Failure of the New Coke: Case Study

Topics: Marketing, New Coke, Product management Pages: 3 (846 words) Published: February 16, 2015
Chelsea Gunter
MGMT 423
1/20/2015
New Coke Case Study
The failure of the introduction of New Coke raises the question of who was responsible for this notorious flop. The efforts to launch a new product began as a tactic to combat Pepsi’s taste test marketing campaign, in which consumers where shown preferring the taste of Pepsi over the original Coke product. This campaign contributed to Pepsi gaining significant market growth. Coke chose to respond by creating a new product that was preferred over both Pepsi and the original Coke formula. Many functional teams had a direct contribution to this effort and eventual failure; thus, it is difficult to pinpoint who should be held responsible and how individuals should be held responsible. Below are possible teams that could face negative repercussions due to their hand in this failure. First, the head individuals of the market research teams that formulated the research strategies could be held responsible. Their biggest failure was not asking the right questions during their interviews. They focused on the taste of the products. However, they did not focus enough on the brand value and customer loyalty. They should have asked questions about customers’ views on a new formula, what they value about the Coke brand, and what feelings individuals would have about the new product. These questions needed to be asked before the product was tasted, as must Americans would be introduced to the product before tasting the product. The next error was made by not considering the impact of negative influences about the new formula could have on individuals. They could have created a group environment that had a negative connotation to the new brand to preform the focus groups. This structure would simulate the introduction of the new formula more closely to reality. Another group to consider is the heads of brand management. This group’s key role is to understand what the brand has to offer, both in the tangible and the...
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