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Case study > Coca-cola in South Africa Coca-Cola is one of South Africa’s major investors. It began an extensive programme of long-term investment in the country after 1994. In 1997 the company announced its intention to expand business and began a R1.2 billion infrastructure expansion programme, designed to penetrate the country’s markets. This programme has become one of the strategic elements used to create trust, 5IJT NPSF TUSBUFHJD DPNNVOJDBUJPOT GPDVT BMTP and subsequently a trading platform that JODPSQPSBUFTUIFBDUVBMNFEJBDIPTFOBOEVTFE extends beyond the country’s borders into 8IJMF4PVUI"GSJDBIBTCFFODPNQBSBUJWFMZTMPX the continent. 8JUIUIFHMPCBM¾OBODJBMDSJTJTDBVTJOHDPOTVNFST UPCFDPNFNPSFEJTDFSOJOHBCPVUUIFJSQVSDIBTFT BOEUIFDPNQBOJFTUIFZ´DIPPTFµUPEPCVTJOFTT XJUI  DPNQBOJFT BSF SFUIJOLJOH CPUI IPX UIFZ DPNNVOJDBUF XJUI UIFJS NBSLFUT BOE XIBU UIFZ DIPPTFUPTBZ"EWFSUJTJOHBOEDPSQPSBUFNFTTBHJOH BSFNPWJOHBXBZGSPNUBMLJOH´BUµDMJFOUTBTBSFTVMU  BOE FOHBHJOH JO 13 JOTUFBE  GPDVTJOH SBUIFS PO NVUVBMSFMBUJPOTIJQCVJMEJOH

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One of the key elements of this strategy has been creating alliances – partnerships with various stakeholders, including bottlers. Coca-Cola Southern Africa (CCSA) assists with overall business development, working in tandem with bottlers to promote product awareness, and helping launch the marketing and advertising programmes designed to ensure brand recognition. More importantly in terms of trust creation however, CCSA also provides managerial and technical assistance to these smaller companies, promoting production and distribution efficiency, quality control and personnel training. In this way, it helps them to realise continuous growth and economic profitability, relying primarily on local managerial and technical labour. As such, Coca-Cola has effectively created a chain of exceptional brand ambassadors throughout the country, with their personal testimonials about the company impacting directly on the perceptions of the communities within which they live and interact. CCSA is therefore harnessing ‘word of mouth’ as a means of establishing corporate credibility – a key objective when it comes to doing business in Africa.

DESIGN> magazine (edition 11, 2008/9)  
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