Coca-Cola Life is only the fourth drink to be launched in the 128-year history of Coca-Cola. It is made with a blend of sugar and Stevie-leaf extract. It contains “35 per cent less sugar and is a 35 per cent kilo-joule reduced formulation compared to normal coke. Coca-Cola Life has been launched in Australia for one year. The product, which has also been successfully launched in a number of other countries including Argentina, Chile, Mexico as well as US.
Consumers’ Expectation and New Choice
One of the main reason for the company to develop Coca-Cola Life is to satisfy consumer’s demand for greater choice. The majority of consumer in the soft drink market is showing increasing awareness in healthy lifestyles (Andrews, 2015). Therefore, the Life Coke is the company’s positive step in making commitment to offer consumer lower kilojoule options (Mason, 2015).
“The new formulation is what consumers have been looking for. Coke Life isn’t simply a new product from Coca-Cola – it’s another great choice for people who want a delicious Coca-Cola to fit their lifestyle. There is a Coca-Cola option for everyone,” Coca-Cola South Pacific marketing director Lisa Minn says.
“We know consumers are asking for more choice, and particularly Stevie-sweetened beverages. Coke Life is an innovation that is expected to really excite the category and draw people into the soft-drink category,” the chief executive of the Australian Beverages Council, Geoff Parker, says.
Understanding and Satisfying Consumers’ Needs
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of need, people normally have five levels of needs. They are physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs.
For Coca-Cola, understanding and satisfying consumers’ needs are the key factors that lead to success. Launching a new coke in such a challenging market can not only concerns about consumers’ physiological needs since this is the most basic needs that most of Coca-Cola’s competitors can achieved it. What Coca-Cola need to do is to recognize consumers’ higher levels of needs. From the successful launching of Coca-Cola Life in various countries, we can see that this new product certainly brings more to their consumers.
As for consumers’ safety needs, the Coke Life lower down the percentage of sugar. This greatest change largely distinguished itself from other competitors which contain higher percentage of sugar. To some extent, this means that Coke Life is safer and healthier than other beverages. Health and well-being is one of the safety needs. Therefore, we can say that Coke Life can satisfy consumer’s safety needs.
Delightful Design Convey Brand Identity
Consumers’ sensation and perception are the two extremely important elements that the brand need to pay attention to. It is very useful for a company to convey information by using senses. Color is one of the factor that will attract consumers’ notice. For Coke Life, it distinguished by its green label and is marketed as a “natural” and “green” low-calorie beverage in a fully recyclable bottle that is made with 30 percent plant material. It shed its iconic red color into a green one. The whole design conveys the information of “this is a healthier beverage” to consumer in order to change the way people perceive the brand and possibly connect Coke Life with a nature and healthier alternatives.
The Challenges Still Ahead
Coca-Cola Life brings the beverage industry into healthy lifestyle battle. Its competitors will certainly develop new product to compete with Coke Life in order to win the market share. In fact, Pepsi launched Pepsi Next before Coca-Cola Life. Pepsi Next is also a lower-kilojoule cola sweetened with stevia. However, it was originally packaged in blue and now changed to a green that is quite similar to Coke Life. The ‘green war’ starts apparently.
In addition, marketing environment changes constantly. Although the problem of sugar and obesity crisis are now being concerned by consumers, their habits keep changing (Roderick, 2016). There is still a long way for Coca-Cola Life to go.