What Is a Case Study?

When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.

At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.

As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.

Study a Pattern

One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.

Gather Evidence

During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.

Present Findings

As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.

Draw Conclusions

Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.

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Case Study- Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in the Twenty-First Century


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Cola War Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Home >> Harvard Case Study Analysis Solutions >> Cola War

In thecontext of this case, the Pepsi and the Coca-Cola were competing in thebeverage market.Cumulatively, they had capture huge amount of market share with prosperous profit margins. Whereas, the reason behind this profitability wascomparatively to other beverages, they were cheap to produce, another reason for this cost-effectiveness,which they have finest distribution channels. Which hascontributedto such profitability is that, due to their brand image they are highly demanded by consumers. Also, they had keep the bottling and packaging in the house which reduced their cost, and consequentlythismight result in increased profits margins. However, this industry has pouring rights contract with somegas stations, restaurants and supermarkets that enabled such industry, to increased profits margins and reduced the competition.


However, the Coke and Pepsiis mostly packaged in glass bottles, metal can and plastic bottles.Whereas, this bottling process requires high production cost and requires high labor overheads.Although, thismanufacturing process requires 50 to 100 million of capital expenditure.

Additionally, the Coke and the PepsiCompany, hadstrong control over its selling and distribution cost. Although, theyacquiredthe bottling companies and doing bottling in ahouse, in order to reduce their variable cost. Consequently, such reduction in variable cost, will lead to increase in profit margins of respective companies.

Cola War Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

These companies have categorized their products into different types and size of packages through varioussegments. Furthermore, the reason they were more efficient and effective,due to their brand image and pouring right in some different restaurants and supermarket. However, they were highly demanded by customers, which leads to increase in their market share and improve the company’s profit margin.

Consequences of competition between Pepsi and over the industry profit of beverage industry:

In this case, it has been evident that how the competition between Pepsi and Cola industry affected the market share of the beverage industry, and how it gives an advantage to other non-carbonate soft drinks. Firstly, the competition between Coke and Pepsi influencedthe soft drink industry in a favorable way. Thus, this competition consequently pulled up the market share of Cola industry.Moreover, this competitionkept each competitor concentrate towards innovations and pursuing a different strategy, to maintain products competitive to themarket.


However, in America due increase in somenon-carbonate soft drinks, the Cola industry has suffered ahuge amount of loss,regarding reduction in their market share.

Moreover, this case anticipates the feasibility of Pepsi and the coke and how they enabled their sustainability and profits, in decreasing demand and emergence of non-carbonate drinks. As it has been mentioned in the case that, due increased in number of different non-carbonate drinks, this emerging industry has adversely affected the market share ofCola industry. In addition, thegrowth in noncarbonate industry has captured the market share of Cola industry. Moreover, to tackle this competition,the Cola manufacturers should diversify their beverage industry.In different numberof drinks including carbonate and non-carbonate non-alcoholic beverages.

Also, due to changes in customer’s demand, the Cola industries should move towards the nutritious drink and to be more competitive toface the market competition.The Cola industries (Pepsi and Coke) should move towards the different line of products including both CSD and NON-CSD, to meet customer demands and to sustain their profits.For example, the sport drinks Gatorade led by Pepsi, which captures 76% of market share another drink PowerAde only led 19% of market share. Furthermore, tea based drink (Lipton) led by Pepsi to meet customer demand. On the other hand, Nestea 27%, even though the Pepsi also led  Aquafina with 13 % of market share as evident in the case. Meanwhile, Dasani fell by 8% of market share.

In other words, it is only possible for Pepsi and Coke, to sustain in the market with their prosperous profit margins.If they diversify their product line by aligning in the different product line of beverage including CSD as well as non-CSD.To meet customer demand and the should find a way that may reduce cost and would result in increased profit margins.

Case Facts:

If we summarize thecase, early soft drinkswill  be profitable due to some reasons such as:

  • They had cheap production process.
  • Company had direct distribution channel.
  • However, the bottling process was also undertaken by the Cola companies itself.
  • They had strong control over the cost.
  • Another reason for such prosperous profit margin wasthat, they had pouring rights insome different restaurants supermarkets

Moreover in 21 century, due to increase in some different non-CSD beverage such Cola company sufferd from losses, by reducing their market share in beverage industries, how they sustain their growth and profit margins. Finally, due to the adverse effect of these beverage industries, the Cola companies started diversifying their production line on on-CSD beverages. Such as they were indulging in tea segments, sports drinks and introducing water bottlesetc.However, these were the alternative course of action, which enabled the Beverage companies to survive in this competitive environment.

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