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Coca-Cola’s New Vending Machine

Law – Ethics & Corporate Governance

August 24, 2010

Coca-Cola’s New Vending Machine

Advancement in technology is rapidly intensifying as it relates to consumer products on a daily basis. Brainstorming sessions, innovative ideas, and avant-garde creativity are just a few of the characteristics that are flowing in and out of product development meetings from organizations and businesses. From a divergent perspective, has the objective in product development caused emphasis to move towards profits and revenues by means of unethical or unmorally deceptions solely rather than with a balance of customers’ loyalty and appreciation? That question effortlessly paved its way to the headquarters for Coca-Cola. On October 28, 1999, The New York Times posed a question regarding the capability of Coca-Cola vending machines being able to augment their products based on extreme heat conditions in sports venues (The New York Times, 1999). The answer that derived from M. Douglas Ivester (Chairman) resulted in a public relations nightmare that ultimately had to be disentangled. Was Coca-Cola’s strategy in this endeavor parallel to the four “P’s” of marketing? Would success be fully acquired by continuing with this campaign? We will probe into these questions in order to justify Coca-Cola’s decision.

The marketing mix as described in Business: a changing world, talks about the four marketing activities that are required in order for a business to achieve specific goals in a marketing environment (Ferrell, Hirt, & Ferrell, 2009). These activities include product, price, distribution (place), and promotion. Resulting from this vending machine endeavor, Coca-Cola was unsuccessful in two areas relating to the marketing mix, which included price and promotion.

One area of the marketing mix, which is known as the product, is a major...