For many years, the term cola wars' has been used to describe the hard fought battle for market share that has been waged by Coca-Cola and Pepsi" (Etzel, Walker, & Stanton, 2004, p. 82). Pepsi has been more proactive in expanding its marketing mix by introducing noncarbonated beverages specifically targeted to the health conscious. It is apparent that Coke has always been one step behind Pepsi as witnessed by its struggle to market a variety of its own disparate brands instead of its powerhouse sodas (Eztel et al., 2004, p. 82). Coke and Pepsi have continued to utilize different marketing strategies to gain market share for both noncarbonated and carbonated products. Each company has engaged in company acquisitions which had a competitive impact on the already existent "cola war". The marketing principles to be addressed in this case include the influence of macroeconomic forces on marketing opportunities, global marketing, ethics and legal forces, and diversification by acquisition.
Key Factors: Marketing Principles.
"Successful marketing depends largely on a company's ability to manage its marketing programs within its environment (Etzel et al., 2004, p. 31). Macroenvironmental forces that influence any organizations marketing opportunities are demographics, economic conditions, competition, social and cultural forces, political and legal forces, and technology. A change in any of these factors can cause changes in one or more of the others. Each of these forces are dynamic and change at an increasing rate" (Etzel et. al., 2004, p. 32). .
Demographics are of special interest to marketing executives. Social and cultural forces have a significant impact on marketing because lifestyles, values, and beliefs are changing and becoming more complex (Etzel et al., 2004, p. 36). Most demographic segments of our society seem to reflect an increased interest in physical fitness and health (Etzel et al.