Strategic Management

Coca-Cola Zero Diet Soda

In May 1886 Dr. John Pemberton, a pharmacist from Atlanta, Georgia, founded Coca-Cola. Over the years, the company has achieved a strong and substantial growth rising from a small glass of soda beverage to one of the most popular can of soft drinks around the globe. Consistent with their vision, mission, goals, and values, Coca-Cola continues in their quest to maximize their profits while maintaining sustainable growth within the industry. According to Bhattarai (2017), after Coke Zero failed to sell, the company revamped the packaging and has since experienced accelerated sales. However, it is important to note that Coke Zero success comes after a long struggle that the company has had to endure. It is also interesting to note that, their competitor, Diet Pepsi has been struggling with a similar brand. For firms, the unexpected twists and turns of failure and success are expected and place limits on the value of strategic planning. Nonetheless, as elaborated by the University of Minnesota (2016), strategic planning is the essence of business success, and every company should design a strategic plan to guide its future.

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Organization’s Purpose: Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals

Virtually, setting business strategy enables organizations to have absolute clarity, establish priorities, and manage their resources to get better results. According to Brian (2015), a strategic plan is not about where the company stands today; rather it is a clearly outlined map about the future of the organization. Consistently, Brian explains that the reason why some companies make more than 80 percent of the profits in every industry is a well-planned-out strategy that embraces every one of the key principles in strategic planning. 

The first key principle of strategy is that to achieve great victories; an organization must be clear on their goals and objectives at every level of their business. The principle requires that companies should be clear on what they want to accomplish and how. In their mission statement, Coca-Cola declares their purpose as a company is to refresh the world, inspire moments of optimism and happiness by creating value and making a difference (Coca-Cola Company, n.d). The vision serves as a framework for their roadmap to success and guides their every aspect of business by outlining what they need to accomplish their business goals. The second principle is the principle of the offensive. As Brian highlights, for businesses to succeed, they must be proactive and continuously innovate new products, services, process, and ways of doing business. At Coca-Cola, the company is always innovating new products. They also keep on trying new methods to make their products successful as evident with the revamping of their Coke Zero. 

The third principle is the principle of the mass. Brian notes that, in business, the principle of mass expects organizations to be excellent in one product niche and dominate that market share concerning quality and service before expanding into other ventures. Since its foundation in 1886, Coca-Cola has focused on being a non-alcoholic beverage market and so far has one of the biggest market shares in non-alcoholic beverages market. It is also important to note that Coca-Cola intends to make a move into alcoholic drinks, but only considered this after their success for more than a century in non-alcoholic beverages. The fourth principle is the principle of maneuver, which reflects on the ability and importance of remaining flexible and ready to move forward no matter the obstacles. Applied to business, the principle of maneuver refers to business innovation, creativity, and finding better and easy ways to serve customers and make sales. To be able to remain flexible, Brian notes that companies should be willing to step back, question the status quo, and then plan their forward march. In their values, Coca-Cola believes on the importance of stepping into the market, listen, observe, and learn from the consumers’ reactions, needs, and preferences. The company also purposes to remain responsive to change and have the courage to change course when necessary. 

The fifth principle is the principle of concerted action, which requires organizations to work as a team to achieve the company goals and objectives. In their vision statement, Coca-Cola believes in creating an environment where their workers are inspired to be the best they can be. In their list of values, the company also believes in the art of collaboration and rewarding their employees for taking risks and finding better ways to solve problems. The move encourages employees to see the company as a natural and logical extension of themselves and to remain loyal to the success of the company. The sixth principle is the principle of surprise, which is used to keep competitors off balance. In business, the principle means that companies are always looking for ways to develop a competitive advantage over their competitors. The move can be in the form of a new technology, new products, new sales methodology, and marketing strategies. After Coca-Cola launched Coke Zero, the product was not successful at first. However, they came up with a better strategy to revamp the packaging, a move that accelerated their success. The last one is the principle of exploitation, which asserts that once a company has won the bigger market share and cut through the competition, they must be ready to move rapidly to exploit it. When businesses get a market advantage, they should be able to exploit it as fast as possible. In their values, Coca-Cola believes in the art of executing the marketplace every day and working efficiently to remain competitive.

To survive and perform successfully in a highly competitive industry, Coca-Cola has been able to utilize the principles of strategic planning and align each with their company goals and objectives. By doing so, the company has been able to dominate the non-alcoholic beverages market share by more significant margin.  


Bhattarai, A. (2017). How Coca-Cola got Americans to drink diet soda again. The Washington Post. Retrieved from:

Coca-Cola Company. (n.d). Our company: mission, vision & values. Retrieved from:

Tracy, B. (2015). Business strategy (The Brian Tracy Success Library). New York: AMACOM.

University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing (2016). Mastering Strategic Management. Retrieved from:

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