an advert where they show workers who are located away from home making calls to their families. These calls are expensive for them; thus, Coke has improvised the use of bottle caps to make calls cheaper.

A Perceptual Map

Soft drink’s Perceptual Map. Coca-Cola is represented in the red.
Figure 1: Soft drink’s Perceptual Map. Coca-Cola is represented in the red.

Product Strategy

Coca-Cola products in the UAE have entered the mature stage, owing to the large group of loyal consumers. Consequently, the sales of the company can only be manipulated through effective marketing and differentiation. Notably, Coca-Cola applies a differentiation strategy for most of its products through diversification of the main brand. For instance, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, and Lemon Coke are diversified forms of Coke (“Coca-Cola UAE among” 2010). Thus, even though the company diversifies and increases the product range, they also stick to the core brand. Further, the taste of the product has always been the company’s key secret.

Core, actual and augmented product

Product level is divided into three categories. These are the core product, actual product, and augmented product. Coca-Cola’s core product is soda and its range of soft drinks, as this is what customers buy to quench their thirst. The actual product refers to the packaging, the features, and the parts that help to deliver the core product (Armstrong, Adam, Denize & Kotler, 2014). Thus, most people in the UAE purchase the drink because of the quality and taste of the drink and how it is packaged. Finally, the augmented product is the extra service and benefits that come with the purchase of the drinks.

New product development requirements

There are a few or no product requirements that the Coca-Cola Company should follow in the UAE. Various tests that have been conducted on the drinks alongside other soft drinks by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority have shown that the Coca-Cola products are in line with the regulations and standards of the UAE. However, following recent consumer protection legislation, the company should adhere to the rule of not producing 300 Ml canned soda (Russell, 2012). The country has banned the production of these soda capacities, citing a violation of consumer rights as they are not worth the price.

References

Armstrong, G., Adam, S., Denize, S., & Kotler, P. (2014). Principles of marketing. NSW, Australia: Pearson Australia. Web.

Coca-Cola UAE among most successful bottling operations. (2010). Al Bawaba. Web.

Deichert, M., Ellenbecker, M., Pesarchick, L., Klehr, E., & Ziegler, K. (2006). Industry analysis: Soft drinks. Web.

Langlois, E., Langlois, A., & Havens, D. (2012). Marketing a United States multinational brand in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 6(5), 115-122. Web.

McDonald’s UAE unveils most stylish Coca-Cola glass range to date. (2013). Al Bawaba. Web.

Russell, M. (2012). UAE: Coca-Cola co withdraws 30cl cans on law violation. Just – Drinks Global News. Web.