MECCA-COLA: A MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE There is no denying that Mecca-Cola is a political product. Commercially, itâ€™s capitalizing on the growing anti-American sentiment. The interesting part, which probably no one has ever done before, is the fact that the founder is making a political statement as well as embracing others with the same attitude through a consumer product. At some level it looks ironic that an anti-American movement takes form in the very byproduct of American culture; however, this is also saying that not all about America is bad. Itâ€™s not the culture that is being fought, but rather the politics. And Mecca-Cola fights by trying to provide conscience to its consumers, to provide meaning in consumerism (â€œbuvez engagÃ©â€). Mecca-Cola was born as a reaction to the anti-American sentiments, and it primarily appeals to consumers who support American brands boycott campaign. Entry consumers are primarily Muslims, with the product first being distributed in â€œsmall ethnic shops in Muslim areasâ€. While Mecca-Cola may continue to appeal to Muslim consumers, its policy to give profits for charity may appeal to other â€œengaged consumersâ€. By positioning itself as the non-American alternative of a cola, Mecca-Cola directly challenged Coca-Cola and Pepsi as the â€œAmerican productsâ€. However, as in Mathlouthi idealism, Mecca-Cola will keep the focus on providing an alternative cola drinks, not directly challenge those big players as competitors. Now that Mecca-Cola has successfully initiated a new segment of â€œalternative colaâ€, its real competitors are the other alternative cola that position themselves as a product for Muslims while also offering corporate social responsibility like Mecca Cola. Among the major competitors are ZamZam Cola, Qibla-Cola, Muslim Up and Arab Cola. The launch of Mecca-Cola was a success, perhaps because it is providing a fresh alternative to common consumerism, while using political and social charity leveraging advantages. Nevertheless, Mecca-Cola is vulnerable to competition (specific target base, low entry barrier for me-too products), and its positioning appeal may wear out if world politics change. Mecca-Cola could be a sustainable business if it emphasizes on universal values that appeal to a broader, sustainable consumer base, rather than just another Anti-America alternative product. Â Â Â Â Â Mathlouthi and Mecca Cola Taufik Mathlouthi is a Muslim, Tunisian-born French entrepreneur. His exceptional entrepreneurship mindset, along with his involvement in social issues and a sense of pride for his origins, forms the right chemistry that led to the birth of Mecca Cola. Mathlouthi is by nature an involved and exploring individual.
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