When Muhtar Kent started working for Coca-Cola in 1978, he spent almost a year on delivery trucks in metro Atlanta and as far away as Needham, Mass. and Lubbock, Texas. Visiting stores was a big part of his job.
For Kent – now chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola – it still is. He explains why in this video, recorded in the beverage aisle of a Walmart store in Bentonville, Ark.
“That’s how I started, and to this day almost 40 years later, there essentially isn’t a week that passes by that I do not go and visit a store,” Kent says. “Every time I go to a store, I learn something…it’s never failed me, every single time in the last 38 years.”
Kent is a big fan of spontaneous visits, which is why he urges leaders in legal, finance, strategy and other departments to get out of the office and ride Coca-Colatrucks. You never know what you might learn from a store manager or shopper about pricing, packaging and trends.
“It’s so important not to lose touch of where the dollar changes hands – the ‘points of impact’ where the consumer meets our brands,” Kent said. “If you lose touch with what happens at that point, you lose touch with the business.”
More on Journey
- Tipping Point: Why More Restaurants Are Going Gratuity-Free
‘The Pieces Are Coming Together’:
Coca-ColaPresident Shares Promising Outlook With Analysts
Coca-ColaCompany: Inventor of Coca-Cola: John Pemberton
- Atlanta Goes Better With Coke
Coca-Colareveals plans for new plant facility in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia