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Coca-Cola Will Enter Japanese Low-Alcohol Market

9 Mar

As we discussed before, Coca-Cola is a great marketing company. See How Coca-Cola Creates Stories and A Clever Ad: Coke and Recycling. Now, due to interest in healthier beverages, Coca-Cola keeps expanding its other product categories, such as juices and bottled water. As a result, Coca-Cola will enter Japanese low-alcohol market .

Is this a good idea? On the one hand, the company will market a new product in a country where local-alcohol beverages remain popular. On the other hand, there are ethical implications. Why? These sweeter beverages (“alcopops”) sometimes are consumed by those under age 21 (or 18). Thus, will Coca-Cola’s image take a hit? The company has no plan to offer this  beverage outside out of Japan, where there is cultural acceptance of such beverages.


A Good Idea? Coca-Cola Will Enter Japanese Low-Alcohol Market

Consider this from Business Insider: Coca-Cola has been battling falling sales globally as consumers shun fizzy drinks. Coca-Cola Japan is launching a version of a local low alcohol drink Chu-Hi. The regional head says the new drink is ‘a modest experiment’ and likely won’t travel.”

And according to Bloomberg News:

“Coca-Cola Co., which has sold its famous soft drink for more than 130 years, wants customers in Japan to try something harder. The company is launching a canned version of Chu-Hi, an alcoholic drink. It is made with shochu, a distilled beverage. And it is typically made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, and other ingredients. The move is a first for Coke. The firm has stuck to cola and other non-alcoholic drinks except for its brief ownership of a wine subsidiary that ended in 1983.”

“Chu-Hi is considered a low-alcohol beverage. But proofs can range as high as 18 (9 percent alcohol by volume). The company wants to appeal to consumers at different times of the day. People drink an average of eight, 8-ounce drinks a day. And Coca-Cola seeks to be the source of more of those servings.”

One distribution channel in Japan may be the vending machine. Where Coca-Cola beverages remain popular.


Coca-Cola Will Enter Japanese Low-Alcohol Market

Tokyo residents purchase soft drinks from a Coca-Cola vending machine in Tokyo Credit: Tatsuyuki Tayama/Bloomberg News


Finally, as News 24/7 notes:

“The world’s largest soft drinks company is currently experimenting with an alcopop-style beverage which will have a low alcoholic content of three to eight per cent ABV. Alcopops, ready-made sweetened alcoholic drinks, often resemble soft drinks because of their bubbly and fruit-flavored nature. But the low-alcohol drink will only be available in Japan. Chu-Hi, an abbreviation for sochu highball, has been marketed as an alternative to beer.”

Check out the video.



Levi Strauss Adopts New FLX Operating Model

7 Mar

In the current competitive marketplace around the globe, firms want the most cost-efficient operating models possible. For instance, click these links: 1 and 2. While they want to manage costs, they also want to be customer friendly. That is why today’s post examines: Levi Strauss adopts new FLX operating model.

What exactly is Levi Strauss? We turn to its Web site for the answer:

Levi Strauss & Co. has been innovating since the birth of the first pair of jeans in 1873. Throughout our long history, we’ve inspired change in the marketplace, the workplace, and the world. We invite you to take a look at our proud heritage in our timeline. Levi Strauss & Co. has a unique history and an amazing heritage, but it involves much more than faded denim. Our designers use products from our past to inspire the designs of tomorrow. And not only did we invent the blue jean, our Dockers® brand reinvented the khaki pant.

The following video offers a good overview of the company.


  Future-Led Execution: Levi Strauss Adopts New FLX Operating Model

Last month, Levi Strauss introduced a new program it dubbed FLX (future-led execution). Through this program, the firm seeks to accomplish various goals:

“How do you deliver high-quality, durable denim styles to consumers when and where they want them while improving and modernizing the manufacturing process for the 21st century? Welcome to the future of jeans manufacturing, where Levi Strauss & Co. is leading the way. On February 27, we announced Project FLX. (future-led execution).”

“The new operating model ushers denim finishing into the digital era. And it digitizes denim finish design. At the same time, it enables a responsive and sustainable supply chain at an unparalleled scale. By replacing manual techniques and automating the jeans finishing process, Project FLX radically reduces time to market — and puts us on a path to eliminate thousands of chemical formulations from jeans finishing. In short, Project FLX delivers a cleaner jean that fully adheres to the Levi’s® standards of craftsmanship, quality and authenticity.”

The image below portrays the process. Then the video that follows it, describes the new program.

Levi Strauss Adopts New FLX Operating Model


Artificial Intelligence Insights from Intel

6 Mar

As we head into the future, artificial intelligence (AI) will play an even more significant role. And some firms are leading the way. For that reason, today we cover artificial intelligence insights from Intel.

