Coca-Cola believes that there is significant scope for expansion in Asia-Pacific, but a senior executive has admitted the soft drinks giant needs to get better at segmenting audiences across the region.
“We sell to a lot of people, which means the ability to segment differently, identify new opportunity and serve them is something we are working on,” said Javier Meza, chief marketing officer of Asia Pacific Group at The Coca-Cola Company
“It has to do both with capabilities and the worldwide expansion of our portfolio,” he told The Drum.
“The reality is, the brands that are winning are our competitor brands, as they have been able to identify specific consumer segments with what they need and want, and offer that to them,” he explained.
Developing a similar capability is a priority for a business long focused on selling to the mass market, he added,
Each country in the region is different and Coca-Cola is becoming more agile, finding stories with particular resonance in local markets – one such being its messaging around the recent Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.
For this event, it created bilingual cans with messages in English and Korean about world peace.
“Coca-Cola believes in uniting people and bridging divides [and] the summit was a perfect platform for the brand to demonstrate so,” said Meza.
“The idea was to seize the moment to be at the crossroad of an important time in history to spread our message of hope and optimism.”
The company is also using Japan as a test market for new ideas, in part because of that country’s huge vending machine market – Coca-Cola owns one million machines there – which enables it to gather large amounts of data to generate consumer insights.
Recently Japan was the preferred location for Coca-Cola’s first foray into alcoholic drinks, although this is one idea it is not expected to export to other markets.