Coca-Cola Case Summary (Di Jiang)



The Coca-Cola Company was founded in 1892 by Asa Griggs Candler, and the place of the company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink with hundreds brands, and the first Coca-Cola drink was just five cents created by Flank M. Lobinson in 1886. In more than 200 countries, the Coca-Cola Company offers beverage products to the restaurants and vending machines which were including soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit juices and such. Even though there were many soft drink companies in the market, Coca-Cola still is a worldwide leader in the beverage industry.


Social media is a very precise and faster communication approach to disseminate information as soon as possible such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YuoTube, blogs and the like. In Coca-Cola case, the frustrated customer posted a message on Twitter for complaining it is hard to redeem a prize from a My Coke reward program. This customer has 10,000 followers on Twitter means that this negative post for Coca-Cola Company had disseminated to the public. Although it is not a crucial crisis for the company nobody can forecast its impact, it still is a potential crisis or a crisis prodrome.

Situation Analysis

The history of the Coca-Cola Company is more than 100 years, I think the most important strength is it is a very popular soft drink brand as well as has a high reputation in the public. Moreover, the company has an experience of dealing with the crisis after encountered crises in Belgian and India, so I think the crisis management and crisis communications plan is completed, effective, and mature.

For the weakness part, I think there are millions Coca-Cola customers in more than 200 countries, meanwhile, the culture, law, and society is different in those countries. Therefore, if the same problem happened in other countries may be having a different result, and the image of company may destroy.

By analyzing this case, we can figure out that this small crisis provided an opportunity for the Coca-Cola’s manager to realize there are some problems existed in communication between company and customers. The company can utilize this chance to improve the system of communication with the public when issuing a new program designed to receive the customer’s feedback effectively and timely.

After analyzed the strength, weakness, and opportunity, I thought the threat for the Coca-Cola Company is the social media. At present, complain by phone is not only one method; social media already became a main tool to express their complaint, attitude, or opinion. Social media can help the organization build a positive relationship with the pubic, prevent crises, cope with crises or gauge the sentiments of their publics. Nevertheless, it also can damage the organization’s image because the media give the public what they want to know rather than what they need to know and make up the story by them not the truth story.


When the head of the social media Adam Brown found this complain post, he immediately posted an apology on this customer’s Twitter, and then directly assisted him to get the prize rather than criticizing the employee who responsible for the My Coke reward program or ignoring complaints from customers. The behavior of the manager had shown the Coca-Cola Company’s responsibility, care, and empressement to customer.


After the customer received the prize, he changed his Twitter avatar to a photo of himself holding a Coke in order to express his appreciation, happiness, and satisfaction for the Coca-Cola Company. At the same time, his 10,000 followers can discern that what the Coca-Cola Company did on his business. Although it is a very small change, it still invisibly impact the company’s image and reputation in the public.


Crisis communication is the dialog between the organization and its public designed to minimize the damage to the image of the organization. The company needs to use the most effective method to deliver the message or information to the public when the company encountering a crisis, under this circumstance, social media outlets always is the best choice.

Corporate culture is unwritten but firmly established values in people’s mind, and a way that how the company to do business. For an old soft drink brand, the Coca-Cola already became an essential part in consisting of America culture. The Coca-Cola Company has its own culture, belief, story, or hero, so it is necessary to build a social media department in an effort to advertise the company. Meanwhile, the social media department works at dealing with the crisis, building a positive relationship with the public, and talking to the public.

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6 Responses to Coca-Cola Case Summary (Di Jiang)

  1. kurtcomm642 says:

    Back in the old days, when your only method of complaint was to pick up the phone or write a letter, the only way anybody else could know of your complaint was if you told them or if the company did. The company, naturally, was not going to talk. So that meant that any one person’s unhappy experience would be known by a few dozen people at most, even counting second and third hand. And it could take weeks or months to get that far. But today, whip off a complaint on Twitter and you’ve instantly got the potential for it to go out to thousands and thousands of people. Crisis communications may soon be its own sub-specialty in the field of communications study.

    • dijiang313 says:

      Kurt, you have a good discussion on the improvement of media, and how dose the media influence the crisis communications plan and crisis management. The text told us the Interent is a great source of information and news, but it is even greater source of misinformation and rumor. I think we have to pay more attention on crisis communications study when we making progress in technology.

  2. kurtcomm642 says:

    Sorry, what I meant to say in that last sentence was, social media may soon be its own sub-specialty in the field of crisis communications study. If it’s not already.

  3. lilly1989 says:

    “it also can damage the organization’s image because the media give the public what they want to know rather than what they need to know and make up the story by them not the truth story.”–This idea recalls me of the HD Honey Bee case. In that case, HD educated its consumers that it was important to protect the honey bees with favorable reputation. I think the Coca-Cola Company could imitate this good behavior, that is, the Coca-Cola Company can educate the consumers to recognize what are the real and what are the wrong in the social media and how to find a credible resource. Besides that, the Coca-Cola Company could give suggestions to the consumers on how to write an appropriate information.

  4. duanyafan says:

    I totally agree your comments. Especially for big company, it has its own company culture and history, how to let social media help them become better and better is very important, in other hand, social media can be a custodian to these companies.

  5. clarkfeng1987 says:

    CCC is an old company so that it has enough ability to deal with this crisis. I think Coca-Cola Company had a positive attitude in this crisis. Moreover, its strength is very obvious so that it could reply this crisis immediately

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