1. Every company needs to be concerned and worry about product innovation, even if it generates $5 billion in annual profits. The reason for this is quite simple: without product innovation, we cannot refer to economic growth and the company is likely to remain embedded in the same product for ever. Following the product life phases, this will soon become a product that is no longer consistently producing. Additionally, the company needs to keep the consumers interested with new products and attract those consumers that were not so far interested in Coca Cola products with new, different products that can be more successful.
Innovation carries along with it market and share growth and increases customer confidence levels. Otherwise, the company can face the “brand fatigue” it had to deal with in the past.
2. First of all, the company needs a product innovation strategy and a product innovation commitment. This means that a clear plan should be laid out detailing how much the company is willing to invest, what types of products it is thinking about developing (certainly based on market measures and research) etc.
Based on these, the company can spend the R&D budget on the products that are likely to perform in the future.
3. If we follow upon the case study, the Coke CEO is facing a tough road ahead mainly because he is always finding a conflicting attitude from the board rather than a supporting one. Additionally, Coca Cola seems to be still doing some of the things as they used to be done half a century ago and, despite the fact that the board is formed by some of the most successful executives in the world, decisions are often carried out too slowly for such a fast moving business environment.
Further more, in many ways, the board still seems to be consistently attached to what Coca Cola stands for and that is basically the Coke product. This means that they are likely to be continuously reticent to develop and diversify the portfolio of products, to come up with new ideas and solutions to the problems the company is facing, to stimulate innovation and research and development. From this point of view, the CEO is likely to have a difficult task.
Figures will most likely help, because they will show that the company is no longer growing, that its customer confidence rate is continuously decreasing and that it needs fresh ideas in its development.
4. I think Coca Cola should seriously work on developing a set of products addressing the health consciousness that the consumers tend to experience today. In an environment where people are exercising, are concerned about what they eat and drink, Coke, Coca Cola’s main product, seems not to be able to compete with the new requirements. With a high content of sugar in its formula, with lots of chemical additions that make it tasty, but unhealthy (at least according to all the health articles relating to it). Further more, the company may also want to develop a service portfolio, given the fact that today’s business environment insists so much on this sector.
5. I have not consumed any Coca Cola products in the last 48 hours and the reason for this is that I associate Coca Cola with its main product, Coke, and I believe Coke to be an unhealthy product. The reason for this is probably due to the numerous health campaigns that have influenced me in this sense, but also because of the high level of sugar available in such a product. Sugar being fattening, I would rather turn to more natural products.