Mistakes have the potential to turn you into something better than you were before. However, it isn’t always necessary that these mistakes are unintentional. There are times when you begin something with good faith that could turn around to be your biggest blunder too.
Something similar happened with a global brand that is valued at 70 billion U.S dollars. With over 200 bottling partners worldwide and being among the top 10 beverage companies, Coca-Cola decided to test out a new flavor in 1985.
How could a brand that is known to be pervasive and distinguished, commit such a huge error? Well, the reason is known to be fear, lack of planning, and vanity! It was the panic of a new competitor brand taking over the market, which led them to make a hasty decision which is still considered the biggest mistake in the world of business.
How could a brand known for its branding and digital marketing, not consider the repercussions of its actions?
With the fear of losing sales over the competitors’ sweet-tasting cola, Coca-cola too introduced a new product based on the results of blind tasting tests. While they decided to beat their rival with this product, they even took their original product off the market shelves which caused an uproar of backlash. Eventually, they had to withdraw the new product and bring the old product back.
Everyone loves a new product but why did it not work for Coca- Cola. We decipher the reasons for you:
Brand new may not always be good - When consumers love a product, they love everything about it. Changing the branding means taking away something that your people relate to.
Old is always gold - As a brand, if you want to introduce something new, you definitely must. However, you should never withdraw the original product! Your loyal customers are as important as the new ones.
Don’t stop loving your people - For years people have associated with Coca-Cola as a brand of values. It symbolizes happiness, friendships, and celebrations. The biggest match point for a brand is its emotional connection with consumers. Coca-Cola had almost lost the very foundation of its being with this change.
Have a plan B - No matter how big or small a brand is, it should always be prepared for contingencies. Coca-cola was sailing too high on its popularity and forgot to prepare a plan B in case their new launch failed. When in business you must be prepared for all kinds of outcomes at all times.
Gave the competitor’s an upper hand - With Coca-cola transforming its product, it paved the way for its rival to take a dig at them. They considered the mishap as their opportunity to make a profit. The competitors ran several ads on this situation and were able to increase their leads and conversions too!
One of the major reasons why people felt this way was because ‘Coke” has always been fantastic at marketing and advertising. People felt they were losing an important part of themselves when Coke tried to change its formula and packaging. People don’t always like products for the same reason as marketers do and Coca-cola, learned it the hard way. Always do your homework well, analyze all aspects, trust numbers as much as you trust people and you'll; continue drinking the old coke for a long time.
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