Member Sign In

Sign In

What the New Coke debacle can teach your business about analytics

Published January 8, 2014 at 6:40 am

Coca-Cola Post Strong Earnings
Few companies have a greater built-in marketing edge than Coca-Cola. Not only is the popular brand one of the longest-standing in its market, it also has vast financial resources and a strong cultural resonance. In addition, Coke has access to a large amount of research about its potential consumers and how best to target them.

The New Coke fiasco shows that having that data without the attendant insight is a recipe for disaster.

In 1984, the company was still leading the market but was feeling strong pressure from top competitor Pepsi. The Pepsi-Challenge, which pitted the two beverages against each other in blind taste tests, had led to a successful campaign for the challenger. Coca Cola felt pressure to reestablish its dominance, and sought to tinker with the taste of its iconic soft drink.

After months of tinkering, they found a lighter taste that mirrored that of Pepsi. Research suggested that it was exactly what the people wanted, and executives presumed that the combination of their strong brand and the new flavor would be impossible to top.

When it launched in 1985, it was a disaster. Nobody wanted to buy the new soda, and millions of dollars were lost before the company pulled their novel drink off of shelves.

The lesson is clear. It simply isn’t enough to use research to copy your competitors. Brand continuity is an important part of marketing, and if you radically change your entire strategy, potential customers might balk. Instead, use data to figure out best how you can position your own product — not just copy somebody else’s.



comment closed

Self-Service, Local Marketing Automation

Every one who sells, services, or promotes your brand whether across the country or across the globe is a brand ambassador. Our marketing software sits in the cloud helping to execute and manage their local direct mail and email campaigns, collateral printing, microsites with SEO and landing pages, and social media posts without ever compromising your brand. And provides all the enterprise reporting you’ll ever need. AdSoft Direct creates marketing centers that drive new business, improve customer loyalty, and connect you with the most important part of your business: your customers.

About Us »

Get in Touch

AdSoft Direct, Inc.
740 Tunbridge Road
Danville, CA 94526
(888) 3-ADSOFT
(888) 323-7638