Case Review #2 – Coca-Cola
1. Discuss the attitudes and related beliefs toward Coca-Cola of intensely brand-loyal customers (perhaps like those who were upset by the New Coke in 1985). How might their attitudes and beliefs differ from those of less involved, less loyal consumers? What marketing implications would these differences have? Once a person’s salient beliefs are activated, it could influence a person’s preference for a certain brand (Olson). So having fond memories of Coke definitely activates the salient beliefs of a person thus creating brand equity and loyalty. Those loyal customers who threatened to sue in 1985 have established a connection with the brand. The original brand and taste brings back fond memories. It reminds them of days past and when Coca Cola changed the recipe, they were upset because they felt Coca-Cola was stealing something from them, perhaps their memories. The strength of a consumers’ product is affected by their past experiences with the object – which may be why there are extremely loyal and less loyal consumers. The attitudes of the dedicated differ from less involved less loyal consumers in that the less loyal consumers don’t really have a connection to the original taste. They have not established a brand loyalty and to them, if the taste changes, it doesn’t pose a dramatic change in their life. The marketing implications that these differences have is that the company has to figure out a way to reach the less loyal customers. For whatever reason, the salient beliefs of those are not as strong and the company must find a way to reach their unconscious self and change their attitude toward the product. Marketers must find a way to adjust their strategies to improve their effectiveness. 2. Do you think it possible for consumers to be loyal to more than one brand of soft drink? What about more than one brand of cola? Discuss the pros and cons of having several brands in a product category (as do Coca-Cola and Pepsi in...
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