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Marketing failure # 1 - New coke (Coca Cola)

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Marketing failures tells us how even the most brilliant marketers commit mistakes which can turn into major failures for brands. The first deck on marketing failures describes what is sometimes known as the "Biggest Marketing Blunder of All Times". Hard to believe that it comes from one of the best marketers of current time, Coca-Cola. How the introduction of New Coke after abandoning its century-old beverage backfired and what led to that decision are some of the points dicussed.

Marketing failure # 1 - New coke (Coca Cola)

  1. 1. The New Coke – Coca Cola TAPISH PANWAR
  2. 2. Coca-Cola, the undisputed market leader was constantly challenged by Pepsi-Cola, the new kid on the block Pepsi-Cola changed its strategy by positioning itself as the genuine youth cola and met with some success Pepsi raise the challenge by introducing Pepsi Challenge - A taste preference test with participants blindfolded Pepsi emerged clear winner on the taste challenge not just in US but globally
  3. 3. Coke’s numero uno status was being seriously threatened • Not just by the rival Pepsi-Cola but also by its own brands like Fanta and Sprite Started getting to be associated as an old brand • Stout, lack of innovation
  4. 4. Coca-Cola concluded that the problem was primarily due to the product and not perception Started to believe that the consumer preferences have changed with sweeter as the new better Coca-Cola worked on a new formula and conducted 200,000 taste tests • Largely favoured the new formula over the old coke as well as the rival drink Pepsi-cola
  5. 5. Launched the New coke(preferred taste by the participants from blind test)as the only coke offering Stopped the production and distribution of the old coke completely Promoted on the basis of firm belief of have understood the consumers of America by a strong market research Known as the “Biggest Marketing Blunder of AllTime”
  6. 6. Large population of beverage drinkers got furious over the step Boycott of the new coke and Hate messages/letters to the company Consumers were hurt because of a historical association of coke with American culture and history was being taken away by the company All time low sales volume for the brand and company
  7. 7. Public apology The famous "We have heard you" comment by the the Chairman, Roberto Goizueta The old coke was brought back as "Classic coke“ Mega promotional events
  8. 8. The loyalty to the old coke went higher than the previous records • Made some conspiracy theorist to believe that the whole ‘new coke’ thing was staged Coke was back to number one with reasonable lead
  9. 9. Product perception is as important as product itself Never underestimate the emotions attached to a brand Imitating competitors can never be a long-term strategy Save your market research from strong biases Have courage to accept your mistake and correct it

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