Also, look at three of our prior posts on AI: Artificial Intelligence Predictions. GREAT YouTube Videos: Learn More About AI. Comparing AI Virtual Assistants.


Background: Artificial Intelligence Insights from Intel

For years, Intel focused on computer chips. And it became — and remains — the leader in that product category. But now, due to competition and the reduced importance of PCs, Intel is branching out. In big ways!! One of these ways involves artificial intelligence.

As Intel recently noted:

“If your firm hasn’t yet incorporated artificial intelligence (AI), you can be certain that it will soon. AI  has a lot of potential. For instance, it will impact everything from the way a firm interacts with customers to how it hires employees.”

“In November 2017, executives indicated in a survey that AI is becoming a bigger priority. According to the survey, 64 percent noted that they plan to invest in AI over the next three years. Still, while executives know that A.I. is critical, 35 percent said their top challenge involves understanding what an AI solution involves. And 22 percent said budgeting remains an obstacle. Even so, more executives know that if they don’t adopt AI, their firms are at risk of being left in the digital dust.”


Click the image to read more.
Artificial Intelligence Insights from Intel


Video Examples of Artificial Intelligence Insights from Intel

To better explain the roles of AI and Intel’s prowess with it, Intel produced several videos. And are four of them.


An Introduction

“In the data center, the cloud, and at the edge, business, science, and academia use AI applications. And they are supported by a broad, growing portfolio of Intel technologies. So, watch Naveen Rao, Intel VP and GM, Artificial Intelligence Products Group, explain how Intel helps make AI initiatives practical and straightforward.”


AI and the Brain

“Intel Labs and Princeton Neuroscience Institute use AI to enable neuroscientists to map the human mind in real time. Thus, unlocking secrets on how brain activity affects learning, memory, and other cognitive functions.”


AI and Personal Finance

“Clinc decided to build an AI Personal Assistant App to connect individuals quicker and easier to their financial data. At that time, it recognized the need to leverage the latest in machine learning and deep learning technologies. Thus, existing natural language algorithms weren’t sufficient. And Clinc collaborated with Intel to reach higher standards. The resuIt is Finie. Now, learn more about how they solved a real problem with AI.”


AI and the Driving Experience

“Data and analytics are driving the new Intel and Ferrari partnership. And how we are using AI to power the driving experience. From in-car analytics to video monitoring to drones, better synthesized data gives drivers an edge as the industry evolves.”


How Coca-Cola Creates Stories

1 Mar

In October 2017, we talked about Ikea’s introduction of pet furniture. And we looked at its clever ad campaign. As part of our Ikea discussion, we showed a YouTube video on the making of its ads. Today, we consider how Coca-Cola creates stories to communicate with consumers.

First, view the Ikea video.


Background of Coca-Cola Advertising

For years, Coca-Cola has regularly appeared on lists of the world’s most valuable brands. And it dominates PepsiCo among soft drink brands. In large part, two reasons account for this. One, Coca-Cola’s massive distribution channels. Coca-Cola’s especially strong in restaurants, fast-food outlets, and other such firms. Two, Coca-Cola spends a lot on advertising; and its advertising is effective.

The following chart from Statista, based on Advertising Age and Kantar data, shows Coca-Cola’s ad spending just in the U.S. And it includes 2009-2016.

How Coca-Cola Creates Stories -- Annual U.S. Ad Spending

Behind the Scenes: How Coca-Cola Creates Stories

Besides spending so much on ads, Coca-Cola prides itself on it ad prowess. And it has the revenues and awards to bear this out.

Recently, Clare McDermott wrote (for the Content Marketing Institute) about Coca-Cola’s use of story telling. Other firms could learn about best practices from Coca-Cola:

“Kate Santore took the stage at Content Marketing World to share Coca-Cola’s storytelling ethos – and to inspire marketers to ask, ‘What if?’ ‘Sharing our strategies and approach to marketing has been a tradition at Coca-Cola to open the door for other brands to learn from our 130 years of marketing experience. Sharing collectively raises the bar for every brand and therefore makes us strive for bigger, better, bolder.’”

Here are a few of Santore’s remarks. To learn more, read McDermott’s full article:

“At Coca-Cola, we want to create Coca-Cola stories and not stories by Coca-Cola. That holds true when our product is a character in the story with a credible role to play. There are four typical archetypes that we look to: object of desire, embodiment of an attitude, social connector, and functional offering or benefit. If you read a script or even partner-created content and say to yourself, ‘Can I tell this story without Coca-Cola?’ and the answer is yes, then it’s a not a Coca-Cola story.”

Here’s an interesting story-telling chart from Content Marketing Institute.

How Coca-Cola Creates Stories

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