advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The story behind New Coke.

The switch by Coke in 1985 to a new formula is often cited as a case study of marketing blunders—genius in the U.S. Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSD) category. (You know, soda? Pop?) But what went on. Coke was and is thought of as this brand that remains steadfast and solid while Pepsi keeps trying to find its way. But this look at the New Coke brand snafu shows this wasn’t the case then. Coke was reacting out of fear of lost market share here, (dropping to round 22% at the time compared to the 40% it eventually rose to in 2008).* Pepsi’s taste challenges a decade before in the ’70s had them worried. Currently, the soda market is down across the board save for diet sodas. Everyone is focused on *healthier* options like vitamin waters and energy drinks. (Take the carbonation out of sugar water kids and it’s still... sugar water.) For even more marketing irony: Both brands carry sports drinks which are siphoning off share from their soda lines. Although Pepsi is a little more diverse in its product line and likely able to afford a hit in the soda category. Maybe it’s time for another taste challenge.


*Pepsi is around 30% in that study but others put them around 10% last year. Trust the numbers at your own risk, soda freaks.

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