\r\nAs one of the world\u2019s foremost brands, Coca-Cola is a household name that requires no introduction. Alongside brands like Apple, Google and Facebook, the iconic red and white colours synonymous with the Coca-Cola brand is distinct across the world as we continue to refresh the world and make a difference.\r\nA century is an eternity in business, as the old saying goes, and this is reflective of Coca-Cola\u2019s achievements as the company has stood the test of time over the past 134-years since Dr John S. Pemberton first setup shop in Atlanta, USA, in 1886; to become what it is today - the world\u2019s premiere beverage brand and an institution in its own right. \u00a0\r\nThis is nothing we didn\u2019t already know, of course, but the far-reaching, seemingly timeless essence of Coca-Cola has made this extraordinary achievement ordinary. So here is the million-dollar question: how? How has Coca-Cola managed to not merely survive but thrive for close to a century and a half since opening its doors for business?\u00a0\r\nThe relationship that exists between this iconic brand and Africa began 92-years ago when the continent\u2019s first Coca-Cola beverage was sold in Cape Town in 1928. This relationship is an instructive study on how Coca-Cola has achieved such success on a wider global level, through highly effective brand outreach strategies, an efficient decentralised manufacturing and management structure, and the cultivation of strong bonds with communities and consumers via numerous CSR initiatives.\r\nAs the African continent has grown over this nine-decade period, so also has Coca-Cola\u2019s presence, scale of operations and commitment to supporting Africa\u2019s development. With a footprint of over 60 bottling partners, consumers in 54 African nations can enjoy the unique, refreshing taste of Coca-Cola beverages. Similarly, with an investment of US$17bn in Africa from 2010 to 2020, The Coca-Cola Company is present in almost every beverage category with over five hundred brands, employing over 700,000 people across our system to help deliver these beloved brands to customers and consumers daily.\u00a0\r\nThe success of its West African Business Unit (WABU) and, more specifically, its operations in Nigeria, is a further reflection of this winning strategy. As the continent\u2019s largest economy, Nigeria is a bustling, vibrant engine of growth which by 2050 could be knocking on the doors of the world\u2019s top-10 economies according to a report by PwC. An economic powerhouse in the making, it is only natural that Coca-Cola has invested heavily in Nigeria, positioning itself as the country\u2019s flagship beverage brand. In recent years, Coca-Cola Nigeria has been steadily growing in market share and influence but for all the advantages that the company can bring to bear with its unrivalled resources and peerless brand power, the company has however faced fierce competition from rival Cola and beverage brands.\u00a0\r\nThe entrepreneurial spirit and can-do energy characteristic of Nigerians and a significant driver of the country\u2019s wider economic prowess; is also the reason Coca-Cola has fought a pitched battle to win the hearts of consumers to become a dominant force in the market. Achieving success in Nigeria has been challenging for Coca-Cola but great strides have been made as a result of its multifaceted commitment to operational excellence across all aspects of its operations. Naturally, the manufacturing and bottling of Coca-Cola beverages and an effective distribution network is the most visible aspect of this, however Coca-Cola Nigeria\u2019s marketing procurement endeavours, spearheaded by Paul Iwearu, the Business Unit Senior Procurement leader, have also played a crucial role.\r\n\u201cOur key function is to market and promote Coca-Cola across the region,\u201d explained Paul. He continued: \u201cThis business unit plays a key role in supporting the wider operations of Coca-Cola in Nigeria by facilitating brand awareness and ensuring the continued success of the business.\u00a0\r\nOur marketing activities are varied \u2013 we utilise media, creative and digital; we also conduct research where we track consumer data in supermarkets for instance to keep track of trends as it is imperative to ensure the quality of what Coca-Cola is doing in Nigeria\u201d.\r\nThe Coca-Cola brand is notable across the world but that alone is not enough to guarantee success. Maintaining brand integrity and ensuring that the company continues to connect with the millions of consumers who enjoy Coca-Cola beverages daily, remains at the forefront of the company\u2019s long-term strategy for success.\r\nThis meticulous, granular approach is employed by Coca-Cola Nigeria to learn about potential consumers; to understand their wants and needs in a bid to ensure the company delivers products that suit the lifestyles and budgets of Nigerian consumers across a wide demographic. It is this dedication to understanding its consumers that has proven to be a gamechanger in what is now known as \u2018The Cola Battle\u2019.\r\n\u201cDue to the market environment in Nigeria alongside an apparent demographic of low to high income earners across the population, some Cola brands adopt penetration pricing strategies to attract more low-income consumers. These low-income consumers are subsequently attracted by cheaper brands that employ a high volume, low price strategy to make their drinks appealing to this consumer demographic.\u00a0\r\nA guy who is looking for lunch and has N150 to spend wants quality, but also wants bang for his buck. Therefore, Coca-Cola Nigeria has increased drink sizes and implemented powerful influencer-driven campaigns to appeal to consumers. The Coca-Cola brand is about quality and Nigerians are aspirational \u2013 consumers who have the money and want to enjoy the Coca-Cola experience will be part of the Coca-Cola community. As Nigeria grows, we believe the number of Nigerians drinking Coca-Cola brands will also rise\u201d.\r\nFor the middle-classes and those who benefit from rising standards of living, Coca-Cola is synonymous with quality, taste, and happiness. However, to ensure the company is able to reach the cost-conscious bottom of the pyramid across its market, a different approach was required and this manifested in the launch of Limca Cola \u2013 an affordable beverage under the Coca-Cola umbrella and within reach of the BoP market. Additionally, the introduction of Zero Coke has also had a hugely positive impact for the company, as it appeals to a more discerning, health-conscious consumer base that grows daily. In a world becoming ever more averse to sugary beverages and foods, Zero Coke has proven to be an attractive proposition.\r\nWith its market share and profits growing year-on-year, the future is looking bright for Coca-Cola Nigeria in the medium to long-term. In the short-term, however, the COVID-19 crisis has proved catastrophic for Nigeria as it has for every country in the world, and Coca-Cola Nigeria will undoubtedly suffer a dip in the near future as Nigerians tighten their belts in the interim.\u00a0\r\nAs the Coronavirus pandemic progresses, Coca-Cola continues to support communities by improving standards of living and creating shared opportunity through its diverse empowerment initiatives. With a global grant of US$120million towards the fight against the novel coronavirus disease, this support will have a far-reaching impact, supporting health workers on the frontlines and bringing succour to impacted people and communities across the world including Nigeria.\r\nCoca-Cola operates under the fundamental philosophy that its business is only as sustainable as the communities in which it operates. The company is invested in programmes and partnerships that help build better communities around the world, through inclusive and sustainable development thereby making meaningful difference in communities. Each decision the company makes is a chance to do the right thing. Profitability is important, but not at any cost as people matter - just as our planet matters. The company remains focused on doing business the right way by following its values and working toward solutions that benefit all.