DopplerShift, Inc. is a full-service professional business consulting firm. Our mission is to provide the necessary assistance for successful business organizations to identify their optimal future strategic vision with clarity of purpose and the functional approach to implement the changes through which major shifts can be accomplished. Our goal is always to enable organizations to make significant changes without disrupting the current success of those organizations.
The client, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is a licensed subsidiary of the Coca Cola Group that has built a two-century-long reputation for success in conjunction with a historic brand recognized worldwide. According to the organization's most recent Annual Report, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group recorded $202 million in revenue in the first fiscal quarter of 2011, representing a $15 million increase in earnings compared with the same quarter in 2010 (DPSGroup, 2011).
Nevertheless, DopplerShift analyses of the market and wider societal and political factors likely to shape the organization's future business environment suggest that a major organizational change is necessary if the company is to maintain its current level of success far into the 21st century. Our analysis suggests that Dr. Pepper Snapple Group will not be able to sustain long-term public interest in its current main product line in its current incarnation. In our view, in order to remain successful, the organization will have to shift from its reliance on sugar and corn syrup-sweetened products to new formulations that emphasize non-sugar and non-caloric sweeteners and flavors. Ultimately, we recommend a specific strategy intended to completely reverse the relative prominence of dietetic and non-dietetic Dr. Pepper Snapple Group products.
Rationale for Major Change Implementation
The suggestion major change for this organization pertains to its traditional focus on fun and excitement (DPSGroup, 2011). In principle, there is nothing about a branding approach that emphasizes recreation, excitement, and fun. In fact, the suggested major change will continue incorporating the concepts of fun and excitement within the brand identity of all Dr. Pepper Snapple Group products in the future. However, instead of relying exclusively on these one-dimensional product attributes, we believe that the future of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group will depend on its ability to merge its traditional brand values together with a health-oriented conceptual framework.
Currently, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group does maintain a dietetic product line. However, it is conceived as a means of satisfying a comparatively narrow slice of the organization's target market. The vast majority of it customers patronize its regular (i.e. non-dietetic) product line. That product line features sugar and corn syrup prominently in its ingredient list. However, based on our market analyses and based on extrapolated projections for the influence of health consciousness on the recreational food product market, we anticipate that beverage companies that retain their dependence on sugar and corn syrup-based products will lose their market advantage significantly, and possibly irretrievably, within this decade (Reid, 2009).
That is primarily a function of the documented increase in high-profile print news articles and broadcast media coverage of healthful nutrition issues in general and on the detrimental effects on human health of high-sugar (and high-sugar substitute) diets. Already, several states (most notably, New York State) have proposed so-called "soft drink taxes" based on published reports suggesting that high sugar consumption and sugared soft drinks in particular are directly responsible for the fact that two-thirds of American adults and almost two-fifths of children under the age of 17 are already either clinically overweight or clinically obese. Empirical, peer-reviewed scientific literature has detailed the causal connection between soft drink consumption and continually increasing rates of diabetes and other weight and diet-related health issues.
There is an undeniable trend in the United States toward increased diet consciousness and toward the incorporation of diet and nutritional issues within the framework of modern healthcare (Kennedy, 2006; Reid, 2009). Moreover, it is to be fully expected that among the most certain future trends in American healthcare, especially while fiscal responsibility and cost savings are such major concerns, preventative health services will soon dominate American health care, in very much the same way as preventative medicine is already a fundamental core principle in successful national health care systems such as the National Health Service in Britain (Kennedy, 2006; Reid, 2009).
The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has invested considerable resources and has implemented significant changes in the last decade in relation to environmental preservation and ecological sustainability (DPSGroup, 2011). Those organizational changes were necessitated by an accurate perception of the social climate as pertains to environmental responsibility. Today, the organization faces an even greater need to make a similar change as pertains to its dependence on a product line whose composition is already at odds philosophically with growing social attitudes and beliefs about the importance of maintaining healthful dietary changes and the degree to which those attitudes undermine the continued success of the main Dr. Pepper Snapple Group product line in the future.
Suggested Major Organizational Change
Accordingly, we would propose the following major organizational changes to ensure the future and long-term success of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group in light of our findings:
Announce a fundamental change in the organization's long-term strategic focus;
Allocate the necessary funds to Research and Development to reformulate the main product line to reduce and eliminate or substantially reduce to a minimum the use of sugar and corn syrup in Dr. Pepper Snapple Group products;
Create a main product line capable of maintaining the same desirable qualities that constitute the current brand identity without significant amounts of sugar or corn syrup;
Reconfigure the organizational hierarchy to include an executive level composed of medical advisors and nutritionists to provide extensive guidance and leadership in the real of the healthfulness of all Dr. Pepper Snapple Group products; and Invest heavily in a nationwide strategic marketing campaign capable of ensuring the successful launch and, in effect, re-branding of the entire Dr. Pepper Snapple Group main product line featuring dietetic products that meet the taste (and other) specifications and preferences necessary to retain the vast majority of the organization's current base market.
Plan for Effective Change Management
Generally, the more extensive the proposed changes for an organization, the more important it is to make formal announcements of those intended changes and to do so very early on in the plans for implementing change (Akin, Dunford, & Palmer, 2006). Naturally, the elimination of the two principal sweeteners relied upon by the main product line for many decades is a fundamental change that represents a comprehensive shift in long-term organizational vision and strategy. Accordingly, the first major step toward change implementation would be an efficient and comprehensive communications initiative designed to promote and achieve "buy-in" internally among organizational personnel (Daft, 2005; Fisk, 2008).
In that regard, executive management will provide the necessary information and training to ensure that management can present the proposed changes throughout the many business units and departments within the organization (George & Jones, 2008; Robbins & Judge, 2009). Part of achieving the crucial buy-in among organizational personnel will depend on the effective dissemination of factual information and analyses that support this change initiative as a necessary evolution of the organization within the society on whose consumer preferences its future success depends (Fisk, 2008). Significantly, both the specific timing of the formal announcement and the assembly and preparation of the new executive level of the organization are intended as parts of the organizational strategy to avoid any undue disruption of operations or management once the proposed operational changes necessary to effectuate the new organizational vision are implemented (Daft, 2005; Schabracq, 2007).
The allocation of the necessary funds to Research and Development to reformulate the main product line to reduce and eliminate or substantially reduce to a minimum the use of sugar and corn syrup in all Dr. Pepper Snapple Group products would be…
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