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掌门人即将去职,可口可乐难题未解

财富中文网 2016年12月13日

虽然实现了首席执行官的平稳交接,但可口可乐仍需应对根本性的挑战。

 

上周日,可口可乐公司宣布,在执掌这家全球饮料巨头8年之后,董事长兼首席执行官穆康泰(Muhtar Kent)于明年5月离职,由总裁兼首席运营官詹姆斯·昆西(James Quincy)接任。这个消息并不让人感到特别意外。昆西被认为是穆康泰的继承人已经有一段时间了,华尔街对他也很敬重。

但这次人事更迭也有其他的含义:穆康泰代表着一种几乎所有全球性品牌都曾效仿的战略,他的离去意味着这一战略已经过时了。在他看来,让某个品牌得到认同,就意味着带给世界各地的人相同的体验,大型消费者品公司必须做的最重要的一件事,就是不断提升一个品牌的销售规模和影响力。

不仅是穆康泰和可口可乐,几乎所有食品和饮料行业的大公司都面临相同的问题。在这个性化的时代,无论是应用软件,还是床垫,甚至包括可乐饮料,都可以进行定制,规模最大和效率最高的企业不一定是赢家。个性化的趋势,再加上消费者越来越不愿饮用含糖饮料,有助于我们理解,可口可乐为何会陷入困境:在过去三年里,它的年销售收入下滑了40亿美元。宝洁公司前营销主管吉姆·斯藤格尔(Jim Stengel)说:“我认为,这是全球性包装类消费品公司面临的最大问题。在一个后规模经济里如何竞争?回答这个问题并不容易,因为它在挑战这些大公司商业模式的根基。”

不换思路就得换人。全球性消费者品公司的主管们必须找到一个神奇的办法,既要给消费者提供更多选择,同时在生产上还要做到多快好省。可口可乐近年来已在尝试,比如让顾客在饮料机上自制饮料。宝洁和麦当劳都面临着与可口可乐类似的压力。应当祝贺穆康泰和可口可乐实现了职务的平稳交接,但不管谁上任,挑战总是摆在那里。 (财富中文网)

 

作者:Jennifer Reigold

译者:Mushroom

Today’s announcement that Coca-Cola CEO and chairman Muhtar Kent will step down in Mayafter eight years at the helm of the giant beverage company was not a big surprise. Nor was the news that Coke president and COO James Quincey will replace him; he has been the expected successor for some time and is well regarded by Wall Street.

But the changeover also represents something else; the departure of a man who exemplified a strategy that almost every global brand followed, but that may no longer be relevant today. It was the notion that one brand identity could mean the same thing to people all over the world—and that increasing the scale and power of that brand was the single most important thing that a big consumer products company should do.

It’s a problem faced not only by Kent and Coke but also by virtually every single major company in the food and drink category. (Technology, where Apple and others have achieved brand ubiquity for now, is an exception to this trend). In this era of personalization, where your apps, your mattress and, yes, your cola choices are customized, being the biggest and most efficient doesn’t necessarily win. This—plus the increasing desire to avoid sugary drinks—helps explain whyCoca-Cola has struggled, with annual revenues falling by $4 billion in the past three years. Says Jim Stengel, head of branding consultancy the Jim Stengel Co. and former global marketing head at Procter & Gamble: “This is in my mind the biggest issue for global, scale-oriented CPG [consumer packaged-goods] brands: How to compete in a post-scale economy? The answer is not obvious or easy as it challenges the foundation of their business model.”

This new world also requires new leadership. Heads of global consumer brands will need to figure out the magic link between giving customers choice—Coke has tried to do this in recent years by, among other things, offering customizable soda fountains—and making such options cost-effective to produce. P&G is one company facing similar pressures–as isMcDonald’s. Coke and Kent are to be congratulated for pulling off a (so far) seamless CEO succession. But whoever the CEO is, the big brand challenge isn’t going away.

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