DK wrote:josebach wrote:Coppermine wrote:raiders_umpire wrote:PlayingWithFire wrote:why was the coke thing a big failure?
Coke II was one of if not the biggest marketing flops in history.
The New Coke story is one of my favorite in marketing history. It is, in fact, one of the biggest marketing flops in history, right up there with the Ford Edsel and the Chevy Nova being sold in Mexico; but there is a twist. Some have called the move INGENIUS.
At the time of the New Coke, the Coca Cola company was quickly losing its market share to Pepsi... the whole "Pepsi Challenge" really did prove that Pepsi has a better taste than Coke (and it does, I dare you to do a blind taste test). So, Coke comes out with "new" coke and people are outraged and infuriated. How could a giant, multibillion dollar, fortune 100 company like Coca Cola not have known the reaction that the new Coke would have generated?
So what happened? They bring back the old Coke, as Coca Cola Classic and sales went through the roof. Coke blasted ahead of Pepsi in the cola wars and haven't looked back; Pepsi has sat in second place ever since.
Market flop... or brilliance? The debate rages on......
So you're suggesting that Coke purposely put out a bad product so that millions and millions of it's customers would switch to Pepsi so that later, they could introduce Coca-Cola Classic and bring back all of the customers that they had in the first place?
I'm afraid that makes absolutely zero sense. What "debate" are you talking about, anyway? This is the first time I've ever heard that Coke purposely created "New Coke" so that it would fail.
Read it again. Coke didn't just get its own fans back; it shot up to first with lightning speed once the Classic was returned, and Pepsi has been distantly second ever since.
They didn't just get their own fans back, they got back the fans they lost, too, and some people who hadn't been fans in the first place.
I'm a Pepsi guy BTW.
If I drink Cola, I drink Diet Coke. I do like regular Pepsi better than Coke, though.
This is waht wikipedia had to say:
At first it looked as if Coke's worst fears had come to pass as Pepsi pulled into the lead, running yet another ad teasing Coke by suggesting that the whole thing was very confusing and consumers should just stick with Pepsi. But by the end of the year, Coke Classic was substantially outselling both New Coke and Pepsi, putting the company back into the number-one position it has enjoyed ever since. New Coke, by contrast, had dwindled to a mere three percent in market share. (Later research, however, suggested that it was not the reintroduction of Classic Coke, but instead the less-heralded rollout of Cherry Coke, that can be credited with the company's success that year.)
Coke spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out where it had made a mistake, ultimately concluding that it had underestimated the public impact of the portion of the customer base that would be alienated by the switch. This narrative would not emerge for several years afterward, however, and in the meantime the public simply concluded that the company had, as Keough suggested, failed to consider the public's attachment to the idea of what Coke's old formula represented. That has become conventional wisdom although it is not the case.
This populist version of the story served Coke's interests, however, as the whole episode did more to position and define Coca-Cola as a brand embodying values distinct from Pepsi than any deliberate effort to do so probably could have. Allowing itself to be portrayed as a somewhat clueless large corporation forced to back off a big change by overwhelming public pressure flattered customers and added to the legend (as Keough put it, "We love any retreat which has us rushing toward our best customers with the product they love the most."). The bottles and cans continue to bear the "Coca-Cola Classic" title even though it has long since displaced its erstwhile usurper as the main brand.
While in the short term the fiasco led Cosby to end his advertising for Coke, saying his commercials that praised the superiority of the new formula had hurt his credibility, no one at Coca-Cola was fired or otherwise held responsible for what is still widely perceived as a misstep, for the simple reason that it ultimately wasn't (in contrast with Schlitz beer's disastrous change to a cheaper formula in the early 1970s, which was also based on market research into product taste yet unquestionably detrimental to the company in the long term). When Goizueta died in 1997, the company's share price was at a level well above what it was when he had taken over 16 years earlier and its position as market leader even more firmly established. At the time Roger Enrico, then head of Pepsi's American operations, likened new Coke to the Edsel. But he admitted later, when he himself became PepsiCo's CEO, that had people been fired or demoted over New Coke it would have sent a message that risk-taking was strongly discouraged at the company.
In the late 1990s, Zyman summed up the New Coke experience thusly:
Yes, it infuriated the public, cost a ton of money and lasted only 77 days before we reintroduced Coca-Cola Classic. Still, New Coke was a success because it revitalized the brand and reattached the public to Coke."