HBR: “Introducing New Coke Case”: Discussion Questions:
Directions: You are to write a report on the HBR Coke Case. The report consists of 10 questions. Each question is worth 10 points. Please write in a Q & A format and not essay.
1. What is the case about? Write a ½ page executive summary of the case which includes at least 3 consumer behavior theories that are evident in this case.
Ans: In the late 80s, Pepsi market share was catching up with Coca-cola at a great speed. Its main success was coming from a new marketing strategy, directing its focus on new generation consumers as well as hosting a series of commercials called “the Pepsi Challenge”, which is a taste test competition between Pepsi and Coke. The result of this test was in Pepsi’s advantage, it indicated that consumers prefer the taste of Pepsi more. This result made the Coca-cola company’ executives highly concerned and decided to revolutionize its flagship product by changing the taste of the Coke and introduced it as the “New Coke”. After the product was launched, consumers’ response was outrageous and the new product was a complete failure. Only a few months later, the company had to decide to bring its original product back, Coke classic.
2. What is Coca-Cola? In terms of Ted Levitt’s famous question, “what business is it in”? You may need to do some additional research on Levitt. Please do not write the obvious answer (e.g. beverage, soda, etc).
Ans: When Ted Levitt asked the question “What business is it in”, he was challenging companies to look beyond their immediate material product or service and examine the spectrum of ways they can and should target the greater public appeal. Coca-Cola is in the beverage industry but its business is to offer a sweet, fun, memory-inspiring portable beverage that inspires nostalgia for a carefree time. Coca-Cola is a sense-memory product that relies on a perception of indulgence and comfort
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