What Should Coca Cola Have Done?

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What should have occurred? What should occur in future situations? It would be a logical inference to suggest that Coca-Cola’s decision to change its formula and market “New Coke” to the American population was nothing short of a complete failure. “On 23 April 1985 New Coke was introduced and a few days later the production of original Coke was stopped. This joint decision has since been referred to as ‘the biggest marketing blunder of all time’” (Bhasin, 2010). But to completely dismiss the fact that Coca-Cola was losing market share to Pepsi-Cola, as well as other products that they themselves were producing (Diet Coke), would not fairly give justice to the decisions behind Coca-Cola’s marketing blunder. Coca-Cola was in a dilemma. They were going through an identity crisis, and that crisis seemed to lead them to make their one major costly decision. That crisis was quite simple. Coca-Cola had forgotten who they were and grasping for market share, instead of focusing on branding lead them in an ominous direction. In order to avoid an identity crisis, Coca-Cola should have understood that “a brand is far more than just a logo. Instead, it’s comprised of a complete set of attributes and tools, or “identity elements,” that give the brand a unique identity” (Forward). The simple fact is that all the time, money, and skill poured into consumer research on the new Coca-Cola could not measure or reveal the deep and abiding emotional attachment to the original Coca-Cola, felt by so many people. The passion for original Coca-Cola was something that caught executives at Coca-Cola by surprise. It was a mystery, an American enigma, and one cannot measure it any more than one can measure love, pride, or patriotism (Bhasin, 2010). Of all of the consumer research and data analyzing Coca-Cola and its executives claim to have performed, it’s a mystery that they forgot one simple rule; ask your customers first! “Sam Craig, professor of marketing and international business at...
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