Coca Cola, Soft Drink, Branding, Nigeria, pepsi, Bigi,

Coca Cola has for many years maintained a strong market worldwide that they have been able to penetrate every country with their various products. They have been able to up their game over time until in 2017, when they decided to restructure their products in Nigeria.

It is important to note that Africa is seen to be a market place where manufacturers run to establish their businesses and for every country like Nigeria, there is always strong competition and only the strategic businesses are able to strive. But for Coca Cola, they really got it wrong in 2017, in Nigeria when they inflated the price of 60cl bottle drink for N150.

It will be observed that Coca Cola’s strong competitor over time in the Nigerian market has been Pepsi and their 50cl Pet which was being sold for N120 until July 25, 2017, took a new turn as the price crashed down to N100 thereby causing an unbalanced market for Coca Cola. In a bid to still maintain strong relevance in the Nigerian market, Coca Cola came out with the Solo Coke which is the 35cl and it is being sold for N100. It is important to note that the reasons behind the increase in price was as result of the inflation and foreign exchange (forex) pressure.

The idea of introducing the Solo Coke (35cl) by Coca Cola did not really yield good results as hoped as consumers had to take their money to other competitive brand which is Pepsi as its price was still N100. Trust Nigerians, they don’t spend unnecessarily especially for high level of sugar consumption.

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While Nigerians wait to see how Coca Cola will be able to up its game in the Nigerian market, little did many know that another drink, ‘Bigi’ which is produced by Rite Foods Limited, was already planning to take over the Nigerian market. A close look at some stores around Lagos, one cannot but wonder how they have being able to penetrate the Nigerian market within a short time of entry as their drink is sold for N100 for the 600ml. Taking a walk around some parts of Lagos, you now find ‘Bigi’ plastic bottles everywhere and they continue to supply their new clients in large quantity. Shops that were major dealers in Coca Cola have now followed the new drink in town thereby abandoning the market ‘King’ Coca Cola.

Possible Solution to Coca Cola’s Challenges

Note: The Law of Demand

The law of demand states that, if all other factors remain equal, the higher the price of a good, the less people will demand that good. In other words, the higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded. The amount of a good that buyers purchase at a higher price is less because as the price of a good goes up, so does the opportunity cost of buying that good. As a result, people will naturally avoid buying a product that will force them to forgo the consumption of something else they value more.

1. Product Cut: Coca Cola needs to take out their Solo Coke off the market and return to the old size while maintaining the N100 price.

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2. Branding: They need to make strong and well convincing campaigns about their products to Nigerians through various platforms available.

3. Perception: The brand needs to use Nigerians for its adverts and not foreigners because they have strong market base in the country.

4. Special Projects: They also need to support and partner with some schools like Secondary Schools, Universities on some projects where they could also discuss some health benefits on the ingredients used in the manufacturing of their drinks.

5. Programme Partnership: Coca Cola could be smart enough in partnering with the new Lagos state environmental agency Vision Scape to educate Nigerians on the need to keep their environment clean considering the high level of dirty around some major parts of Lagos.

I believe the few points outline above will go a long way in helping Coca Cola gain its top spot in Nigeria because consumers’ loyalty will always rest with any of the brands that offers them a good deal as they are more sensitive to price than branding.